Messi leaves Italy star Di Lorenzo for dead with filthy skill and assist
Lionel Messi has not had the easiest season after leaving Barcelona for PSG, but the Argentina star provided a timely reminder against Italy of how devastating he can be with the ball at his feet with a phenomenal display of skill.
The 34-year-old was selected by Lionel Scaloni for Argentina’s Finalissima clash against Euro 2020 winners Italy, the first of its kind pitting the Copa America champions against the European winners. And it was Messi who stole the show with an outrageous piece of dribbling to silence his doubters.
Receiving a pass into feet and his back to goal, Messi kept the ball glued to his feet as he swivelled away from Azzurri full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo. And after turning on a sixpence, Messi was away, leaving the Napoli man for dead.
Messi used all of his strength and balance to hold off Di Lorenzo as he ran into the left channel before picking his spot — and Lautaro Martinez had the simplest of finishes to prod past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
It was the kind of assist that proved the veteran star still has magic in his repertoire after admitting it had been a disappointing campaign, at least by his lofty standards, at the Parc des Princes. Messi scored just six goals in his debut campaign in Ligue 1, having joined as a free agent after leaving Barcelona in August.
But he would have been happier with his display back in international colours after the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s heroics helped them win the Copa last year and therefore qualify for this fixture.
La Albiceleste were in fine form throughout as they struck fear into Roberto Mancini’s side on their way to sealing a comfortable 3-0 win, with Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala getting in on the act.
Italy were left on the ropes after a defensive nightmare in the first half and Leonardo Bonucci was fortunate not to concede an own goal. His wayward backpass nearly caught goalkeeper Donnarumma napping before producing a fine clearance at the last moment. Paulo Dybala grabbed a third late on to compound the Italians’ misery.
Argentina players and staff hurled Messi through the air in celebration as they basked in the glory of being the first winners of the trophy.
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It is yet another piece of silverware to add to Messi’s burgeoning collection — and another incredible piece of skill to fit into his everlasting highlights reel.
Argentina's victory in front of a crowd of 87,112 means the South American nation have stretched their incredible unbeaten run to 32 games — a sequence of results that began in June 2019.
With Messi in this sort of dominant form and their easy qualification for the World Cup, Scaloni’s side have a real chance of ending their 36-year wait for a World Cup triumph.
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