Argentina cyclists arrive in Qatar after 6 month journey from South Africa

The FIFA World Cup will kick off in Qatar on 20 November.

Four Argentinian friends cycled 10,500 kilometres (6,500 miles) from the roads of South Africa to reach Doha on Monday ahead of the upcoming World Cup. 

Matias Villarroel, Silvio Gatti, Leandro Blanco, and Lucas Ledezma were welcomed by dozens of Argentina fans at the Corniche in the Qatari capital on Monday evening.

Chants of “vamos vamos Argentina” were heard as Argentina flags were raised at the World Cup countdown clock on Doha’s seafront. 

“Amazing, amazing because it was such a long trip crossing from Cape Town, South Africa, and crossing Africa to the Middle East,” biker Leandro Blanco told Doha News about how it felt to reach Qatar. 

“This is a statement for the people from Argentina and the rest of the world, it’s amazing, and we are crossing our fingers to Messi to win the cup in one month,” Blanco told Doha News in an exclusive interview. 

The four bikers travelled through 15 countries across two continents in the six-month trip to encourage the La Albiceleste squad. 

In conjunction with the arrival of the bikers, the first group of Argentine technical staff and football federation officials arrived with team coach Lionel Scaloni. 

“Welcome, Champions of America” was written as the Argentina national team coaching staff and AFA president landed in Qatar.

The coaching team is set to examine their team camp ahead of the Messi-captained squad, which will arrive sometime next week.

Prior to their arrival, Argentina will play the United Arab Emirates on November 16 in Abu Dhabi.

The team has been unbeaten in 35 games since 2019 and will face off in Group C against Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia.

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