A bubbling atmosphere of emotions, an experience for the senses, a series of unforgettable pictures, all of these arise from a classic Boca vs. River match, the most important of all Argentinian derbies which, twice a year, stops the activities of the whole country for a couple of hours.
Boca vs. River, River vs. Boca
The incomparable rivalry between these two most popular clubs can be traced back to the early 20th century, when many national football clubs were founded. Boca and River share origins and cradle, since both of them were created by immigrants settled on the southern riverside of Buenos Aires
Boca Juniors, whose fans are known as ”los xeneizes”
after the group of Genoese immigrants who formed the club, was founded on April 3rd, 1905. Four years before, a few blocks away, on May 25th the Club Atlético River Plate
had been founded.
The first River Plate stadium was located very close to the southern dock of the city, then the team played as host in Sarandí and in Palermo until 1939, when ”El Monumental de Núñez”
was opened. It was refurbished in 1978. It was in this stadium where the World Cup final was played and it usually serves as the venue for the Argentinian Team to play the official matches.
The mythical Bombonera
(the Chocolate Box) was opened in 1949 and, since then, Boca Junior has played as a host team. This stadium is considered as having the best acoustics of all and listening to the roaring of the crowd is superb.
Both of them have a rich history and are full of triumphs. “Los millonarios”
, the nickname of the River Plates enthusiasts, are proud to be the Argentinian club winning the most domestic trophies of all. The club was crowned champion 33 times.
Boca Juniors won 23 domestic tournaments, but it stands a step forward over its long standing opponent as to international trophies. History goes that the two teams have met 184 times, with 67 wins for ”Los xeneizes”
, 61 triumphs for “Los millonarios”
and 56 draws.
There are numberless stories and anecdotes of memorable matches. And, of course, we can mention players that, for so long, have made the great history of this worldwide derby, such as Silvio Marzolini, Norberto Alonso, Reynaldo Merlo, Amadeo Carrizo, Roberto Mouzo and, certainly, Diego Maradona –who played seven matches and scored five goals–, some of the glories who wore this T-shirt.
But, regardless of the quotes and comments made by those with good memory about matches and goals, the fact is that every time these two heavyweights go head-to- head in El Monumental or La Bombonera, this match is played as if there was no history and as if it was the last time.
It was with this commitment and energy that twenty two Boca-River players who get inside the pitch live the game as well as thousands of people on the stands and millions of supporters who enjoy this sporting event on television or radio. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular shows in the world.