An inspired Lionel Messi led Argentina to a comprehensive win over Italy in the match dubbed as Finalissima between the European and South American champions.

Argentina the match 3-0 in front of a vociferous crowd at Wembley Stadium.

Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria scored in the first half to put the South American champions in complete control before Paulo Dybala added the third in the dying stages of the second half.

Their captain Messi set up two goals as Argentina proved too quick and slick for the lumbering Azzurri.

Di Maria’s audacious effort from just over the halfway line signaled the things to come as Martinez tapped home from close range in the 28th minute from Messi’s low cross to cap off Argentina’s early dominance.

Di Maria then raced past Giorgio Chiellini and scored past his former PSG teammate Donnarumma to double the lead on the stroke of halftime.

The second half saw much of the same with Donnarumma denying Messi and Di Maria with superb saves to keep to scoreline from becoming embarrassing.

Substitute Paulo Dybala finally underlined Argentina’s superiority with a drilled low finish in stoppage time after another stellar run by Messi.

Chiellini, playing his final game, was substituted at halftime on his 117th appearance in what was a bitter end for the Italian.

After the final whistle Messi, who lit up the evening with a series of trademark dribbles, was hoisted into the air by his teammates who danced on the Wembley turf.

The Finalissima is the revival of the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions that has been played only twice before in 1985 and 1993.

While it is viewed as something of a novelty, Argentina celebrated its win wholeheartedly.

Argentina, who ended a 28-year wait for a trophy by beating Brazil to win the 2021 Copa America, produced a display that bodes well for their hopes at the Qatar World Cup this year, extending their unbeaten run to 32 games.

Italy, meanwhile, seems to be going backward after their Euro 2020 win.

After their Euro win over England, they have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second successive tournament after losing in a playoff to North Macedonia.