When Club America and CD Guadalajara get together this Sunday, (9PM ET TeleM), one of the great world rivalries in futbol will unfold for the 174th time. In part 2 of a three part series, I asked the some members of the bigsoccer community what their particular rivalry means to them. This time the spot light falls on that little ditty that is played in Buenos Aires.
It’s really no surprise that the majority of responses I got from my little informal survey came from Boca Juniors and River Plate fans. There are plenty of great world rivalries, and a lot folks tend to think that this one is the best. I can’t say I disagree, but then again I am not emotionally invested in any of the great world rivalries.
The fans that responded had some great reasons as to why the chose one side over another.
In our family whenever there was a new baby all the relatives would lobby to get them to join their clubs. I guess my big cousins from Boca made me the best offer. If I became a fan of Boca they'd take me to watch them play, and if I didn't then they'd beat me up. Stick and carrot. But after my first trip to La Bombonera I was sold. I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old, but I still remember that day vividly.
i have a long history of river fans in my family. grandparents, cousins, uncles, parents. Both my parents grew up in the area around the stadium and I spent much of my child hood in San Isidro as well.
The majority of my family were Bosteros. The only exceptions were my viejo and two uncles and they did that just to piss off my abuelito. My abuelito always had a caveat with his support of Boca, as a Jew he felt a strong bond for Atlanta which was the local team in Villa Crespo which for many years was one of the Jewish enclaves of BsAs. He may have been the first plastic I ever met
As a child, I would watch all the River games with my dad. I grew up watching a winning team that would literally win atleast one tournament a year. River also has a history for being the team that demanded to play beautiful soccer, as is seen in previous teams with players with great technique such as Di Stefano, Beto Alonso, Francescoli, Ortega, D'Alessandro, Saviola, Aimar, Salas, Higuain, etc. Although our last few years have been an exception, it has always been a joy to watch River play.
The reasons for spurning the other side are just as colorful:
I just never had any major Bostero influences in my life. After a certain point, I was just too solidly in the River camp to ever switch; the fact that I always thought that Boca played ugly football for the most part didn't help either.
My viejo supported riber. My aunt was a fanatico of Boca, and by siding with her it pissed off my viejo. A job well done I say. By the time I was ten it was pure passion as it has been to this day.
I guess maybe because my relatives from River never offer to take me to El Monumental when I was a kid. But also River was not doing well at the time I was old enough to pick a club, while Boca was winning titles. So of course I had to go with the best.
Boca is a team filled with bandwagon and glory hunter fans because of their success in the early 2000s. Boca is also a team with a crappy stadium in a crappy neighborhood. Every one talks about the atmosphere there but it really is nothing compared to El Monumental.
I got a lot responses of which were favorite and least favorite games. These two stick out.
Has to be Maradona's goal in his first superclasico under a pouring rain when he left Fillol and Tarantini on the ground as he dribbled into the goal. Boca won 3-0. Another great one was when I was a kid and Boca beat River 5-2 with four goals from Garcia Cambon.
Boca: 0 – River: 3 for the Clausura 2002. Complete domination by River, who put on a display of beautiful soccer. Cambiasso and Coudet scored the first and second goals, respectively. Ricardo Rojas, a left-back, scored his first (and only) goal in professional soccer. It was the third goal in the match and went into the history books as one of the best goals in Superclasico history. To top it off, the match was played in La Bombonera (Boca's stadium) in front of 45,000 shocked and quiet Boca fans.
Nothing sparks a good rivalry like family tension. And there seems to be plenty in this clásico.
My dad and his sister on numerous occasions stopped talking for months due to games, player purchases or whatever it was related to the rivalry. Nothing too major though. I've heard of much worse.
My dad and sisters are River fans, but my mom and her whole side of the family are Boca fans. Her brothers are complete Boca fanatics and are even socios (members) who attend all of Boca's home games. I make fun of them when River beats Boca, they make fun of me when Boca beats River. Although it's never fun to be "made fun of", it adds to the rivalry and is part of the folklore of futbol.
the superclasico was always a big event. Sometimes if we didn't go to the match it was an excuse for a big barbecue, and so we'd often get a large group together to watch it, with plenty of fans from both sides. To this day, we have some interesting back and forth before and after the match, although nowadays it's mostly through facebook.
There is obviously no love lost between supporters of these two, but I think even the most loyal supporters understand the unique symbiotic relationship these two have.
Although I hate Boca more than anything, I love their existence. What fun would it be if you had no one to compete with? Every weekend River fans check if River wins and if Boca lost. Boca fans do the same thing (but the other way around, of course). When the two face, the intensity is incomparable to anything else. This rivalry is the most passionate in the world, and I'm glad I'm a part of it.
Many thanks to the everyone that collaborated.
Up next – Barça – Real