Argentina and Uruguay each ship staggering 900 KILOS of meat to Qatar

Planning on a long stay? Argentina and Uruguay each ship staggering 900 KILOS of meat to World Cup bases in Qatar, with South American carnivores putting traditional barbeques at heart of team-building

  • South American countries have a long tradition of team-building asados 
  • Argentina and Uruguay have shipped in an astonishing amount of meat to Qatar
  • Lionel Messi and co. relented on a five-star hotel in favour of student digs 
  • Move came to ensure that they can enjoy their traditional asados in the grounds
  • Follow Sportsmail’s daily live blog for all updates from the Qatar World Cup 

Argentina and Uruguay have flown in an astonishing 900 kilograms of meat in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar. 

With barbeques, or asados, a key part of the culture of many South American nations, steps have been taken by the two countries to ensure their players and staff are as comfortable as possible in the Middle East. 

Uruguay’s FA (AUF) reached an agreement with with the country’s National Institute of Meat (INAC) earlier this month for them to supply the team for the tournament. 

Argentina hero Leo Messi is pictured enjoying an asado, which is a gathering of family and friends where traditionally-cooked Argentine beef is barbecued

Argentina and Spain are staying and training in central Doha at the Qatar University campus – as opposed to a luxury resort

Speaking upon reaching the agreement for the seemingly key deal, the president of the country’s football association, Ignacio Alonso, said that the national side was being ‘accompanied by the best nourishment’. 

‘The national team is being accompanied by the best nourishment,’ he said.

‘The AUF is a historic ambassador of our country and will take with it another ambassador, which is Uruguayan meat, the best meat in the world.’

‘The mate [special tea], the asado [meat] and football go together in Uruguay and are part of our culture,’ INAC president Conrado Ferber said. 

The squad hopes to host traditional beef barbecues at Qatar University during the World Cup

Argentina’s players have chosen to stay in student halls rather than five-star luxury in Qatar

‘We want to convey the quality of the product, natural and sustainable, and the World Cup is the optimal time to do so.’

Uruguay are staying at the Pullman Doha West Bay and training at Al Erssal Training Site 1, while they have already enjoyed one asado at their pre-tournament camp in Abu Dhabi. The team’s chef, Aldo Cauteruccio, took the opportunity to get the BBQ firing on one evening before they had on to Doha.

Meanwhile, Argentina have taken similar steps to ensure that their players are also able to enjoy their beloved BBQs.

Argentina, who have already arrived in Doha and are staying and training at the country’s enormous university complex – where Spain also happen to be based selected their location partly in view of being able to enjoy asados together. 

The Uruguay players will hope to remain in Qatar for as long as possible – not least to enjoy many asados together

Argentinian beef is considered by many to be the finest in the world – though the Uruguayans might have something to say about that!

Uruguay have prepared in Abu Dhabi – where they have already enjoyed one asado – before moving onto their base in Qatar

Asked about the special tradition, Argentina’s head coach Lionel Scaloni 

‘My favourite food is the asado, but it’s more than that,’ he said. ‘It creates an atmosphere of union and collective chemistry. It’s part of our culture, of the Argentine idiosyncrasy.

‘It’s during that time that we get to talk, to laugh, relax and connect…It’s not necessarily about the meat, although we love it. It’s to be part of a group and the connection that it generates.’

Argentina are renowned for their beef, with it thought by many to be the finest on earth. Perhaps not trusting that anyone else’s will match theirs, they took extensive steps to prepare their base for the asado facilities.

Messi and co. will hope their team-bonding evenings over asados can fire them to glory

Messi and Luis Suarez, of Argentina and Barcelona respectively, spotted enjoying a mate tea

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.

What is an asado?

The word ‘asado’ covers the bases of both the technique and hosting of a BBQ. 

It is a big tradition in various South American countries including Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. 

All kinds of meat tend to be cooked, notably beef, pork, chicken and chorizo. 

The meat is cooked on a parrilla, or open fire. Though as explained by Lionel Scaloni, it is as much about the social occasion and all coming together to enjoy it.

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.’

He added: ‘You could say other teams have opted to stay in more luxurious accommodation but our team is the best in the world which also deserves the best beef. Our focus is to win the World Cup, not the quality of the hotel we are staying in.’ 

Brazil, meanwhile, will not be enjoying asados with it not as a crucial part of their culture. Though Tite and his team are said to have brought in some traditional coffee, Brazilian seasonings and 30 kilos of cassava flour to cook the Brazilian dish farofa. 




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