Some may think football (soccer) is a sport, but for the residents of Buenos Aires (Argentina), it is so much more than just a sport: it’s more of a religion!
Coming from a different country and just having arrived to Buenos Aires to start my Spanish courses at AMAUTA, I was taken to football game. All on a sudden I found myself in the middle of the die hard fans, being the only guy in the whole stadium not wearing the T-shirt of the Club! I have seen many football matches in my life, in different countries, but this experience was totally new. In Argentina the die-hard fans – called the Barra Brava – sang and partied for the entire 90 minutes of the game!
Of course not all people attend the games in the stadiums; many people watch from the television with the entire family. Throughout the week you can always find football games running on many channels.
Especially on Sundays millions of people enjoy the games happening. My local friends here told me that if a family member switches teams, this can cause rifts in the family, possibly even leading to divorce! And be careful not to make jokes about a team in front of a supporter; this could land you in some serious trouble as it’s likely to be taken seriously.
One of the most popular teams in Argentina, the Boca Juniors are well known for their all-star player Diego Maradona. Founded in 1905 the Boca Juniors’ home stadium is located in La Boca and named La Bombonera, because of it’s shape resembling a box of chocolates. La Bombonera has capacity of 49,000 people and the fans are known as the Xeneizes. Xeneizes means: the Genoese, as the team was actually founded by the Italian immigrants (mostly Genoese).
Boca Juniors’ rival team is River Plate, founded in 1901. River Plate has the biggest stadium in all of Argentina known as Estadio Monumental. Originally the Estadio Monumental housed 77,000 fans, but they eventually removed some so now there there is space for 67,000 spectators, better known as the Millionaires. River Plate is known as the team of the wealthy people in the city.
Both clubs being in and from Buenos Aires adds to the tension, which can make for a very excited game! If you find yourself to be in Buenos Aires this weekend, expect to hear the roars from the Barra Brava playing drums, trumpets and singing the entire game in support of their team. Because this Sunday October 6th 2013 Boca Juniors and River Plate will play another match, a Superclásico, at the Estadio Monumental.
The game tickets are one of the most sought after tickets each year in Argentina, as people come from all over the world to watch. And aproximately 70% of all football fans in Argentina will be tuned in so don’t miss out! It’s one big party with lots good vibes or “bueno onda” , as they say in Argentina.