Following a 5-0 warm-up triumph, Argentina and superstar Lionel Messi landed in Qatar early on Thursday for the World Cup. The defending champions France have also arrived in Doha.

Even though Messi, 35, has won a tonne of awards, the competition in Qatar is probably his last opportunity to match the feat of fellow Argentine great Diego Maradona, who led his nation to World Cup victory.

At 2:30 a.m. (2330 GMT), he and the Argentina team arrived in Doha, Qatar, from Abu Dhabi, where they had just defeated the UAE 5-0 in a friendly match that Messi scored in.

The South Americans, who were among the favorites entering this year’s World Cup, will kick off their campaign against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in Group C, which also includes Mexico and Poland.

Messi’s 91st goal for his country helped the 1978 and 1986 World Cup champions extend their unbeaten streak to 36 games.

Despite being one of the favorites, Messi remained concerned about the team’s chances in Qatar.

“We have a lovely crew that is eager, but we consider moving cautiously. We are aware that World Cup groups are challenging, “In an interview with CONMEBOL, the South American football association, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner stated.

In an effort to become the first team to successfully defend the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, France arrived in Doha on Wednesday.

The squad consists of ten players, including Hugo Lloris as captain, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann.

But the first-choice midfield duo of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante are absent for the defending champions, who are paired with Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia.


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