The hallowed premises of the University of Qatar that housed the Argentina national team and football’s president Lionel Messi witnessed some R&R times before the Albiceleleste returned to serious action ahead of the Dutch clash.
The entertainment zone for the Argentinians includes pool tables, ping pong tables, televisions with Play Station consoles, a shooting board with darts, a swimming pool and a basketball court.
Now camped out there for three weeks, these little distractions also helped the Argentines get into a routine after their shock loss to Saudi Arabia and subsequent recovery.
According to the daily Clarin: “The round of dunks starts early with Lionel Messi, Rodrigo De Paul and Pap Gómez. Then others join in and that’s how the day of the Argentinian team starts every day. The workouts are generally in the afternoon, but some take the opportunity to go to the gym or kinesiology in the morning or before training.
In the TV room, the viewing sets are always on with World Cup matches. “You watch a lot of football,” Clarin quoted the team members as saying, adding that the team gathered on Monday night to watch Brazil’s dancing demolition of South Korea.
Another hallmark of team bonding is trick challenges with 16 teams of three members each, including players and support staff. The winning cat was $4,800 for the ultimate challenge.
Unfortunately – and expectedly – none of the footballers, including the team of Lionel Messi, Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes, have reached the trick challenge knockouts, with the small question of winning a World Cup.
The team consisting of Claudio Tapia (president of the AFA), Omar Souto (manager of national teams) and Beto Pernas (administrative) will compete against Jorge Miadosqui (selection secretary), Damián Albil (goalkeeper coach) and Nico P (props) in this final of spicy duels on various consoles and board games and pool tables. Those who have been eliminated have taken on cheerleading duties for those still in competition, and each win on the table is celebrated as a goal.