In minutes, the room filled to capacity and people streamed out the door. We decided to go out. I took my keyboard and a ritual began, which would prove to be a key experience for Argentinians throughout the 2022 World Cup tournament.
DOHA, Qatar ꟷ I arrived at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar to play music, work, and bring joy to the Argentinian fans gathered there. We arrived in Doha like any other ordinary group of soccer fans. We could not have imagined the revolution our music would spark throughout the tournament.
My group’s connection to the national soccer team of Argentina came through my friendship with the player Exequiel Palacios. Before the cup, I also met and befriended Tiago Almada. Thanks to my relationship with them, I played music for the national team once before. However, the crowds our music drew in Qatar shocked even me.
Before leaving my home in Argentina with three friends for the 2022 World Cup, I grappled with hours of uncertainty. I was experiencing personal problems and struggling with challenging emotions. I felt like I could not get better, and I debated not going to Qatar at all. However, my desire to be there and play music for Argentina compelled me to board the airplane. As the plane left the ground, my original excitement returned.
When we landed and grabbed our belongings from the conveyor belt at the airport, my companions and I made our way to the exit door. Suddenly, I realized I forgot my keyboard stand. When we arrived at our accommodations, we found out that would be staying together in a very small room in Doha. Each of us took our own little space and made it our home for a month.
I improvised by placing my keyboard onto an ironing board and there in our room, we began to play. On that hot and silent night, the light touch of the breeze reminded us how far we were from home. We did know the building housed many other Argentinians and when our music began, people from throughout the building came.
Argentinians arrived one after the other, and people from other countries joined them. We left the door open and they filled it. In their light blue and white jerseys and soccer clothes, they joined the rhythm and the clapping of keys, singing along with our songs.
In minutes, the room filled to capacity and people streamed out the door. We decided to go outside. I took my keyboard and a ritual began, which would prove to be a key experience for Argentinians throughout the 2022 World Cup tournament.
Ever since that moment, we began playing the keys every single night and the crowd grew and grew. Watching the folklore of the Argentinian fans, people showed up, each wearing the colors of their nations. The personal and emotional experience moved me.
Coming to Qatar absolutely changed my life. I felt like I left behind the problems I had before traveling here. Playing Argentinian music at the World Cup went beyond just experiencing the tournament. We enjoyed the people, the press, and the players who opened the doors for me to do this.
From playing once for the national team to playing for hundreds of fans from around the world, the feelings become inexplicable. While I stand in front of my keyboard with total admiration for the Argentina soccer team – doing what I love to do and having fun – I entertain the people. Now, my idols look at me and the fans applaud vigorously.
This link to the national team and the fans feels absolutely crazy!
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