Italy face Argentina in a UEFA vs CONMEBOL final featuring the winners of Euro 2020 against Copa América 2021. Scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, the game will be televised live on FS1.
What is the Finalissima? Translated from Italian into English, it’s the word for final. It’s a one-game championship, officially known as CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions. Italy, which won Euro 2020 a year ago from Wembley, takes on Lionel Messi and Argentina.
This is an older competition last played 29 years ago, but was reformed as a result of the continued cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL. Ergo, it is of no relation to FIFA. Previously, FIFA hosted a similar competition called the Confederations Cup. The tournament, which lasted from 1992 to 2017, stopped after FIFA announced plans to expand the FIFA Club World Cup during the summer.
UEFA and CONMEBOL signed a memorandum of understanding on December 15, 2021, for the planning of a number of intercontinental events. Finalissima 2022 is the first of those.
History between UEFA and CONMEBOL
If the agreement between UEFA and CONMEBOL to launch the Finalissima for the Euro and Copa America champions sounds familiar, that is because this competition used to exist.
In two previous iterations, the winners of the European Championship and the Copa America went head-to-head in one game.
The CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions, or the Artemio Franchi Cup, had two renditions. In 1985, France defeated the 1983 Copa America winners Uruguay. Eight years later, the 1991 Copa America winning Argentina side defeated Euro 1992 winners Denmark.
Interestingly, the host country won both sides of the Artemio Franchi Cup.
UEFA vs CONMEBOL final
This year, England is the host of the Finalissima. Wembley Stadium, which saw Italy defeat England on penalties in the Euro 2020 Final, welcomes a number of fantastic players.
Italy failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Despite this, there is talent abound on the Italian side. After all, the squad knocked off England, Span and Belgium en route to its second European Championship win.
Looking at the Italian players, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Jorginho and Giorgio Chiellini all played key roles in the recent continental cup win.
However, this will be the last time Giorgio Chiellini laces up his boots. The Juventus center back announced the Finalissima will be his final game for club and country. The trophy-laden career includes endless Scudettos and a pair of runner-up finishes in the UEFA Champions League. The European Championship is likely the jewel in his trophy cabinet.
On the other hand, Argentina announced its lineup for the Finalissima. Lionel Scaloni, the first Argentine manager to win a major trophy since Alfio Basile in 1993, did not hold back in his selections. For him, this is a tune-up ahead of an all-out go at the 2022 World Cup.
Lionel Messi returns to La Albiceleste, as do 10 of the 11 starters from the 2021 Copa America triumph. Paulo Dybala also joins Argentina in the hopes of breaking through with the national team prior to the World Cup.
Feyenoord defender Marcos Senesi is also a part of Lionel Scaloni’s squad for the game in London. However, Roberto Mancini, the manager of Italy, wanted Senesi to represent Italy.
Despite being born in Argentina, Senesi has an Italian passport and can thus represent Italy. He has no international caps at the senior level, making the Finalissima between the Euro and Copa America champions the ultimate decision. The 25-year-old stated his intentions to play for Argentina at the international level. However, for years, he never received a call up. That is, until now.
Senesi is the first player to be called up by two international sides for the same game. Based on his prior statements, his dream seems to be to play for Argentina. After all, he did make three appearances for the Argentina U-20 side.
How to watch the Finalissima in the United States
For U.S. coverage, the Finalissima kicks off on Wednesday, June 1, at 2:45 p.m. ET.
As part of its international soccer lineup, the contest is available on FS1. While FOX Sports broadcasted the 2021 Copa America, this is the first game featuring the European side of international soccer for FOX, outside the World Cup.
FOX acquired the rights to the European Championship and UEFA Nations League in October 2021.
Most cable, satellite and streaming platforms carry FS1 in their channel lineup. It’s also available via streaming courtesy of a free trial to fuboTV.
Spanish-language coverage of the game is available on ViX.
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