As fans wait for Juventus’ first competitive fixture of the season against Lazio in the Italian Super Cup on 18 August, Bianconeri stars will in the meantime be featuring in another tantalising encounter: on Wednesday 14 August, the Stadio Olimpico in Rome will host a friendly between Italy and Argentina in which six of Antonio Conte’s men will be in action.
Azzuri boss Cesare Prandelli has called upon the services of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo for this clash between two big powers on the world football stage.
The game will pay homage to Pope Francis, a figure who represents both nations having been born in Buenos Aires but to Italian parents.
It is also a fixture which, above and beyond its important symbolic significance, constitutes a crucial warm-up for the double bill of games that Italy face at the beginning of September (notable amongst which is Italy against the Czech Republic at Juventus Stadium).
It is vital that Prandelli's men get into their stride against Argentina because success in the following two games could ensure the side’s passage to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.