Lionel Messi and his Argentina team mates have forsaken five-star luxury for student digs so that they can enjoy traditional beef barbecues in their quest to land the World Cup.
Messi and the Argentina squad arrived in Doha in the early hours of Thursday morning but unlike their rivals who are staying in some of the city’s plushest hotels, the Argentines headed straight to their more modest accommodation in the student halls of Qatar University.
The surprise decision to stay there was taken after Argentine football officials decided that the expansive campus would allow them to organise mouth-watering asados, traditional barbecues that are one of the country’s culinary delights.
The sumptuous meat is usually accompanied by a simple salad and wine, although Messi and his men are likely to be under strict orders not to overdo the latter.
Beef from the South American country considered the finest in the world has also been flown to Qatar for the Argentina team, who are amongst the World Cup favourites. A special asado chef will also be on hand to ensure that it is cooked just as it would be in Argentina.
‘This is very important to the players and Argentines in general, it’s part of our culture. We want to make them feel at home while they are in Qatar and the best way to do this is to make sure that they get a taste of home while focusing on the football.’