Nov 4, 2022; Washington, D.C. and New York, NY — NPR and Futuro Studios are proud to present The Last Cup, a dual-language podcast hosted by NPR’s Jasmine Garsd. Lionel Messi, arguably soccer’s biggest star, is facing his last chance: his last FIFA World Cup playing for his home country, Argentina. We chart Messi’s rise to fame, and explore the reasons why his brilliant performances on the field in Spain have never been replicated on his home turf, in Argentina. But Messi’s story is more than a sports story: it is about the universal urge to return home, even as it’s impossible because people and places never remain as we’ve left them. It’s a story about identity and to whom we owe loyalty. What does home mean when you are so far away, for so long?

Art by Jesse Brown/NPR

Interwoven with Messi’s rise is Garsd’s own immigration story, of leaving Argentina as a teenager with her family during one of the country’s worst economic crises and moving to southern California, where she struggled to balance fitting in and preserving her identity. 

The first episode drops on Thursday, November 10, and the series will continue to run during the World Cup. 

“Messi’s story reflects universal themes that caught my attention: the pain of departure, the desire to return, the fear of not being able to. These themes are all very familiar to me from my own life and I have heard them over and over in the stories of other immigrant communities,” said Garsd. 

Episodes will be published in both English and Spanish in a dedicated dual-language feed. Additionally, the English version will be showcased under the new Embedded brand. Over the last 6 years, NPR listeners have come to know Embedded as a destination for deeply-reported stories that go beyond the headlines. Listeners will now be able to find NPR’s best enterprise documentary storytelling projects from across NPR and the NPR Network in the Embedded feed. Stories that are bingeable, riveting and touch on the important issues and ideas of our day.

“The other day I saw a headline about Lionel Messi and immediately clicked and read the story. And I’m not even a soccer fan!” said Embedded’s founding host Kelly McEvers. “That’s how good this series is. Following Jasmine’s own personal story makes it so interesting and so relatable, and it shows that Messi is about so much more than just the sport. Everyone should listen!”

The Last Cup is going to resonate with so many people,” says Marlon Bishop, VP of Podcasts at Futuro Studios. “It’s a sports story, but it’s also a deeply human story, a story about identity, and a love letter to Argentina as told from an immigrant’s perspective. We’re really proud we can bring this incredible story to listeners in both English and Spanish.” 

The Last Cup project anchors NPR’s World Cup coverage and will be spotlighted across all major NPR and Futuro Studios platforms, harnessing the power of public media to tell impactful stories of our time.

You can subscribe to The Last Cup here. 


About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day —on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public— one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (, and now it’s easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Futuro Studios

Futuro Studios is the podcast and original programming division of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Futuro Media Group, an independent nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, Futuro Media is committed to telling stories often overlooked by mainstream media. Since 2019, Futuro Studios has developed a slate of critically acclaimed podcast series, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Suave with PRX, La Brega with WNYC Studios, Anything For Selena with WBUR, Norco 80 for LAist Studios, LOUD: The History of Reggaeton with Spotify Studios, The Battle of 187, a co-production with the Los Angeles Times, Radical Imagination hosted by Angela Glover Backwell in partnership with PolicyLink, and Con Todo: Brown Love in collaboration with Netflix. Futuro Media also produces the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, the In The Thick political podcast, the pioneering digital news outlet Latino Rebels, and Hinojosa’s newest investigative journalism and special projects unit. More at



Futuro Media – Luis Luna