The spaceship Cristiano Ronaldo lands in Doha and also triggers a wave of hysteria among reporters. Brazil striker Richarlison scores a miracle goal. The dream factory FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar delivers. She produces images for eternity. Does evil always win in the end?
In the north of Doha, the capital of Qatar is slowly unraveling. To the west, where soon there is only sand, mall after mall and soon nothing more. To the east, the skyline flashes and glitters, bright lights illuminate the Doha Expy. It's one of those giant multi-lane roads that cut through the city. They divide Doha into small blocks, destroying any sense of space and time, especially in the dark. The skyline alone defines everything. Like a psychedelic, three-dimensional reflection, it can be seen from all points but can never be reached.
Next to the Doha Expy, hypermodern towers will soon be watching over the ISF Complex. With its sandstone-colored walls, it stretches for kilometers along the highway, interrupted only by gates. The complex has a total area of 306,000 square meters. Surveillance cameras can be seen everywhere. The ISF, the Internal Security Force, is also called Lekhwiya. She moves around the country with heavy red cruisers. Its task is to ensure Qatar's stability and security. It is intended to ensure that the emirate can look to the future with confidence.
This shows up a few kilometers to the east in Lusail. Not only is the final stadium of the soccer World Cup located there, a completely new city was wrested from the desert. A lagoon city has emerged, the water surfaces were dredged out of the desert and connect directly to the coast. As everywhere in Qatar, it glitters, it's gigantic, it's like a country after our time. At the very end, all the way to the east, the desert begins again and there the golden stadium is enthroned.
The Lusail Iconic Stadium will host the world's biggest show on December 18th. The World Cup final will fascinate the world, no matter how much Germany resists it. The really big teams are already playing here. After Argentina, Brazil is now our guest. All hell broke loose on Lusail Boulevard next door. The Selecao has come to stay. The fans to celebrate. The cube buildings along the boulevard glow in gold, at the end of which the four looping Lusail Towers tower with their 50 and 70 floors. They shine in rose.
A dream goal fell at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, one that will go down in World Cup history and will forever be linked to this place, like Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in his historic moment a few hours earlier at the 974 Stadium on the other side end of Doha.
But that's kind of what the Portuguese striker is. A Beatle. Michael Jackson. drakes Taylor Swift. Madonna. Harry Styles. Lady Gaga. Cardi B. Beyoncé and RiRi rolled into one. And all the BTS boys and Jonas Brothers together. Ronaldo, who has to shed a few tears himself during the national anthem, causes officials, security and journalists to mutate into small children. There is an absolute exceptional atmosphere.
Mixed zone. An hour after the final whistle. Everyone is waiting for Ronaldo in the catacombs. Still. The entire Ghana team has walked through the press trellis relatively unchallenged, with an interview here and there. Joao Felix and Bernado Silva provide a small group of journalists. But everyone has one eye on the tunnel, so as not to miss the moment when HE steps out the door. There's a crackle in the air. Totally crazy.
The FIFA officials and several translators are also excited. They frantically discuss again and again where they will best position themselves when Ronaldo finally arrives. Where and how best to take a selfie with him. Will he come at all? They keep saying they don't know themselves. Did the mega pop star choose the back exit? At some point they say: He won't come anymore. After all, it was already at the press conference. Disillusionment. But the reporters won't give up until everything is dismantled here.
And then it actually happens. Ronaldo is coming. No, he's floating. He slides through the mixed zone like a deity does. Journalists become little children - and rioters. Hectic crowds and shoving. Everyone wants to grab a selfie. Get an autograph. touch HIM. run after him. One calls: "You are the greatest." Others eye the spectacle with confusion and disbelief, wanting to ask their questions. But no chance, one minute and then the big CR7 show in the catacombs is over.
The reporters evaporate, but the ghost of the megastar lingers just below the stadium. Outside anyway. The Ronaldo party is still going strong hours after Portugal beat Ghana. Siiiiiuuu from all sides and in every subway station. Even Ghanaian fans are taking part.
Everyone joins in and gives Qatar exactly what the emirate hoped for. Whether it's celebrating Richarlison's iconic goal in the Lusail or the superstar's appearance in the 974. It is precisely those moments with a positive connotation in a setting from the distant future that make up the core of sports washing.
Moments that eclipse all previous discussions about the Gulf Emirate. The biggest show on earth with the biggest stars on earth will prevail in the end. The moments created in Qatar will remain in the collective memory, the circus will move on and be forgotten.