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Argentines around the world celebrate the country's World Cup victory

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Yesterday was a special day for Argentines.

JULIETA MARTINELLI: Oh, man. Where do I even start? I'm finally getting my voice back.

SUMMERS: That is Julieta Martinelli, a journalist based in Atlanta, where she watched the World Cup final and...

MARTINELLI: I injured my knee against the table jumping and celebrating.

SUMMERS: Celebrating the victory of Argentina and their star, Lionel Messi, over France. Yesterday was an emotional day for millions of Argentines like Julieta around the world.

ANDRES CABALLERO: I'm Andres Caballero. I watched the game in Buenos Aires.

LUCIANA VILLES: I'm Luciana Villes (ph). I'm a writer based in Spain. That's where I watched the final match yesterday in Barcelona.

MARTINELLI: This World Cup has been so special. For the first time, I think, since I've been in the U.S. for over 20 years, it made me feel like I was still part of a community here.

CABALLERO: It was a roller coaster. There were people who, during the penalty shootouts, were kneeling in between the crowd and just couldn't take it.

MARTINELLI: What makes this the most special is that we all really wanted it for Messi.

CABALLERO: We all watched how Messi finally lifted the cup, and after that, everybody coming out of their houses. We're talking millions of people.

VILLES: The streets were packed. And in a way, it felt even more special celebrating here than back in Argentina, walking down the street in a country that's not your own and seeing your home flag.

CABALLERO: People are struggling right now. And when something like this happens, when Argentina wins the World Cup...

MARTINELLI: No matter what horrible thing is happening with the government or the economy or unemployment, soccer has always brought joy, has brought hope to the country.

VILLES: This really feels like a World Cup that belongs to these kind of half-Argentines, in-between Argentines. Our star, Lionel Messi, he left Argentina at a young age, when he was 13.

MARTINELLI: He kept coming back and fighting for us, even though he left. I think there's something really emotional for me as a young person who left home.

VILLES: As anyone who's ever left their home country will tell you, it's very hard to know where you belong, and it's very hard to know what to call home.

MARTINELLI: Soccer is the one thing that always still made me feel very much Argentina even when I was so far away.

CABALLERO: You know, through the years, even though I've been a soccer fan for a long time, I lost that fervor. But yesterday, that all came back. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Miguel Macias
Miguel Macias is a Senior Producer at All Things Considered, where he is proud to work with a top-notch team to shape the content of the daily show.
Matt Ozug
Mary Louise Kelly
Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.
Juana Summers
Juana Summers is a co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, alongside Ailsa Chang, Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly. She joined All Things Considered in June 2022.