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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.
Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.
Juana Summers is a political correspondent for NPR covering race, justice and politics. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.
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