Lionel Messi and his Argentina team mates have forsaken five-star luxury for student digs so that they can enjoy traditional beef barbecues in their quest to land the World Cup.
Messi and the Argentina squad arrived in Doha in the early hours of Thursday morning but unlike their rivals who are staying in some of the city’s plushest hotels, the Argentines headed straight to their more modest accommodation in the student halls of Qatar University.
The surprise decision to stay there was taken after Argentine football officials decided that the expansive campus would allow them to organise mouth-watering asados, traditional barbecues that are one of the country’s culinary delights.
A special barbecue area has been built on the grounds of the university for the asados, allowing Messi and his pals to enjoy a variety of mainly beef steaks and sausages which will be cooked in the traditional Argentine way and only lightly coated with coarse salt.
The sumptuous meat is usually accompanied by a simple salad and wine, although Messi and his men are likely to be under strict orders not to overdo the latter.
Beef from the South American country considered the finest in the world has also been flown to Qatar for the Argentina team, who are amongst the World Cup favourites. A special asado chef will also be on hand to ensure that it is cooked just as it would be in Argentina.
A source from the Argentina Football Association told MailOnline: ‘We visited the campus several times and chose it because not only does it have great facilities but it also has open air space for asados.
‘This is very important to the players and Argentines in general, it’s part of our culture. We want to make them feel at home while they are in Qatar and the best way to do this is to make sure that they get a taste of home while focusing on the football.’