2022 World Cup: Messi's last chance to emulate late Maradona
World national teams arrive in Doha, eyeing to win football's largest championship.
Four-time winners Germany arrived in Qatar on Thursday after Argentina superstar Lionel Messi touched down to launch his final bid to win the 2022 World Cup.
After a 1-0 win in a low-key warmup game against Oman the night before, the Germans, led by captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, flew to Doha.
The German team is aiming to forget the nightmare of the 2018 tournament in Russia when they exited the World Cup in the group stage after winning the title four years earlier.
Messi landed with the Argentina squad in the early hours of the morning from Abu Dhabi, where he scored in a 5-0 win against the UAE in front of 36,000 spectators on Wednesday.
It was his 91st international goal for the 1978 and 1986 World Cup winners who extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches.
The tournament is likely to be the final chance for 35-year-old Messi to emulate the late Argentine legend Diego Maradona in leading his country to win the World Cup.
The South Americans begin their campaign on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia in Group C, which also includes Mexico and Poland.
France arrived in Doha on Wednesday, seeking to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962.
Ten members of the 2018 title-winning squad are in Qatar now, including captain Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann.
But the defending champions, grouped with Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia are without midfield pair Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante.
On his part, Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, who has missed a series of games for Real Madrid this season because of injury, is set for his first World Cup appearance since 2014.
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