Italy, Argentina renew rivalry after 12 years

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Italy, Argentina renew rivalry after 12 years

BERNE, Switzerland - Italy forward Pablo Osvaldo could face the country of his birth in Wednesday’s friendly against Argentina as the two old rivals meet for the first time in 12 years.

World Cup hosts Brazil will attempt to keep momentum going after their Confederations Cup win in June as they visit Switzerland in another of nearly 50 friendlies being played on the first international date of the season.

There are several neighborly clashes with England meeting Scotland at Wembley, Belgium hosting France in Brussels and Sweden versus Norway in Stockholm. Italy’s meeting with Argentina in Rome is the pick of the crop.

The two teams met in four successive World Cups between 1978 and 1990, the last of those games ending in a heart-breaking semi-final defeat for hosts Italy with a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Their only meeting since then was Argentina’s 2-1 win in Rome in 2001 when Osvaldo was still a teenager living in Buenos Aires. Reuters
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