The Artemio Franchi Cup, the direct antecedent of the Finalissima

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The Finalissima 2022, the title that Italy (European champion) and Argentina (South American champion) will play on Wednesday in London, has a direct historical antecedent, the Artemio Franchi Cup, which was played twice, in 1985 and 1993.

That Artemio Franchi Cup, which was named after the Italian leader who was president of UEFA between 1973 and 1983 and vice president of FIFA between 1974 and 1983.

His death in a traffic accident caused an impact in the world of sports and generated various tributes, including naming the trophy of that new Conmebol-UEFA Intercontinental Cup of Nations with his name.

The idea of ​​this new national team tournament, between the champions of the European Championship and the Copa América, was to follow the example of the Intercontinental Cup, which annually measured the champion clubs of the European Cup (current Champions League) and the Libertadores Cup.

That Intercontinental Cup led over the years to the current FIFA Club World Cup, open to representatives of other confederations, and the Artemio Franchi Cup was abandoned after 1993, as the Copa del Rey Fahd/Copa de the Confederations, which also brought together teams from other continents and whose last edition was held in 2017. Since then its dispute has been suspended.

Within the framework of their current good relations and their alliance, Conmebol and UEFA signed a series of agreements and the dispute of a new Conmebol-UEFA Champions Cup, popularly baptized as Finalissima, is one of the most visible, resurrecting the spirit of that Artemio Franchi Cup.

These were the two disputed editions of the Artemio Franchi Cup:

The first edition of this new tournament took place in 1985 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.

It was attended by France, who had won the 1984 European Championship after beating Spain in the final precisely at the Parc des Princes, and Uruguay, who had won the 1983 Copa América.

The match put two great figures face to face, Michel Platini against Enzo Francescoli.

The French controlled the game without problems and won 2-0 with goals from Dominique Rocheteau (minute 4) and José Touré (46).

Despite the fact that the Artemio Franchi Cup was to be played every four years, the next edition of the tournament was in 1993, eight years after the first due to logistical difficulties and dates found.

Due to the principle of alternation, the second Artemio Franchi Cup was played in South America, in Mar del Plata, where the Argentine hosts, champions of the 1991 Copa América, also prevailed, beating the winner of the European Championship in the penalty shootout. 1992, Denmark (5-4 after a 1-1 draw).

Coach Alfio Basile had a star-studded squad including Diego Maradona, Diego Simeone, Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Caniggia and Sergio Goycoechea, but it was Denmark who took the lead, scoring against Néstor Craviotto in the 12th minute.

However, Caniggia soon balanced for the Albiceleste, in minute 15.

In the penalty shootout, Caniggia was the only Argentine to miss, but the two missed shots by the Danes gave Argentina the title.

The FIFA Confederations Cup and its earlier version of the Copa del Rey Fahd was seen as an expanded evolution of the principle of playing against continental champions, although only on three of the ten occasions was the final duel between a European team and a European team. South American

In 1995, Denmark got some sort of revenge by beating Argentina 2-0 in the King Fahd Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Already named the Confederations Cup, Brazil beat Spain 3-0 in the 2013 final, at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, and Germany beat Chile 1-0 in 2017, in Saint Petersburg.

Three unofficial games equally measured the then champions of Europe and South America: Brazil won two of them, the Netherlands (1-0) in Rotterdam in 1989 and Germany (2-1) in Stuttgart, and Spain won the other , 3-1 over Uruguay in Doha in 2013.

dr/psr