Argentina’s self-proclaimed “first fan” Marcelo Martinez is so eager to see Lionel Messi and teammates at the World Cup that he arrived in Qatar six months early.
The first traveling Argentine fan – and possibly the first visiting fan point – flew into Doha on May 3 in his blue and white wig, and has had a great time ever since. “Great things have happened,” said the 54-year-old lawyer, who has found many Qataris and expats wearing Argentine shirts. “They all love Messi and Argentina here.”
Martinez hopes Messi will finally lift the trophy in his fifth and final World Cup final, having won so many other accolades in the game. Martinez, who had plenty of time to spare, was able to serenade Argentina’s Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes when they visited Doha earlier this year with Paris St Germain.
“I was waiting for them in the door of the hotel, wearing my Argentinian flag and wig. Someone came by and asked me what I was doing, took my number and offered me his house for two months, which ended up being three. became.” he said. “I didn’t have to do anything, just take care of his pets while he traveled to Argentina.”
Some local clubs have contacted Martinez to invite him to their matches. After one game, compatriot Sergio Javier Vittor, who plays for Qatar’s Al-Sailiya, gave him his shirt. MESSI EVERYWHERE
Several thousand Argentines are expected to descend on Qatar for the tournament starting next month, but not all of them have an easy ride. Engineers Federico Guevara and Justina Aguirre Saraviaandi, both 32, flew to Barcelona at the end of April, bought a motorhome and left for the trip of a lifetime to Qatar.
But they have just learned that they cannot drive into Qatar and sleep in their vehicle as planned, and are asking the Argentine Embassy and Football Association for help. “We left with the same idea, that Qatar opened its doors to the world, we checked it all,” Guevara said from a stopover in Bulgaria. “But they changed the rules. We got tickets, arranged everything. Then they do this two months earlier.”
Qatar requires that all drivers wishing to bring vehicles in after Nov. 1 must apply for a special permit that costs $1,370. Despite that problem, Guevara and Saraviandi enjoyed the journey as far as they could.
“In Croatia, in every small village there is a child with a Messi shirt,” Guevara said. “In Montenegro, we got lost and ended up in a small street, and there was a mural of Diego (Maradona) saying, ‘Farewell, Golden Kid!’ “In the middle of Montenegro.”
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)