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A Soccer Star, a Queen, and Now a Pope! Argentina’s Having a Very, Very Big Year

by David Kaufman Mar 14, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

Its economy might be in the tanks [performing very poorly], but thecountry known for Evita and giant steaks is exporting some pretty impressive goods these days, writes David Kaufman.

If three’s a trend, then things might be looking up [becoming better, improving]for Argentina—a country plagued by rampant [existing or spreading everywhere in a way that cannot be controlled] inflation, a looming [appearing in a threatening manner] default [a situation whereone’s unable to pay its debts], and a plummeting [falling steeply or rapidly] peso.
On Wednesday, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years. Thatmakes him pretty much the most famous Argentine since Eva Perón.
[pic]
Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, Pope Francis, and Lionel Messi. (Getty (2); AP (1))
So what if the Falkland Islands want nothingto do with Argentina, having voted nearly unanimously this week to remain a British territory?
This comes a little more than a month after Holland’s Queen Beatrix announced she would abdicate thethrone in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. When he becomes King Willem-Alexander, his wife, Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, will become the queen consort (which is like a queen, only notexactly). And guess what? She’s also Argentine!
Finally, there’s Lionel Messi, pretty much the most famous soccer player in the world right now. In January the 25-year-old forward became the first playerever to win a fourth Ballon d’Or, or the European Footballer of the Year award. The prize came barely a month after his team, FC Barcelona, re-signed Messi for a five-year, $104 million contract—thehighest in professional soccer. His hometown? Rosario, a city in central Argentina, where Che Guevara was born.



So what if the Falkland Islands want nothing to do with Argentina, having...
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