London, June 1 (BNA) Italy will look to put the disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup behind it and start a new era for the Azzurri by defeating Argentina in the “final”, the players of the Italian national team said.
Wednesday’s match between the European champions and the Copa America champions will take place at Wembley Stadium, as Italy beat England on penalties last July to claim their second European title, Reuters reported.
But Italy’s joy turned to anguish eight months later when they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row after losing the qualifiers to North Macedonia.
“We wrote history in this stadium so we gave a lot of affection to all Italians,” Lorenzo Insigne told reporters.
“Tomorrow will be a very important match for us to start over and take Italy back to where it deserves (to be) and to where we have always been.”
However, Argentina under Lionel Messi is not easy, as the team compiled 31 games unbeaten before the confrontation at Wembley.
Italy set a world record of 37 unbeaten matches that ended in October last year when Spain beat Roberto Mancini’s team in the Nations League semi-finals.
“Argentina is one of the best national teams in the world,” said defender Leonardo Bonucci.
“It is very rare in football to have a winning streak – as we did and as Argentina do. So you need to compromise, to be very respectful, to be very aggressive to win this cup.
“Because as we said, with this cup, we need to start over and lay the foundation to get Italy back to where it deserves (to be), where it was one year ago.”
Mancini said the match between the two teams – who have won six World Cup titles between them – was one of the “classic matches of world football”.
“It will be a great match and it is a great honor for many players like Giorgio (Chileni) who will leave the national team and the Argentine players soon to leave the national team,” he said.
“So it will be a great and emotional match.”