Messi sets up two goals as Argentina beats Italy in Cup of Champions (video)

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Lionel Messi set up Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala goals and Martinez cued up an Angel Di Maria goal as Argentina beat Italy 3-0 to win the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions on Wednesday.

The Copa America champions led 2-0 at halftime and rode that score deep into stoppage time for Dybala’s goal. Argentina defeated Roberto Mancini’s Italy and continues to build toward what could be the final World Cup with Messi near the peak of his powers.

Argentina’s back line was led by Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and held Italy to just seven of the game’s 24 shot attempts as Italian star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced to make seven saves.

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The trophy showcase once called the Artemio Franchi Cup or the European/South American Nations Cup was first staged in 1985 and pits the Copa America champion against the EURO champ.

But it had only been held twice when it was discontinued after France won in 1985 and Argentina collected the honors in 1993.

Argentina faces Estonia in a Sunday friendly in Spain. Italy hosts Germany in a Nations League match on Saturday.