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Clash Of 2 Continental Champions Afoot, As Italy Vs Argentina May Play To Honour Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona
Diego Maradona (File photo)

July 14, (THEWILL) – A proposal to honour one of football’s greatest, , who died of a heart attack on Wednesday, November 25 last year, by staging a one-off game between Italy and Argentina, has generated enough interest to set plans in motion.

Maradona, who passed on at the age of 60 after a lifetime of being intimately tied to football in both continents of his home in South America and his clubs in Europe, enjoyed a lot of football patronage across these international borders.

The world witnessed his overarching influence in the throngs of fans across the world, but mostly in Argentina and Italy, who defied pandemic regulations and police instructions to celebrate his memory when the news broke that the football icon had passed away.

Maradona played some of his best football at the club level for Serie A club Napoli, who were quick to rename their stadium and home grounds after the diminutive football maestro. And the Argentines will never forget the glorious memories he brought the football-loving nation when he, almost single handedly, brought home the 1986 World Cup.

Coincidentally, Argentina and Italy recently came out of their continental competitions victorious, winning the tournaments in South America and Europe respectively in finals played within a 24-hour period. Italy defeated England to win Euro 2020 at Wembley on penalties after Argentina secured a 1-0 victory over Brazil in Rio de Janeiro at the Copa America.

The coincidences do not end there because at their last head-to-head fixture, Italy played a Maradona-led Argentina in 1990 at the semi-finals of the World Cup at home in Naples. Argentina progressed to the final by beating the Italians only to lose the cup to West Germany.

The current attempts to make an Argentina/Italy fixture come to pass in memory of the icon is part of the overall project to foster closer ties between the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in furtherance of the referee swap recently between Euro 2020 and the Copa America.

It promises a “Super Cup” type of football competition that pitches champions of two similarly classed competitions against each other for the emergence of an overall champion, which will be a pleasurable football game for fans to enjoy. A conclusion about the modalities will have to be reached before a date is proposed as talks continue.