Felipe VI in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

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.

Before the match, King Felipe VI receives the souvenir scarf for the Spain-Costa Rica match in the company of Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, on November 23, 2022. © Efe/ABACA

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.

Intense moment listening to the Spanish national anthem for King Felipe VI, in the stands of the Doha stadium, November 23, 2022.
Intense moment listening to the Spanish national anthem for King Felipe VI, in the stands of the Doha stadium, November 23, 2022. © Efe/ABACA

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.

The first member of a royal family to set foot in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, King Felipe VI was greeted to applause from the public on 23 November 2022.
The first member of a royal family to set foot in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, King Felipe VI was greeted to applause from the public on 23 November 2022. © Efe/ABACA
In the stands of the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha, Felipe VI talks with FIFA president Gianni Infantino before the match between Spain and Costa Rica on 23 November 2022.
In the stands of the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha, Felipe VI talks with FIFA president Gianni Infantino before the match between Spain and Costa Rica on 23 November 2022. © Efe/ABACA

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.

After the match, King Felipe VI gave a short speech in the locker room for La Roja, the Spanish side, to congratulate them on their 7-0 win over Costa Rica on November 23, 2022.
After the match, King Felipe VI gave a short speech in the locker room for La Roja, the Spanish side, to congratulate them on their 7-0 win over Costa Rica on November 23, 2022. © Efe / ABACA

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.

All smiles for the victory of the Spanish soccer team against Costa Rica during the World Cup in Qatar, Felipe VI warmly congratulates the players, November 23, 2022
All smiles for the victory of the Spanish soccer team against Costa Rica during the World Cup in Qatar, Felipe VI warmly congratulates the players, November 23, 2022 © Efe/ABACA

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”.

As a gift, the king received a football shirt from the Spanish player Gavi during the World Cup in Qatar on November 23, 2022.
As a gift, the king received a football shirt from the Spanish player Gavi during the World Cup in Qatar on November 23, 2022. © Efe / ABACA

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?

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