Last weekend was the Superclasico, the soccer event when the two Buenos Aires soccer teams play each other. It hasn’t happened for a while, because River got demoted to Division 2. However, they are back to Division 1 now, and it was game on.
There are a lot of holidays in Argentina, but almost none of them can compare in quality and quantity of celebration as the Superclasico.
My husband is a Boca fan and I am a River fan. I wrote about why I am a River fan in this blogpost a while ago: http://buenosaireswest.blogspot.com.ar/2012/03/soy-una-fanatica-de-river.html
However, I thought in the spirit of fairness, I should post a little bit about the Boca Juniors. The team was started in 1905 by a group of Italian immigrants. It is one of the most successful teams in the world having won 18 international titles. This year they lost in the final for the Cup of the Americas.
Their stadium is called the Bombonera because it is shaped like the candy, a bonbon. Originally, the stadium was three-sided. When they decided to enclose it, they had to make the stands upright because there was no property available for the enlargement. La Bombonera is famous because it sways when fans start to jump in rhythm, leading to the phrase, "the Bombonera does not tremble. It beats." Apparently, no one actually sits when they go to a game.
On the Pastores Tour, we pass by the Bombonera on our way to Boca. We always have to share the story about the Coca Cola logo, which is black and white (you can see it at the top of the stadium there) because they couldn’t have the colors of River on their stadium.
We hired a remis/taxi last weekend for our friends the day before the game. There were quite a few things to get into the car. When I was checking with the driver to make sure that everything had made it into the car, he told me that he had room for everything except one package. I told him not to worry, they would hold it in their laps. But he told me they couldn’t put the package in the car. Confused, I looked at the package. They had purchased a Boca shirt. Ultimately, the driver relented with a guilty smile, but seriously, sentiments often run that strongly.
Boca claims that 51% of the people in Argentina are fans. However, a survey in 2006 showed that only 40% of the people support their team. Still, they have the largest share of the population. They are nicknamed “the Genoese” after their founders.
Boca didn’t make a very good showing at the Superclasico last week. They were losing 2-0 right until the end when they scored a goal on a penalty play. Then at the end of the game they scored another goal, making it 2-2, and a sad, sad day for River fans, as well.
I think in the First Division Professional Era, the two clubs have played 199 games with Boca winning 72, River 66 and now 61 draws. The next time they will meet won’t be until April 2013, when fans on both sides will again be looking for a decisive victory.