Nov. 26, 2022, 3:13 p.m. ET
Nov. 26, 2022, 3:13 p.m. ETCredit…Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
Outside Lusail Iconic Stadium, before his country’s national team took on Argentina, Gabriel Galván, 49, was explaining why there have been so many Mexicans here — perhaps the largest fan group on the 2022 World Cup — when one other fan wearing no team gear interrupted.
“Can I borrow your hat for a photograph?” the fan asked. Galván, wearing a conventional poncho within the Mexican flag’s colours, obliged. “Only for a moment,” he said, handing over his black sombrero with a gold trim.
“We feel like we’re artists,” he continued. “We placed on sombreros. We’re well received all around the world. It makes us feel good and possibly it’s a motivation to travel to those.”
Throughout him, other Mexican fans not only donned jerseys and the flag but additionally got here dressed as El Chapulín Colorado, a personality from a well-liked Mexican comedy, or Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter. Galván noted that he had also seen fans dressed as Aztecs or Mayans or as Mexican wrestlers.
Although Galván said Argentine fans is perhaps louder and more organized of their chants, there is perhaps more Mexican fans overall. Some fans said that they had heard there have been as many as 90,000 to 100,000 Mexicans in Qatar for the World Cup, a lot of whom were from the USA.
That is Galván’s fifth World Cup, and he says he has seen at the very least the identical variety of Mexican fans at this edition because the others, which he added he had heard averaged at the very least 50,000 to 70,000 Mexican fans.
“In all of my World Cups, the Mexican fan base has been the largest group,” he said.
Credit…James Wagner/The Latest York Times
Mexico’s national team has been a usual presence on the World Cup, but it surely has never won the title. So while Mexican fans haven’t seen much success within the knockout stage over the past three a long time, they’ve consistently traveled well.
“In the event that they had the World Cup on the moon, Brazilians, Argentines and Mexicans can be there,” the previous forward Luis Hernández, who was on the Mexican national team for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, said in an interview this fall. “Mexicans save all their money to attend the World Cup. It’s expensive and it’s far, but it surely doesn’t matter.”
Galván, who owns a legal consulting company within the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, said he was fortunate that business was going well so he could make these trips. He said this World Cup trip was expensive; the previous one, in Russia, was half of the worth. And after all, there are Qatar’s restrictions, reminiscent of on alcohol.
Galván said he knew it was harder for a median Mexican to afford this trip, but he had made it his treat every 4 years. He got here this yr with 20 friends from his home state.
“It’s a practice,” he said. “And to me, not every part is soccer. It’s culture and I like seeing other cultures and the world through soccer. Through sports and soccer, I’ve been to a whole lot of countries now, and I didn’t want this to be an exception.”