“Are you ready to live 90min of pure adrenalin?” That’s what my friends told me the first time they invited me to see a Boca - River football match. It was played at the Boca Junior stadium (La Bombonera, as the locals call it). The match ended one to one, and the fans were shouting for some extra time. What an amazing experience!
There is one thing you simply must do if you get the opportunity in Buenos Aires and that is attending a Boca Jr. or River Plate soccer game! Argentine people go insane for football. Each one of the fans in the stadium feels as if he were on the field itself, running, playing, giving their best. It is an experience you won’t regret because of the atmosphere you’ll experience: the singing of the fans, the booing, the scoring of goals and a complete packed stadium.
Unlike European games violence is seldom seen as Argentina fans prefer to remonstrate their pleasure or displeasure for the game through prolific singing and chanting accompanied by large drums and musical instruments.
Fans will be singing and waving flags the whole game. The Hooligans, or Barra Brava as they are called in Argentina, will lead the tempo, sing and chant and really add to the atmosphere. The best thing of all is that this behavior is contagious. It won’t matter if you know much about the team who’s playing… you will end up singing and shouting like any other fan in the stadium. It’s hard to express this sensation in words. Its an experience you have do live. Trust me!
How to attend?
There are agencies that will pick you up from your hostel or backpackers and take you to the game by bus, and provide tickets for you in the reserved seating area. A guide will be present with you during the game and a bus will be waiting just outside the stadium to take you back.
Some agencies I can recommend are:
To get tickets go one or two days before the match to the stadium where the mach is going to be played and pick them up from scalpers. Make sure they are real ones though. If you buy POPULAR (the cheap seats) its ok but less comfortable than buying more expensive seats – but in saying that, it is also closer to the action and closer to the real football fans.
And, for those lucky enough the ultimate game is Boca Junior versus River. Both teams are from Buenos Aires and the local derby is a matter of religious, political, economic and “life or death” importance to the locals. It really is one of those events that you will relive over and over again and a real highlight of any Buenos Aires experience.
Photo of Boca Jrs versus Pumas care of Nica* on Flickr
Photo of Boca Jrs versus Sao Paolo care of DhubaX | Eduardo Lacerdas on Flickr