Argentina forward Lionel Messi said Italy would have been favourites  had they qualified the World Cup ahead of their Finalissima clash on  June 1.

The match at Wembley pits the winners of Euro 2020 and the Copa America against one another.

However, despite winning the European Championship, Italy failed to  qualify for the World Cup for a second consecutive tournament and Messi  said it is a shame the Azzurri will be absent.

Argentina beat Italy the last time the two teams met in England, earning a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium in March 2018 and are unbeaten against the Azzurri since 1987.

But Messi is expecting a good game. He added: “It’s good test for us.  They are the champions of Europe and would have been World Cup  favourites had they been there.

The match will be Italy’s first at Wembley since beating England in the final of Euro 2020.

Since then, they have won just two competitive matches and than  difficult run saw them beaten in the UEFA Nations League semi-final by  Spain and fail to qualify for the World Cup.