Everywhere you go in Doha for the past week, you’ve heard people talking about Lionel Messi.
Thousands of people – creating a sea of blue and white – came to watch their hero compete in what could be his last World Cup appearance.
It seems you don’t have to be from Argentina to be a fan of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“I saw the man in person,” Beral Ahmed, who traveled from the United States to watch Messi’s game, told CNN Sports.
“It took a while, the flight from the US to Saudi Arabia took about 12 hours. I had a 24-hour layover there and then arrived here (Doha) two hours later.
“I’m here to watch other games, but, yes, mainly to watch Messi.”
The name Messi seems to cross any language barrier, and when Ahmed was interviewed by CNN, fans would come over and chant the striker’s name.
Messi is undoubtedly the most popular player among fans in Doha, with many looking for a ticket to see him in action.
The World Cup is the only trophy the superstar has yet to claim, with the 35-year-old in the last-chance salon for the 2022 Qatar Olympics.
He led Argentina to a 1-0 lead after half-time against Australia on Saturday.
Learn more about Messi fans in Qatar Gentlemen.