LUSAIL, Qatar ( Associated Press) – For him too, it’s the game of a lifetime. But they will play it not on the field of play but from the stands.
Albiceleste shirts and flags flooded Qatar’s Lusail Stadium this Sunday hours before the World Cup final between Lionel Messi’s team and defending champions France, a clash that has Albiceleste fans on edge. Thousands of kilometers away in their motherland.
“My legs are shaking, I feel like I will pass out. I just want to enter”, said Martina López, 25, who has been with family members in Doha since the start of the World Cup.
Dressed in a classic Argentina jacket and two Argentine flags painted on his cheeks, the young Buenos Aires native believes the fans have done a good job for the Albiceleste to reach the last game of the tournament after a loss against Saudi Arabia. was the deciding factor.
“We gave it our all, I had no voice for almost the entire journey. “I had to take care of her these days in order to have a voice today,” Lopez admitted.
A procession of Argentina fans towards the stadium, located north of Doha, began several hours before the game. The metro’s red line, the only one that goes to Lusail, was overwhelmed by fans who jumped on their cars singing “Muchachos”, the unofficial fan anthem that refers to the heroes of classic rival Brazil, Diego Maradona, Messi and . Malvinas War.
“It’s the most important game of my life,” said Nestor Peinetti, 55, who traveled to the semifinals and now awaits the final game drinking mate, a traditional Argentine infusion.
Dressed in a pale blue-and-white tunic top with the number 10 engraved on the back, Pininetti acknowledged that there was a special rapport between the fans and the team at this World Cup as “the first time since 86 that ten players played Maradona’s team”. Gave it my all, I saw him again in this team.”
“Ten players who gave everything for Messi. I never saw her again,” he said.
A few meters out of reach of Lusail, Raul Figueroa and Sebastián Cosentino – both from Argentine Patagonia – stood with a handwritten sign saying “I want a ticket” in English.
“It bothers you that you are not able to enjoy it. There were no problems in other sports”, said Cosentino, 39.
He said he was asked for up to $5,000 for a ticket, which he did not have after three weeks in Doha.
The concern of the fans is as big as their faith in the team.
“A dream, the Argentine is a football fan. We play ball all our lives. We are 200 meters away from seeing Messi lift the cup that we all want, it will be unforgettable for a lifetime,” Figueroa said sadly.
Albiceleste will be looking for its third world star after titles in 1978 and 1986.