Joined by Football

Watching football has fortunately changed. Today, thousands of tourists from around the globe travel around in search of classics that do not belong to them but do catch their attention.

Just like in all countries in the world, football has not only become a part of the collective life of society, but it has also become an admirable show even for those who do not sympathize with any of the teams playing each game.
The new mass media and technology to “watch football” have succeeded in engaging us to see what happens at the other end of the world at the same time the rest of the planet looks at us. No wonder then that football players have become millionaire just by kicking a leather ball.

Not until we understand this idea will we get why thousands of tourists keep coming to the City of Buenos Aires whenever Boca Juniors plays against River Plate. They wish to see that show, considered among the ten best around the world. Those who have had the chance to see it assure that this is a must do. They do not care if that sounds like an exaggeration.

Every Sunday, when there is a match, tourists leave their hotels and hostels to get on the bus that will pick them up at the right spot. In a matter of seconds, visitors from all countries become Boca or River fans before they can even notice. Some of them become interested in other lesser teams they have heard about at some moment in their lives.

  • Monumental River Plate Stadium

    Monumental River Plate Stadium

  • Boca fans

    Boca fans

  • Pizza


  • Tourists from around the world

    Tourists from around the world

  • Football and pizza

    Football and pizza

  • The Bombonera

    The Bombonera

Wearing the right jersey and headband and brandishing the right flag, they start singing part of the official repertoire of cheering chants of the corresponding club. In the case of Boca, it goes like this: "Dale Boca, dale Boooo" (Come on, Boca), "Diegoooooo, Diegoooooo, oleeeeee, oleeeeee" "Riquelmeeeee, Riquelmeeeee", "Palermoooo, Palermoooooo" and even the always clear "El que no salta es una gallina, el que no salta es una gallina" (If you don’t jump, you’re a hen -name used to refer to River Plate fans), which succeeds in making everyone on the bus a fan of Boca. This nomadic group of tourists soon becomes part of Argentina. They are already Boca fans. On the stalls, screams of goal and a shared hug in the end accompanies other chants like "que vamo' a salir campeones, que vamo' a salir campeones" (we are gonna be champions), which start to be heard from their own mouths.

Celebrations continue outside the stadium with pizza and very cold beer. After that, everyone leaves the neighborhood of La Boca feeling some kind of nostalgia, honoring the tango lyrics con la frente marchita (with a withered face). Then the buses take all tourists back to the starting point. Feeling safe and sound but different inside, each of them has become another "bostero" (manure collectors, or the name used to refer to Boca fans).

Some advice before going to the stadium

In order to enjoy this experience without any inconvenience, it is essential to take into consideration certain tips:

- Do not carry valuables. In the event of carrying photo cameras, hang them around your neck and never ask strangers to take a picture of you with them, even if they look friendly and helpful.

- Carry little cash and documents. Try to have some change and not too show it. Do likewise with valuables or other items you cannot leave at your hotel.

- Do not drink alcohol as your blood alcohol level will be tested at the entrance to the stadium. It is ideal to be sober so as to make the most of the show.

- Try to control your emotions outside the stadium, both before and after the match, so as to avoid any confrontation with your opponents. Celebrations should occur only inside the stadium.

- Do not go apart from the group you are with. Always refer to the tour organizers to avoid getting lost both outside and inside the stadium.

- If you get lost, refer to some authority figure and inform them you are lost. Always carry the address of your hotel with you.

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Pablo Etchevers


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