If there’s one thing Argentina fans love more than their team’s victory, it’s Brazil’s defeat.
So, imagine their delight when these two scenarios unfolded within hours of each other!
It’s as if the ever-helpful people of the Doha Metro knew that Neymar and Messi were going in opposite directions.
And, finally, a key element of the pre-match ritual, the gigantic inflatable World Cup trophy, is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever!
The World Cup is back
A feature of the pre-match lineup at the start of the tournament had been the huge World Cup trophies that were brought out just before kick-off, accompanied by grandiose fireworks.
However, these trophies and large-scale fireworks ended abruptly at the end of the group stage and were not reinstated for the round of 16.
That changed on Friday though, with the trophies returning for the quarter-finals. The fireworks were back too, and they were even bigger and better than before.
Argentina fans started Friday night as they ended it: celebrating
Before Albiceleste beat the Netherlands on penalties, their great rivals Brazil were eliminated on penalties against Croatia.
An Argentina-Brazil semi-final would have had all the makings of an epic, but the fans who entered Lusail Stadium early were happy enough to have avoided facing the Selecao.
Apparently watching the game on phones in the stands, Argentine fans erupted in celebration as Marquinhos hit the post from 12 yards.
Follow Messi to the semi-finals, Neymar to the airport
Workers on the Doha Metro came up with their own shortcut on Friday as they tried to make sure fans from Argentina and Brazil end up in the right stadiums, with both teams playing on the same day.
“Put this way; Neymar this way,” they said, pointing in opposite directions.
Unfortunately for Neymar and Brazil, the two teams are going in opposite directions again. Argentina is qualified, the Selecao returns home.
The World Cup has produced some classic songs in the past, although it will be a while before all Qatar 2022 efforts are of equal value, there is no doubt that they are catchy.
The catchiest of all – and certainly the most likely to achieve icon status – is “Arhbo” by Ozuna, Gima and Red One.
It certainly captured the imagination of the locals, with fans enjoying a trumpet rendition outside Al Thumama Stadium ahead of Morocco’s shock victory over Portugal.
The band also played some classics from the previous World Cup, including Knaan’s “Wavin’ Flag”.