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.