Swimming pool, billiards, restaurant... How spring break is experienced

Wednesday is a day without football in Qatar. The world is taking a break before the start of preparations for the quarter-finals which begin Friday, December 9.

Swimming pool, billiards, restaurant or amusement park: for the first time since the start of the tournament, the Mondial-2022 is indeed taking a break, offering a day of rest to its stars.

Gathered together for almost a month, the eight teams still in contention in Qatar will finally take the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones and offer some respite to the organizations… even if some selections, thanks to a favorable calendar, have already been able to offer free days to their players.

On Sunday, for example, the day after the Albiceleste’s victory against Australia (2-1), Lionel Messi organized an “asado”, an open-air barbecue very popular with Argentines, inside the facilities of the University of Qatar (where the Argentine selection has settled down for the World Cup), in the presence of his wife, his three children, and some of his teammates (Nicolas Otamendi and Papu Gomez, in particular).

Other selections, such as Brazil, continued to train, with a gentle session in a light atmosphere, before finding their loved ones, who were waiting for them in the stands of the Grand Hamad stadium.

Tite, the coach, for example kicked the ball with his grandsons, like Alisson, Everton Ribeiro, Fred or Fabinho with their children.

Table tennis, billiards, darts

Spain, eliminated in the round of 16 on Tuesday by Morocco (0-0 after, 3-0 on pens), is a pioneer in this area: a follower of “cool” management, Luis Enrique had already offered two days of rest to its players before the round of 16.

“The players are not aliens. We all need a day of rest after ten or twelve days of assembly. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. It seems super positive to me that they can spend time with their family and loved ones, ”supported the Spanish coach in one of his lives on Twitch.

On November 24, while Luis Enrique was indulging in his second passion (cycling), about fifteen Spanish players went to lunch in a luxury restaurant in Doha run by the star chef of social networks “Saltbae”, including a Ansu Fati wearing a dishdasha, the traditional attire of Qatari men.

On Saturday, while his players were playing PlayStation, table tennis or darts, the Spanish coach also took the time to celebrate the 24th birthday of his son Pacho. A family meal, in the presence of Ferran Torres, who is in a relationship with his daughter Sira Martinez. The Barça striker also took the opportunity to go with his partner to an amusement park on the al-Maha peninsula.

“It boosts us”

The best off by the calendar are the English and the French, who benefited from nearly a week of rest between their round of 16 and the quarter which will oppose them on Saturday (8:00 p.m.) at the al-Bayt stadium.

England only observed a real rest day on Monday. While Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Jack Grealish tested their basketball skills in the pool, the more studious, like Bukayo Saka or Luke Shaw, rode the elliptical to improve recovery.

The English had received a visit from their family for half a day, after the second pool match against the United States (0-0). The Blues were able to take advantage of their loved ones for three days.

The French Federation has authorized the families of players and staff to stay at their base camp for two nights, from Sunday to Tuesday.

On social networks, some companions have immortalized these rare moments in great competition: the daughters of Jordan Veretout had fun on the piano in the common room, that of Mattéo Guendouzi in the swimming pool of the hotel where the Blues are staying.

Hugo Lloris has resumed his dad habits, stroller in hand, like Théo Hernandez. Kylian Mbappé, for his part, took the opportunity to visit his club partner and friend, Achraf Hakimi, who was preparing his match with Morocco against Spain.

“It’s a tournament that is long enough if you go to the end, so feeling the presence of the family, knowing them with us encourages us, also boosts us to be better on the ground”, summed up Veretout in the conference of hurry.

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