Rivalries: Boca Juniors VS River Plate

In 2018, these two teams that are always opposed to each other, for the first time in history, played in the Libertadores Cup final. In Argentina, 2% of the population is Protestant, another 2% are Muslim, and 92% are Catholic Christians. But there is another religion of the majority that is football. Space 90% of the inhabitants of the country admitted that they constantly monitor their favorite team. South American football is infinitely far from some countries: it comes at an inconvenient time and is frightened by the number of unknown names – but this year it is worth everyone to include the Libertadores Cup final. There is expected a spectacle of the level of the playoffs of the Champions League: for the first time in history, the Argentine enemies of Boca Juniors and River Plate will fight in the final. The first match is already on Saturday at 23.00, the return match is on November 24, exactly two weeks later.

When “Boca” and “River” only reached the final, many users asked us to write an announcement text. A comment on this topic under the news about Leonid Fedun gathered almost 3000 pluses. The confrontation “Boci” and “Rivera” is called Superclasico: the British edition The Observer put it on the first place in the list of “50 most important sporting events that need to be seen before dying,” and FourFourTwo called the main derby of the planet.

Boca Juniors VS River Plate: what you need to know about it?

Both clubs created immigrants. Boca Juniors won the match for the district, and River Plate had to move out. At the beginning of the 19th century, Argentina boasted fertile land, quality education and continuous growth of the economy. The relics were enough for such a long time that in 1913 the subway was launched in Buenos Aires – the first subway in South America and only 13th in the world (there are more than 50 now).

The country’s grace attracted Europeans, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, French, Irish, Scots and even Christian Arabs arrived in Argentina – by the end of the century, 50.3% of the population of Buenos Aires was immigrants. It was the migrants who introduced the continent to football. In 1840, the metropolitan newspaper La Razon wrote about the strange game of British sailors who “ran for the ball.” Those sailors were the sons of a wool merchant – Thomas and James. They loved the game thanks to their father, and in May 1867 they founded something like the Buenos Aires football club. Soon the club held the first match: the team in red defeated the team in white 4: 0. In the early 1880s, the Scot Alexander Watson-Hatton arrived in Buenos Aires, a man who is called the father of local football. Watson-Hatton was a teacher and wanted to create an English high school in the capital of Argentina, but he became famous for another.

He was very interested in sports and when moving he took with him rubber balls – soon everyone in Argentina played only with them, forgetting about the old-fashioned rubber ones. Soon the Scot founded an organization called the Argentine Association Football League: it appeared in 1893, only 5 years later than the English and earlier than everyone else in Europe. Ten years later, it was renamed AFA – these three letters are inscribed on the Argentina national jersey today. At the beginning of the 20th century, the main events developed in the area for immigrants La Boca, where a little earlier the planet’s most passionate dance, tango, was born. In 1901, after the merger of the capital clubs “Rosales” and “Santa Rosa” in La Boke, “River Plate” was formed. The British masters looked at the name of the port on the plates of the ships where they wrote La Plata as their delivery address: La Boca in Spanish means “mouth”; English – “River Plate”). Once, at a night carnival, players and fans pulled together a giant ribbon of red silk, cut it into pieces and attached it to a diagonal shape: this is how the cult element appeared, which climbed from the T-shirts and onto the club’s emblem.

In 1905, the sons of five Italians from Genoa, who also lived in La Boca, founded the Boca Juniors Club. The Genoese felt special in Argentina: in 1882, after a working conflict and strikes, they almost proclaimed the independence of La Boca and even warned the king of their native Italy about this. However, the president of Argentina, Julio Argentino Roca, intervened, who immediately extinguished the initiative. “At that time, in principle, there were a lot of Genoese people in the city,” noted the historian of “Boci Juniors” José Roland. “Therefore, it is not surprising that the first team consisted mainly of them.”

The name of the club was also associated with English: “Juniors” were added to the geographical designation (“Boca”) – in fact, the founders. The Italians wanted the team to play in black and white, but the colors were already taken by another club from Buenos Aires. At that time, many disputes were resolved in matches, and the battle for the Boca Juniors form was lost. I had to look for a backup option. The men agreed to come to the port, wait for the first ship and make the shape in its colors. La Boca is a fairly large area (area – 3.3 square kilometers), but because of ambitions, the two clubs did not have enough air, someone had to leave. Everything was decided again in the match, and the most important victory with a score of 2: 1 snatched “Boca”: “River” moved first to Palermo (more than 10 kilometers), and then to the north – to the region of Núñez (about 15), than la boca. That is how the legend was born that the rich are ill for “River Plate”, and “simple workers” support “Boku Juniors”. “A typical Rivera fan is blond or brown-haired,” argued Ignacio Copani, a musician popular in Argentina, who supports River Plate. – This is an intellectual club, we have technical football. “Boca” takes passion and struggle. But they have serious problems with the image: the stadium is dirty, uncomfortable; it looks like a boat with a hole. And there are few such as “River”: only “Real” and “Juventus” come to mind.

“There is another version,” said former international director of Boca Juniors Juan Cobian. – That match could not finish the game due to the fact that the players fought on the field. And the victory was awarded to “Boke”, because it led to the moment when the game was stopped. “River, of course, got angry – hence all the hatred.” “Derby is often presented as a fairy tale about two different cities: aristocrats from the north and a folk team from the south,” noted the author of the book Superclasico: Inside the Ultimate Derby, Joel Richards. – In fact, clubs were founded by children of immigrants. It was difficult for both of them to find land for the fields, and both added something English to the names in order to shoot a shine. Rather, it is a local story that stretches with resentment for owning the area.” In 1938, the Monumental Stadium appeared in the Núñez district. Two years later, La Boca opened the “Bomboner”.

Tragedy at the stadium in which 71 people died

River Plate reached Argentina’s major league in 1908 and Boca Juniors in 1913. At the same time, the first derby took place, the result of which was fixed officially: “River” won 2: 1, and after the match, the fans seem to have fought for the first time for blood. But then the teams did not meet for 14 years, because in 1919 Boca Juniors entered the Argentine Football Association, and River Plate joined the Amateur Football Association. Beginning in 1927, Boca won several unofficial matches, and in 1931, River finally became a professional club, and the very first derby ended in a scandal. Forward “Boca” Francisco Varalo did not score from the penalty spot, ran into the goalkeeper, knocked the ball from his hands and pulled the ball into the net. The arbitrator counted a goal, handed out three red cards to exploded players of “Rivera”, but they were not going to leave the field. Lightning broke out a fight, and the police ran out to separate the players. To reassure the fans, I had to use water jets – the match was interrupted.

In 1932, “River Plate” moved to the licked area of ​​Barrio Norte and acquired forward Bernabe Ferreira for the huge 10 thousand dollars for those times: the team was now called exclusively millionaires. The second nickname – chickens – the club received when it led 2: 0, but missed four goals in a row from Penarol in the Libertadores Cup final in 1966. At the end of the match, the Uruguayan fans released a chicken on the field, and the idea was picked up by the fans of “Boca”: they mockingly call the enemies chickens for lack of will in that game. “River” won the Libertadores Cup for the first time only 20 years later – by that time, Boca had already won the trophy twice. “Boca” also has a lot of offensive nicknames. They are called piglets and govnovozami: fans of “Rivera” claim that from “Bombonera” stinks, because before the stadium was located in front of the plant, which made the bricks with horse manure. “They have such a thing: how they will end up on the Bomboner, they begin to pinch their noses with their fingers, put masks on,” explained former international director of Boca Juan Cobian. – These are such aristocratic ways. Fans seem to say: “Well, yes, we govnovozy. But we are cooler. And if we are, then who are you then? ”

The hatred of the fans grew with each decade and in 1968 turned into a catastrophe: 71 people were killed in the crush on Monumental, another 150 were injured. Most of the victims were teenagers and students. “This is a real tragedy, the worst in the whole history of Argentine football, our Hillsborough,” said Juan Cobian. – What happened there is unknown. Guilty not found. There was a version that the fans of “Boca” on the top tier set fire to several flags of “Rivera” and threw them down on their own. Those rushed from the sector, and the gate is closed tightly. There was another version: that they brought bottles with urine to the stadium and poured it on the police. Those in response began to displace them from the sector. The gates were closed. Well, and then what happened. I do not know how it really is. There are no more people.”