The derby of all derbies - The Superclásico

Players of River Plate (left) & Boca Juniors (right) vie for the ball during a recent derby game
Players of River Plate (left) and Boca Juniors (right) vie for the ball during a recent derby game
Omene Osuya
Modified 08 Nov 2017

The Superclásico is a rivalry that has endured through the years; enthralling, captivating and annoying in equal measure.

The colours of red and white stand out when set against the rival yellow and blue of the old enemy.

Just in case you are wondering what we are referring to, it is to the biggest match in Argentine football and one of the biggest derbies in the world with passion, aggression, and colour in equal measure.

It is none other than The Superclásico, the Buenos Aires derby between the blue/yellow of Boca Juniors and the red/white of River Plate.

Both clubs have roots in the working-class dockland area of Buenos Aires, where maritime affairs held sway.

River Plate was founded in 1901 and Boca Juniors in 1905.

However, since 1925 when River Plate moved to the northern district of Núñez, Boca Juniors have come to be known as the club of Argentina’s working class or the people’s club, with many Boca fans coming from the local Italian immigrant community. This contributed to their fans earning the nickname of Xeneizes (Genoese) in homage to their Italian roots.

This move partly led to River Plate earning the nickname, Los Millonarios (The Millionaires), with the belief that being based in Núñez probably gave the club an upper-class support base even though both clubs have supporters from all social classes.

The rivalry has had more than its fair share of fisticuffs, fights, and violence with the especially short-fused Latin players willing to go to do just about anything to achieve victory and bragging rights for the team they play for.

The Superclásico is noted worldwide for its colour, noise, and pageantry with both games at Boca’s Estadio La Bomobonera and River’s Estadio El Monumental being noted for its riot of colours, a cacophony of noise and free trading of insults between both sets of fans.

Boca fans refer to River supporters as Gallinas (chickens) claiming a lack of guts among River players. Ironically and despite the fact that their club traces its roots to La Boca, River fans refer to their Boca rivals as Los Chanchitos (little pigs) because they claim that La Bombonera which is still located in the less affluent La Boca area smells most of the time.

It is without doubt one of sports’ most passionate events and should be a must-see for every footballing enthusiast.

Published 08 Nov 2017
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