World Cup 2022: on the way to Qatar, Lionel Messi unleashed a party on the scale of Abu Dhabi

Posted 2022/11/15 33 0

The cardinal points surrender. Lionel Messi ignite adoration in own and strangers. So many fans with the albiceleste shirt… but they are from India, Nepal, the Philippines, Malaysia and so many other places. “Messi, Messi.” The 15,000 people who overflow the Al Nahyan stadium explode in the futuristic Abu Dhabi, another corner of the planet that falls under the magnet of the Argentine captain. Screams, overflows and even two fans that invade the practice and force the rapid intervention of the guard. As in an approach task towards the great goal, Messi is in the Emirates to play tomorrow and then make the leap to Doha. The ‘Messi revolution’ reached the Middle East.

He has already traveled 34 countries with the national team and each one, at least for a few hours, shook his routine. From large cities like London, Beijing, New York or Moscow, to Barquisimeto, Polokwane, Murcia or Salerno. Its attraction was not resisted by Melbourne, Johannesburg, Saitama, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Calcutta, Guatemala or Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. She stepped on all the continents and left her mark. For the first time with the national team, he landed in the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi will become link number 79 among so many cities in the world that the Argentine captain has already captivated.

A short break during rehearsal at the Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi
A short break during rehearsal at the Nahyan Stadium in Abu DhabiKARIM SAHIB – AFP

The phenomenon has a simple explanation: Messi is worldwide. A signal? The man from Rosario was already in Abu Dhabi, and Estudiantes fans know it well: in 2009, but with Barcelona, ​​in the Club World Cup final.

Yesterday he did not dose his smiles, a thermometer of his state of mind. In the clouds. Messi loves it. It attracts. It will happen again on Wednesday, from 12:30 in Argentina, when Lionel’s team, but Scaloni, assumes the last trial against the team led by ‘Vasco’ Arruabarrena. As happened in Basel, Gelsenkirchen, Puerto Ordaz, Oslo and Boston. Or in Marseille, Quito and Saint Petersburg. And in many more places.

Another passenger for the “Scaloneta”: Lionel Messi is already in the United Arab Emirates

The examples run over: the landing of Messi and the overflows around him. When he landed at the King Khalid international airport, in Riyadh, he provoked what no one else did: he avoided the last Arab prayer, of the five a day, of those who expected to see him and challenged religious fanaticism. Upon disembarking in Calcutta, another 1,500 fans stood guard to see him leave, either with the Tilaka painted above the eyebrows, the third eye or the eye of the soul according to Hindu culture. Once in Venezuela, when Messi was leaving the field, a girl threw herself from the audience and fell at his feet. A great blow that she had from her was her prize: still surprised, Rosario himself helped her get up and hugged her. Without a doubt, Messimania has no control.

Laughter and relaxation during the training of the Argentine team in Abu Dhabi
Laughter and relaxation during the training of the Argentine team in Abu Dhabi@Argentina – @Argentina on Twitter

Sometimes, the soccer player even receives the treatment of a political leader. The leaders disarm their agendas if Messi is around. Saudi Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud greeted him, hugged him and kissed him devotedly. Evo Morales once waited for him at the locker room door of the Hernando Siles stadium, in La Paz, until he was awarded an Andean poncho… Without losing sight of the visit of the Argentine delegation, with him in charge, to the Hall Clementina from the Vatican to meet Pope Francis.

Passion for Messi: more than 15,000 spectators followed the practice of the Argentine team
Passion for Messi: more than 15,000 spectators followed the practice of the Argentine teamKARIM SAHIB – AFP

The chain becomes endless: Messi played in Cape Town, Stockholm, Pamplona, ​​Salvador and Leipzig, to name just a few more examples. Abu Dhabi will be the stage for his 165th match in the national team. Will it be the last friendly of his career in the national team? Today nobody pays attention to that, but perhaps, yes. Maybe he doesn’t even know. Neither could Diego Maradona imagine that a duel with Croatia (0-0), in June ’94, in Zagreb, would be the final test. Then, the United States Cup, Greece, Nigeria, ephedrine, doping and suspension.

Messi and his attentive look at the ball, his forever friend, together with Ángel Di María
Messi and his attentive look at the ball, his forever friend, together with Ángel Di MaríaKARIM SAHIB – AFP

Comparisons with Maradona are forced. Although the Diez governed the selection between 1977 and 1994, the world was another. Messi, who made his debut in 2005, has had fewer years left over to play much more. He grew the industry and the profitability of the product goes hand in hand with distributing it to all corners of the planet. For all the markets of the planet. That is why Maradona, in his 90 games, did not step with the Qatar, India, Japan, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Hong Kong teams, places that did kneel before Messi.

The Diez he also did not play in Abu Dhabi. Where was Maradona and Messi not? The Rosario has not yet appeared in Zurich, Glasgow, Los Angeles, Sydney, Zagreb, or Paris. Paradoxical, right? His current residence. But especially there is a country, immortal in the curriculum maradoneano, in which the crack of PSG never settled: Mexico. What a curiosity. Messi, once in his life, would have to run through the Azteca stadium wearing the Argentine jacket.

Greetings to the fans and their thousands of followers
Greetings to the fans and their thousands of followersKamran Jebreili – AP

The Middle East has already surrendered to Messi: with the national team he played in Ryad, in Tel Aviv and twice in Doha, in 2005 and 2010, precisely where the desire of so many is for him to chain seven more games in a month. The conqueror has just added Abu Dhabi, the 79th city under his albiceleste empire. In the era of globalization, Lionel Messi’s territoriality continues to break down borders. For him, the world is already in a ball.


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