As Argentinian football superstar Lionel Messi ought to spend time in Qatar for the duration that his team stays in the World Cup, sports pages of newspapers have covered the sleeping arrangements of players, most notably for Messi. A headline reads: “Messi’s room in Qatar: Why does he sleep alone?”
The news coverage includes Messi’s room number: Room B-201 at the University of Qatar. This has surprised fans of the game, who had assumed footballers get private rooms on such occasions. Is that a fact or a myth?
How did Lionel Messi sleep during previous World Cup tournaments?
During the previous World Cups, Messi usually shared a room with Sergio Aguero, but ‘Kun’ — derived from a Japanese cartoon Kum-Kum that he used to watch religiously as a child and apparently looked like the main character of the show — is not playing this World Cup. Hence, Messi has decided to go solo.
“He will sleep alone, without company, for the first time in a FIFA competition,” informs a website, adding, “In fact, the next room, B-202, has Rodrigo and Ota, and B-204, which is opposite, has Paredes with Di María, who will surely go from one room to another for the traditional mateadas* and matches.”
* matear (first-person singular present mateo, first-person singular preterite mateé, past participle mateado): (verb) (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay) to drink mate, yerba mate
Lionel Messi-led Argentina have opted to stay at student halls instead of the 5-star luxury hotels in Qatar so that they can carry on their tradition of having beef barbeques. Argentina, one of the favourites to lift the trophy this year, arrived in Qatar on 17 November and went straight to the expansive Qatar University campus.
Are other Argentinian footballers complaining?
Though their accommodation might be modest, the Argentina team will have little reason to complain as it will enable them to have their fillings of asados, Argentina’s traditional barbecues. Their management has flown beef from Argentina to Qatar. There will also be asado chef to ensure it is cooked according to the Argentinian recipe.
“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,’ the report at Daily Mail quoted an Argentina Football Association source.