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The Passionate Superclásico

By Damian Eiberman



River Plate's midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano (front) vies for the ball with Boca Juniors' midfielder Federico Bravo during their Argentine First Division football match, at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 5, 2013
River Plate's midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano (front) vies for the ball with Boca Juniors' midfielder Federico Bravo during their Argentine First Division football match, at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 5, 2013

Argentina has been characterized, over the years, for being a social, economic and cultural development polo in Latin America. But few events revolutionize the country as a "Superclásico" between River Plate and Boca Juniors.  

The Club Atletico River Plate was founded on May 25, 1901 in the neighborhood of La Boca by the merger between the clubs Santa Rosa and La Rosales. Meanwhile, five Italian immigrants created the April 3, 1905 Club Atletico Boca Juniors inspired a Swedish flag in the same neighborhood of the City of Buenos Aires. Years later, in the 1930s, millionaires would leave La Boca but the rivalry between the two clubs still exist.  

A day of "Superclásico" does not go unnoticed by society in Argentina. A procesion is discovered when both parts find themselves divided by a ball. To begin is not a week as any. The players who have the privilege of playing the matich live days of illusion, nerves, preparation, and concentration. With sometimes more, and sometimes less identification for any of the shirts, all the players want to be part and excel in what could be one of the biggest games of their careers. There is a before and after playing a Superclásico. Great players of all time made their way in history thru this match: Enrique Sívori, Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Daniel Passarella, Juan Roman Riquelme, Martin Palermo, Ariel Ortega, Marcelo Salas and meny more had enjoy this experience.  

But the biggest phenomenon occurs in the people, the fans of both teams. The days before this party people start to show his love for the shirt. Representative flags are hung on balconies throughout the city and expressions of hope and joy for the event are played endless times. The River´s and Boca´s shits are multiplied on the streets, groups of fans gather to demonstrate their support for the players on the training sites and even the doors of the hotels where they rest, in the days before the match.  

Finally comes the match day. Both the Monumental (River) as the Bombonera (Boca), depending on where the game is played, open their doors early and receive huge public mass. The kickoff moment is when half the country is paralyzed. All important events in Argentina pass behind a leather ball. Giving idolatry and admiration for those who win, as anger and claims for the loser.  

Up here might sound logical people's actions at the time of this historic confrontation, but the rivalry does not end with the game. Then come many moments of joy for those who have won, and great disappointment and discomfort of the loser.  

But this is not a fact that is submitted only on game days. Fans of both teams live this rivalry 365 days a year. Earrings, besides the walk of their own club, the result of the other. Paying attention to the details of everyday's rival ever in order to play some jokes about it or to be prepared for the rival´s jokes.  

The rivalry between River and Boca happens in all corners of Argentina and every day of the year. People live this in all aspects of their daily lives, at work, with friends, or even sharing their opinions and joking with strangers on the street, always trying to create an atmosphere of fun, as a result of a football match and the love that represent these glorious shirts.  

The dark side of the River-Boca has appeared with more freedom in recent decades, this beautiful sports show has become a battle. Hooligans from both clubs have dealt systematically transform party into tragedy, an afternoon of football into an hospital overnight, and with the tacit support of the authorities.  

The "common fan" suffer the consequences of a destabilized society, which reflects his personal, political or social troubles in a football Stadium. Unfortunately, by the action of hired-by-politician hooligans goingo to the stadium is more a war than a sport watching event.  

To abstract from this delicate situation, the genuine supporter devotes his time to guard against troublesome individuals to enjoy healthy his love for a shirt or the ball. Above all expecting to enjoy it, because for the rematch will have to wait at least half a year.