Fashionable fits, fighter jets and rivals as World Cup teams arrive

There are just a few days left until the 2022 World Cup begins in Qatar. The first match will be Sunday with the host nation playing Ecuador in Al Khor.

After friendlies in nearby countries, the last of the teams arrived in Qatar on Friday. While they’ll soon be donning official training attire and newly designed national team kits, the world’s best soccer players took the chance to arrive at the event in style.

Let’s start with one of the all-time greats. Lionel Messi is Argentina’s captain and led the team to a runner-up finish in the 2014 World Cup. He has made 165 appearances with his national team, but hinted that this World Cup could be his last.

He arrived in Abu Dhabi in a familiar shade of blue.

Messi’s teammate Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, however, had a much different travel experience. His flight to Qatar was full of Brazil fans.

The team Messi lost to in 2014, Germany, did not make it out of the group stage in 2018. The Germans open their tournament against Japan and also have Spain in their group. They showed up in blazers with Germany’s crest on the left breast.

France, the reigning World Cup champs, are trying to become the first team to win consecutive titles since Brazil won three in a row from 1994 to 2002. Le Bleus return 10 members from the 2018 team. The 2022 squad is loaded with stars, including Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud. They arrived at their training facility in Clairefontaine, France, in style before traveling to Qatar.

Poland‘s team got a special escort. Robert Lewandowski & Co. had two F-16 fighter jets flying alongside the team’s flight to Qatar. The jet caravan comes a few days after a missile struck a Polish town near the border with Ukraine. According to Polish news outlets, the fighters traveled with the team until it left Polish airspace.

Here are more travel and arrivals from the countries at the World Cup.

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