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Examining Lionel Messi’s past as he faces a final attempt to win the World Cup: La última copa / The Last Cup

Examining Lionel Messi’s past as he faces a final attempt to win the World Cup: La última copa / The Last Cup


Maria Jesus Contreras for NPR

Image caption Lionel Messi stands in front of cheering Barcelona fans and mocks Argentina fans.

Maria Jesus Contreras for NPR

Listen to The Last Cup on spotify or Apple Podcast. Escucha a La Ultima Copa en español en spotify a Apple Podcast.

For some, football is a sport. For others, religion. But either way you look at him, he’s transcendent.

National Public Radio reporter said the The last cup Host Jasmine Jards. I grew up in Buenos Aires near a football field. The sport provided Garsed with a rare opportunity to scream among the men and boys who wanted her to remain silent.


Yasmine Jarsed as a child in Buenos Aires

Yasmine Jarsed / NPR


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Yasmine Jarsed / NPR


Yasmine Jarsed as a child in Buenos Aires

Yasmine Jarsed / NPR

And while those fans still roared through her memories, so did the memories of her leaving behind the only home she knew at the time.

Like many other Argentines, Garsed and her family were not immune to the country’s economic collapse in the early 2000s. After they lost their jobs, her family immigrated to Southern California when she was a teenager. And while Argentina have it in their back-mirror at the moment, their love for football – as well as their legends – haven’t strayed far.

One such legend is the “Football Superman” himself, Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi, the immigrant Dilima


Argentine Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during a match between Argentina and Bolivia in the South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022.

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Argentine Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during a match between Argentina and Bolivia in the South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022.

pool / Getty Images

Messi is one of the most famous football players of all time. He has scored the most goals in Spanish football history and won seven Golden Balls, which are basically the football Oscars. But there was one thing he wasn’t able to do: win the World Cup.

The football icon left Argentina for Spain at the same time as Garsed. After several years at FC Barcelona, ​​he finally made his debut for the Argentina national team. But, like Jared, his relationship with his ex has changed.

“Every time I saw Lionel Messi trying to get back into our national team and failing, every time I heard how much he hated him – how people accused him of being a foreigner, I asked myself the question that haunts so many immigrants, ‘What if I can never go home? “

This question is at the heart of the multilingual podcast The Last Cup / La Ultima Copa. The title refers to what is likely Messi’s last attempt to bring the World Cup to Argentina. The series also explores Messi and Garsed’s parallel journeys to immigrants, as well as football, for a deep look at what home means even when you have to redefine it.

Home isn’t always a place, it’s the people

Like many other Latinos, Garsed has found a plot in football. And while it may be viewed by some as “just a sport,” it also serves as a mirror – reflecting back the parts of society that made it so popular. “Football felt like a continuous line to tell these different stories about class, race, immigration and life,” Garsed said.

These nuances are extensively explored in the series. From the evolution of the sport and the power of making money, to the way Latin American players are exported to Europe younger and younger every year.

“We are also exploring ‘football dreams’ as the equivalent of ‘hoop dreams,’” Garsed said. “In societies that are already stuck in a very discriminatory system, football is like a dream of progress — this idea, this myth, very few people make it. But the myth is that if you are good enough at football, he can move forward in this very unfair society.”


Yasmine Jarsed with her grandmother in Buenos Aires.

Yasmine Jarsed / NPR


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Yasmine Jarsed / NPR

With all its intricacies and intricacies, The last cup He eventually tells a different kind of sports story. One that represents the different ways in which football reflects our reality.. and while there is no avoiding tragedy within those slices of life, Garsed has also made room for Latin delight and weirdness.

“I know football can be a problem in many ways, but I also understood that it is a space for feminism,” she said. “And I also understood that as a space for joy – for people from working-class and non-white backgrounds, which is important. It was important to me on this podcast – to allow for a space of joy as well.”

As to whether Jared could come to terms with living in the hyphen between houses, Jared – like many other immigrants – found a new way to define the word.

“I think home is no longer a physical place, it’s people,” she said. “That’s probably the conclusion a lot of us immigrants and non-immigrants come to. Home is the people who love you and care about you. Home is really a non-physical place at a certain point when you have certain experiences. Making this podcast made an impact was an interesting digestive process” .

Listen to The Last Cup on spotify or Apple Podcast.

Escucha a La Ultima Copa en español en spotify a Apple Podcast.


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