Spaniard heads to Doha on foot to attend World Cup

STORY: "I am walking from Madrid to Qatar. Right now I am in Iraq, in a village, called Zakho in the Kurdistan region and soon I will cross the Iranian border, passing Erbil and other cities here. And then I will go to Qatar and I hope to make it for the World Cup opening."

Santiago Sanchez began his epic trek in January 2022

Since then he has crossed much of Europe and Turkey on foot

His goal is to reach Qatar in time for the opening ceremony on November 20

"Good morning, we are at the border between Turkey and Iraq. This is the view. These are the trucks.”

He sleeps either in his tent, at hotels or with new friends he makes along the way

"Below here is the pillow. This is a pillow and the bag is waterproof. This is where I store water and where I wash my clothes.”

"I calculated that it will take one year, more or less. I started in January and in terms of kilometres, I do an average of fifteen, fourteen kilometres a day. On some days I do more, like yesterday when I did twenty-one. And on some days I do less."

Sanchez relies on a translation app on his phone

to help him communicate with people he encounters on his journey

"One of the most surprising things is the way people are surprised that I am going by foot. They can't believe it. Oftentimes, I have to take out the map, show where Spain is and what the route is. The route I took to get there and what I have left."

"I think that the hardest thing in this trip, like in others, is your mental state. I often don't walk with my feet, but I walk with my mind. If your morale is good, your body is good."