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 Soccer in Argentina - The Boca / River Plate "Super-Derby" 
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Post Soccer in Argentina - The Boca / River Plate "Super-Derby"
Soccer in Argentina - The Boca / River Plate "Super-Derby"
by: Gary Sargent




If Latin American passion is your thing, you can't go wrong with Argentinian soccer. The population live and breathe it (Buenos Aires traffic is no doubt at a standstill after Argentina's 4-1 victory over South Korea in the World Cup) and things reach fever pitch four times a year when the two most popular clubs in Argentinian soccer, Boca Juniors and River Plate, clash in the Super-Derby (superclasico). British newspaper the Observer even went as far to put the event at the top of their list, "50 Sporting Things You Must Do Before You Die". It's official; you have no choice but to get to Buenos Aires to see a match. Here's how to make it happen and blend successfully into the chaos.

1) Choose your team

Both clubs originate from the La Boca district in Buenos Aires, but River moved in 1925 to the affluent Nunez district of the city. This has engrained a class divide between the two teams, even though supporters (hinchas) from both sides are from a mix of backgrounds. You'll have to choose between being a River Plate Millionario at the risk of being called a gallina (chicken) by all the opposing Boca fans. Go for Boca and your hinchada (group of supporters) will be calling themselves Los Xeneizes (the Genovese) after the Italian immigrants that founded the team from the dock regions 100 years ago. The River Plate hinchada naturally has a different opinion, calling Boca supporters los bosteros (manure handlers) and wearing clothes pegs on their noses to the games.

2) Learn your chants

You'll fit much better into your "numero doce" or "number 12" shirt that the supporters give themselves credit for if you can scream soccer chants along with the rest of your team. It was difficult to find songs not littered with language to turn your ears blue, but I managed it. Try these ones for size...

For Boca:

Vamo, vamo los Xeneize

vamo Xeneize vamo a ganar

somo la mita mas uno

somo el pueblo y el carnaval.

Boca te llevo en el alma

y cada día te quiero mas!

Let's go, let's go Xeneizes

Let's go Xeneizes, we're gonna win.

We're half plus one.*

We're the people and carnival.

Boca you're in my soul,?

and every day I love you more.

* because so many Argentines are Boca fans they say they make up half plus one of the population - great soccer logic!

For River:

Adonde vayas

te alentaremos

Vos sos mi vida

lo que mas quiero

Esta es hichada

esta es tu gente

La que te sigue

te alienta siempre

River Plate, River Plate

Wherever you go

We're supporting you

You are my life

What I love most

This is your support

These are your people

Always following you

Always encouraging you

River Plate, River Plate

3) Get your tickets and arrive there in time for kick-off

You've chosen your team, you're hoarse from practising your chants, now all you've got to do is get to the match! Tickets are hard to come by on game day unless you are prepared to pay top prices, so get down to the stadium box office, book online or ask your tour operator to reserve them at least a few days in advance. Ticket prices will range from 10 to 30 Argentinian pesos.

The streets of Buenos Aires clog to bursting on game day. Get a taxi as close to the stadium as possible to avoid the confusion of the bus system and continue on foot in the same direction as the masses.

4) Watch out for troublemakers

Prepare to have your mind blown by the the noise, colour, passion and bouncing of the entire stadium as the fans hurl encouragement at their team and abuse at the opposition and their hinchada. It will soon become clear that this isn't an opportunity to watch a soccer match, it's a chance to watch the supporters. If a goal is scored, your ears will be ringing for days.

It's easy for all the passion to boil over into something a bit uglier, as the barra bravas (hooligans) in the crowd go looking for trouble, especially if the game is going badly for their team. Be sure to stay in the middle of a big group of Boca or River supporters depending on your team to be away from any clashes that happen where the rival hinchadas meet. It's also worth going with a local or tour group, and paying for somewhere in the seated areas.

Backup options

If you can't time your trip to Argentina with a Superclasico, there are always other alternatives. Buenos Aires has the highest concentration of clubs in the world, and there are plenty or rivalries that result in noisy, colourful matches. Ask around when you arrive in town for games between Independiente and Racing (the second biggest derby in Buenos Aires, their respective stadiums being only 200 metres apart) and rivals San Lorenzo and Huracán. You're sure to have an incredible Argentinian soccer experience, whatever the game is that you end up seeing.

About The Author
Gary Sargent is the Managing Director of the tour companies Escaped to Peru and Escaped to Latin America and has lived in South America for over 10 years. Gary is passionate about life here, the people, customs and places. To learn more or to book your next personalized adventure please visit http://www.escapedtolatinamerica.com
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.escapedtolatinamerica.com




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Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:06 pm
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