Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg watched two FIFA World Cup matches in the company of football legends during his visit to host country Qatar over the last weekend.

He attended the nail-biting match on Friday in which Cameroon became the first African team to beat Brazil in the World Cup. The following day, he watched Argentina vs Australia, a David and Goliath match won by Argentina.

Borg was invited to Qatar for a three-day programme by the country’s ministry of foreign affairs.

I was impressed with the support shown towards Argentina- Foreign Minister Ian Borg

All costs were covered by the Qatari ministry except for the Cameroon vs Brazil match, which Borg said he paid for himself.

In a press statement, Malta’s foreign ministry said Borg met his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Commerce and Industry Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani and Tourism Minister Akbar Al Baker.

The statement made no mention of the World Cup.

But Borg also hobnobbed with some football greats.

At the stadium for Argentina vs Australia, he was seated in an area dedicated to other foreign dignitaries and several legends of the game.

He snapped a picture of himself seated next to one of his idols, Brazilian former AC Milan and Real Madrid player Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite – better known as Kakà.

Borg also met Samuel Eto’o Filis, former Chelsea and Barcelona striker, who is now the president of the Cameroon football federation.

Borg also met Samuel Eto’o Filis, former Chelsea and Barcelona striker, who is now the president of the Cameroon football federation.Borg also met Samuel Eto’o Filis, former Chelsea and Barcelona striker, who is now the president of the Cameroon football federation.

And he discussed the new extra time rules introduced during this World Cup with Pierluigi Collina, the Italian former football referee named FIFA’s Best Referee of the Year six consecutive times.

“I was impressed with the support shown towards Argentina,” Borg told Times of Malta.

“Supporters did not stop shouting and giving their best to the team for 90 minutes.

“On the other hand, I regret the fact that Brazil, in the game that I watched, left out many of the starting players.”

Borg has watched live World Cup matches before, attending a couple of games during the 2006 edition in Germany.

While the team he supports, Italy, did not make it to Qatar, he said he still enjoyed the experience.

He praised the Qatari organisers for their “exceptional hospitality” towards each guest and said that the hundreds of thousands of tourists all seemed to have had a “great experience”.

“This was the first time where eight stadiums were situated in one city. Perhaps many thought that there would be confusion and that people would not get from one place to another,” he said.

“The truth is that many people managed to watch two matches in one day due to the distances being short and a precise mass transport system.”

Another attraction that caught the attention of the minister was the market in the old area. He described the place as a “feast” full of different people, cultures and religions.

“Everyone sings and cheers for their team. I did not see any tension between the supporters,” he said.

While he does not side with any of the teams at Qatar, he believes a “legend like Messi shouldn’t retire without lifting the Cup”.

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