On 23 November 2022, the stands of Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium welcomed Felipe VI, the first European monarch to attend a FIFA World Cup match in Qatar. The king let his joy explode after the landslide victory of the Spanish national team against Costa Rica.
This November 23, 2022, the king – red tie around his neck, the flagship color of the football team – is (almost) a fan like the others. In the presidential box of the brand new Al Thumama stadium, Felipe VI encourages the national team. The sovereign of Spain is thus the first head of the royal family to travel to Doha, Qatar, for this 2022 World Cup. And his presence obviously brought luck to the “Roja” for his first match against Costa Rica.
7-0 for Spain, an incredible result that Felipe VI greeted together with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Luis Rubiales, director of the Spanish Football Federation. When the king entered the stadium before the match started, the Spaniards proclaimed their joy in the stands as fervently as when the players arrived. Felipe is over the moon and does not fail to greet his compatriots warmly.
A few minutes after the national anthem, a moment of intense emotion, the player Daniel Olmo opened the scoring in the eleventh minute. The beginning of the defeat for Los Ticos, the Costa Rican team, which conceded seven goals – three before the break and four after – and which left the King and the FIFA President free to discuss, part of the victoire.
After the competition, Felipe VI enters the locker room to congratulate all the players but also Luis Enrique. When the king arrives, the players, no doubt impressed, abruptly stop their euphoric chants: “Keep singing, boys!” then throws the ruler, immediately relaxing the atmosphere.
Surrounded by the 2022 World Cup officials and the Spanish team, the king makes a brief congratulatory speech: “In my entire life I have not attended a match, especially with the national team, with a result like this […]. Watching you play was such a joy,” she said to applause.
After sincere hugs with the players, King Felipe receives from the hands of the player Gavi a team shirt flocked with the number 9, that of the scorer, and signed by all of the “Roja”.
Stayed in Spain for formal engagements, Queen Letizia still wanted to encourage her team through a nod to clothing. Traveling to Barcelona the same day to visit various mental health centres, the king’s wife wore a dark red monochromatic suit in a show of support. In Qatar or in Spain, now all her eyes are on the rest of the competition. On Sunday 27 November, Spain will face Germany. The hope of a second World Cup victory, twelve years after the first, in South Africa?