Another masterpiece to appear in the Champions League final. Copa Amrica Argentina and Euro-winning Italy face off today at Wembley Stadium in London in a title fight called ‘La Finalisima’.
Such arrangements have been made twice before with two champion teams from two continents. Michel Platini’s France won the first edition in 1975 against Uruguay. Diego Maradona’s Argentina defeated Euro champion Denmark in 1993.
This time, before the match against Italy, in an interview given to the Argentine media TYC Sports, the Argentine captain Lionel Messi spoke in a contemporary context.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Finalisima match against Italy?
Messi: The match will be great. They are the champions of Europe. Italy would have been the favorites in the World Cup. Unfortunately they are not in the World Cup. Excluded for football reasons. With Italy, no one would have wanted to face them in a World Cup draw. This match is a test for us to move forward on the path to fulfilling the goal. We will go on the field to win.
Q: How surprising is Italy’s absence from the World Cup?
Messi: It is unbelievable that even if they win the Euro, they are not in the World Cup. Their absence is painful; But that is the reality. I have teammates and friends from Italy in PSG. They helped me a lot, especially Marco Verratti. I feel sorry for him.
Q: Tell us about the current Argentina team and their success.
Messi: This team will think of ‘Final’ in every match. Everyone knows how to play them. What they have to do in every moment of the match. Young in a team that is not easy; But everyone on this team has a clear idea of what to do. This team from Argentina can fight anyone. However, this does not mean that we are claiming the World Cup. That is to say, we are now ready to play against any team.
Q: Argentina will start the World Cup in Qatar with a match against Saudi Arabia. How do you see the opponent of the first match?
Messi: The first match of the World Cup is always different. Whoever the opponent is, there is inertia in the first match. For many of our team, this is the first World Cup. No matter what they want, they will feel the pressure to win. Because, winning the first match gives confidence for the next path. We know from experience that no opponent is easy. Our group is tough. The whole World Cup is going to be difficult.
Q: Will Messi be seen in the 2026 World Cup?
Messi: As I said before, after the World Cup in Qatar, I have to think anew about many things. In fact, I don’t know what happens. I never imagined I would play anywhere other than Barcelona. But suddenly one day I had to leave. A lot can happen in the future, football is changing.
Q: What changes are you feeling after coming to PSG from Barcelona?
Messi: I got used to the new kind of game. Before, I was used to playing one genre. Coming to a new place was also different. Seeing football from a different perspective, new teammates, everything was new to me. I remember the first day Antonella and I cried when we left the kids at school. I told each other, what are we doing here.
Q: How much does PSG’s farewell burn after losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League?
Messi: That was a big blow for us. Real put an end to us. After many days of acquaintance with Real, I knew that something like this could happen. They can turn the match around by scoring a goal in any situation. Real Madrid was not the best team this time. But they are the champion team in the Champions League. That is why they have won the title even though they are not the best team.
Q: What are the chances of Karim Benzema winning the Ballon d’Or?
Messi: There is no room for hesitation. Benzema had a great year. The last thing he did was win the Champions League. This time Benjamin will win the Ballon d’Or