Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates arrived in Qatar for the World Cup early on Thursday, just hours after a 5-0 warm-up victory over UAE in Abu Dhabi.
Messi scored the fourth of Argentina’s goals at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, with Julian Alvarez, Angel di Maria (2) and Joaquin Correa also on target as Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches.
For 35-year-old Messi, Qatar is almost certain to be his final chance to follow in Diego Maradona’s footsteps and lead Argentina to a World Cup title.
He landed with the rest of Lionel Scaloni’s squad in Doha at 2.30am as they set up camp ahead of their first Group C assignment against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Messi was cautious about the team’s chances in Qatar, even though they are among the favourites.
“We have a very nice group that is very eager, but we think about going little by little. We know that World Cup groups are not easy,” the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said in an interview with Conmebol, the South American football federation.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal during the friendly against Honduras at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Friday, September 23, 2022. AFP
Updated: November 19, 2022, 10:35 AM