They chose him to lead the Qatar women’s basketball team and he will have a privileged role with the Argentina squad during the World Cup

Iván Guerrero, coach of the Qatar women’s basketball team

* Special envoy to Doha, Qatar

It was his work, his passion, that brought him to Qatar, but it is the World Cup that is holding him back. Ivan Guerrero He is a young Argentinian basketball coach who reached this unexplored territory for him when he received an offer from the local women’s team. “Life here is a bit hard, if the World Cup weren’t there the panorama would change. I would not be so stimulated and the days become the same, monotonous, more so with the heat”, he explains about the life he has led for several months in that country.

The 28-year-old medical student, who paused his university life due to job offers in basketball in Iceland and Denmark, has been the head coach of the local team for almost a year, but the motivation behind that job is linked to football: will assist Lionel Scaloni’s Argentine team in training.

“I applied as a FIFA volunteer and thank God it turned out to be in training with them, with the Argentine team. We have to prepare everything, the training camp, be with them in case they need anything, be with the media. We are the link between them and the organization, basically. I can’t give many details because it’s clearly confidential. I am very happy ”, he expressed before infobae hours before starting work with the Albiceleste.

Guerrero was born in Mar del Plata, one of Argentina’s basketball centers. He played in Peñarol since he was a child, where he had some crosses in children with illustrious surnames such as Luca Vildoza, Duck Garino, Taya Gallizzi or even some training sessions with Facu Campazzo. At the age of 17 he began to walk the coaching field at the same time that he studied to receive the title.

After commanding the women’s team of the club in which he was trained, he emigrated to Iceland in 2017 to definitively develop as a professional coach, although he took a role as an assistant. She “She studied medicine while working at the club. Now I have to go back to Argentina to finish the race, it’s one of my goals. I would like to specialize in something related to sports or cardiology. I paused when the opportunity came to come to Qatar and experience the World Cup. I have to think about whether I go back to study or continue with my basketball career for another year, ”she clarifies.

Guerrero started as an assistant coach in Mar del Plata and joined the Qatari women's team in May of this year.
Guerrero started as an assistant coach in Mar del Plata and joined the Qatari women’s team in May of this year.

After taking a job in Denmark with a friend, he heard of an unexpected opportunity to be one step away from the World Cup. “This offer came to me in January, I took it because it is clearly a unique experience because it is the first time I have encountered such a great challenge as coaching a national team. And second, because it was the World Cup, I really like soccer, I’m a fan of Messi. I had to send several things: letter of recommendation, some title that I have had and so on. There was a month of selection process, there were about ten candidates. My age did not close to them because I am a young coach, but in the end they ended up hiring me ”, he recalls about his final arrival in May.

He lives in the La Perla area, near the Lusail Stadium, which he describes as a “little Venice” “The place is beautiful, a lot of European people also live there…”, he explains. And he graphs about his days in Qatar before the World Cup: “I lived in very cold climates in Denmark and Iceland, but this oppressive, suffocating heat, of 50° thermal sensation with 80% humidity, I have never experienced it in my life. It’s quite complicated on a day-to-day basis.”

The Pearl, one of the most beautiful areas of Qatar (Photo: Reuters)
The Pearl, one of the most beautiful areas of Qatar (Photo: Reuters)

“I came with the expectation that it would be something different, but when I arrived I found a totally different world. It’s like living in a bubble, literally. Qatari girls who don’t know what it’s like outside. One day I had to go out with the national team and one of the girls had never gone out, that’s very crazy. You have to be very careful with the ways, the deals. When training, the Argentine always makes contact, hands, shoulders and here you have to be careful, ask for permission”.

However, the order that the country has stands out: “Everything works. You know that at the end of the month you will have so much money and there is no inflation. There is economic stability and security, you know that nobody is going to touch anything. It is a very nice place, very advanced in terms of technology. Life is good, but being far away, not having your family and friends, makes it difficult”.

The only recommendation that I would give to the Argentines is that they come to respect the culture, the religion, that they do not do any Argentinean act of pretending to be alive.. Here is a country where everything works, everyone respects. That they come to enjoy, because they are going to meet people who are going to open their arms to them, but who respect the hours of prayer, religion, culture. It’s such a small country that it’s going to be a 24-hour party, come and have a good time without making a fuss. And also that they come financially prepared because it is expensive, ”he said.

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They chose him to lead the Qatar women’s basketball team and he will have a privileged role with the Argentina squad during the World Cup