Former Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Netherlands midfield general Clarence Seedorf and undefeated UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov are the faces of a new film promoting Etihad Airways flights to Qatar ahead of the World Cup.
The 70-second video features the storied sporting pair upstaged by another mystery passenger on an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi to Qatari capital Doha.
Ahead of the World Cup, Etihad will be increasing its capacity to six flights per day along the one hour and five-minute route.
Travelling in first class (naturally) the passenger sitting next to Khabib is obscured by the retractable partition. But, rather than being starstruck by the four-time Champions League-winner and UFC Hall-of-Famer, the other passengers joining the flight ask whoever is sitting behind the partition for selfies, with Khabib even donning his trademark papakha hat for the photo.
Other passengers also comment on the mystery passengers intelligence, as well as them being “super powerful” and “so fast.” Khabib and Seedorf, understandably, believe the passengers must be talking about them.
However, all is revealed when Khabib lowers the partition revealing… a falcon.
While this might seem slightly incongruous, Etihad, as well as most other Middle Eastern airlines, will let you travel with the bird of prey on board.
The spot ends with a message reading:
“Etihad welcomes all football fans including falcons (yes, really!)”
“Football is my first love so it’s an exciting time to be flying to Doha for the biggest tournament in the world,” said Nurmagomedov.
“Being part of the Etihad Airways film was an unforgettable experience for me because I had never met this extraordinary VIP before or had the chance to get close to anyone like him. Although we do have a lot in common as you will hear in the film. I’m sure everyone will enjoy the video, and all football fans flying to Doha will have a great time in this beautiful part of the world.”
Amina Taher, vice president brand, marketing and sponsorships, added: “With football’s greatest event taking place on our doorstep, we couldn’t resist the chance to remind football fans of the convenience of flying through Abu Dhabi to enjoy the beautiful game. To make it as convenient as possible, we’ll be flying six return services a day between Abu Dhabi and Doha to accommodate travellers both locally as well as connecting in from around the world. Creating this video was an excellent opportunity to partner with Khabib, Clarence and our mystery guest, to bring the Etihad experience to life for football fans.”
Of course, whether all football fans will, in fact, be welcome at the Qatar World Cup, remains to be seen.