Italy and Argentina will face each other in a one-off match in June 2022 in the inaugural Copa EuroAmerica after an agreement was reached between the leadership of UEFA and CONMEBOL for the match.
Italy and Argentina Come Face to Face in Inaugural Copa EuroAmerica
The Best of the Best Go Head to Head
After Italy won the European Championship in style, the idea of a joint playoff between themselves and the champions of South America, Argentina, was presented to honour the memory of the legendary Diego Maradona, who was much loved and revered in his native Argentina for his exploits in bringing them the 1986 FIFA World Cup title, and in Italy for his exploits in the city of Naples as a player for Napoli.
The idea remained in the works as discussions went on between the leadership of the governing body of South American football CONMEBOL and that of European football UEFA over the next two months before a decision was reached and announced by CONMEBOL on September 28th for the match to be held in a yet-to-be-announced stadium in June 2022. The match would be tagged as the Copa EuroAmerica. The statement by CONMEBOL said;
“The organisation of this match is part of the expansion of cooperation between CONMEBOL and UEFA,” CONMEBOL said in a statement. “Which includes, in particular, the categories of women’s football, futsal and youth, the exchange of referees and technical training programmes.
“The agreement reached by both organisations currently covers three editions of this match between their respective continental winners, and also provides for the opening of a joint office in London, which will have the task of coordinating projects of common interest.”
How Italy and Argentina Emerged as Champions
Italy were crowned as champions of Europe on July 11th after a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over England in the final of Euro 2020 at the Wembley Stadium in London. Both sides played out a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of the final clash in Wembley, with the goals coming from England left-back Luke Shaw and Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was the shootout hero saving the penalties of Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka with Marcus Rashford also slamming his penalty kick against the frame of the goal.
Hours earlier Argentina had claimed the Copa America title in a similar manner to Italy by defeating their opponents on their home soil. La Albiceleste defeated bitter rivals Brazil 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium. Paris Saint Germain midfielder Angel Di Maria scored the winner as the Argentinean national team claimed its first trophy since 1993.
Timing and Essence of the Copa EuroAmerica Between Italy and Argentina
Italy and Argentina will face each other in the Copa EuroAmerica in June 2022 during the FIFA international window that is supposed to house the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Typical summer conditions in the host nation Qatar forced FIFA to shift the 2022 World Cup to November, a winter month in Qatar.
The clash between the Azzurri and Albiceleste, two of the best national teams around, is expected to be a good show ahead of the FIFA World Cup and maybe serve up some pre-tournament drama ahead of the tournament proper after the FIFA Confederation Cup was scrapped.
The Copa EuroAmerica between Italy and Argentina also marks a sort of cooperation between the European and South American football bodies and rebellion against FIFA after the governing body proposed that the FIFA World Cup be held every two years, a proposal that was immediately kicked against by UEFA.