“I dreamed that Freddie Mercury lifted the World Cup together with Lionel Messi”recalls Enio Emmanuel Llovera, an Argentine very similar to the famous Queen vocalist who, like a group of one hundred women, decided to do everything in order to travel to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Until now He has secured only five days of accommodation and a ticket for the Wales-Iran match, necessary requirements to be able to be part of the celebration of the year. Afterwards, he is confident that he will be able to stay until the end of the World Cup with the support of the Argentines and Qataris.
The adventure began in his town Santa Lucía, in the province of Buenos Aires, in November 2021, when he decided to play on his resemblance to Freddie Mercury. Thus, he published videos on TikTok disguised as the famous musician who died in 1991. “He was not asking for money, he was aiming for goodwill,” he said in dialogue with AFP.
In August, a friend suggested that he raffle his car, a “Willys Baqueano from 1960″. He sold about 500 issues for $1,000 each.
The 38 year old man He already had a certain habit of financing himself with raffles. “At school they gave us tickets that we had to sell to buy things. When I was in high school I got the necessary funds for a trip to Bariloche”, a well-known ski resort in southern Argentina.
The passion for soccer and the anxiety of thinking that this is Messi’s last World Cup pushed many Argentines like Llovera to work miracles with their finances, in the midst of an acute economic crisis with one of the highest inflation rates in the world – 76.6% annual-.
With 100 days to go before the initial whistle, Argentina was among the top ten countries in terms of ticket purchases, along with Qatar, the United States, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, France, Brazil and Germany.
It is estimated that More than 20,000 Argentines will travel to Qatar to support La Pulga’s albiceleste. Argentina also has one of the lists Longest of fans banned for violent attitudeswith almost 6,500 names of barrabravas that will not be able to enter the Middle Eastern country.
He also travels from Argentina a hundred women who organized to share expenses and accompany each otherAlthough several of them also go with boyfriends, husbands and children. “We want women to have the same weight as men in football”told Barbara Mc Coubrey (45), manager of a cosmetics company.
“Our group was created from the World Cup in Russia. We know very well the situation in Qatar. Of course we have fears about the circumstances that women experience. But we are very well prepared”, he added. For those who stay in Argentina there will be no other option than a screen.
As expected, television sales skyrocketed this month, and the offer to pay on credit and in installments is varied. It is in this line that the Government of Alberto Fernández promoted the “Ahora 30” plan, which allows the acquisition of household appliances with fixed installments on the credit card.
Meanwhile, with a first match against Saudi Arabia scheduled for next Tuesday at seven in the morning, the cafes of Buenos Aires get ready for a full house at breakfast. “We are going to prepare twice as many croissants than usual,” said Maximiliano Huerga, from Café Cabildo, in the historic center.
With information from AFP