Argentina captain Lionel Messi arrived in Doha, Qatar on Monday ahead of his side’s friendly match against United Arba Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi on November 16. Argentina are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Messi has missed the clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Auxerre as he recovers from a minor injury that will not rule him out of the World Cup. The 35-year-old former Barcelona player will begin World Cup preparations alongside his team-mates as Argentina are scheduled to train with half their squad for an open training session at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi, according to Argentine journalist Gaston Edula. Argentina is in Group C with Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Poland.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Ole also claimed that the current La Albiceleste squad is identical to the one that lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final after extra time.
“Things always happen at World Cups that you can’t imagine,” said Ole Messi, who was selected by Lionel Scaloni’s 26-man squad. “We performed very well at the 2014 World Cup, which was an unforgettable experience. I had a lot of fun and it became clear to me more than ever that the main and most important thing is to be a strong and united group. I feel a lot of similarities between this group and the 2014 World Cup.
It’s a group that always plays with the same intensity and concentration in any game, and I think that’s very important. And we know that we will fight for it, but (we don’t think) that we will be champions from the beginning, as the Argentinians think,” he added.
With a current 35-match unbeaten streak that started in 2019, Argentina are one of the favorites for Qatar. In 2021, La Albiceleste won the Copa America, Messi’s only trophy with Argentina, after beating Brazil 1-all. Italy now holds the record for the longest winning streak at 37 games.