Football, Buenos Aires
People lucky enough to be in Argentina during July 2011 should definitely try and get tickets for the Copa America. One of the biggest football tournaments in the world. It only happens every 4 years and everyone is hoping that Argentina and Brazil will be in the final!
Read this great 'guide to Copa America 2011' by Expanish Spanish school to find out a bit more
Copa America Guide Expanish Spanish School
Even though Argentina is a Catholic country, the real religion in Argentina is football, this passionate 22 player game is probably THE most important aspect of Argentinean culture and life in Buenos Aires.
Every Sunday millions of people go to the stadium to see their favorite teams or they at least watch the game on TV. If you switch the TV on in Argentina on a Sunday (and actually on any other day of the week!) it is very likely that you'll see mainly football.
The phenomenon is most popular in the capital city, Buenos Aires, but the rest of the country shares the same passion.
In Buenos Aires there are 7 football teams that belong to the first division of Argentina, most of them are teams with a lot of history and are recognized on a global level; Boca Juniors, River Plate, Vélez Sarsfield (who won the last championship, Claussura 2009), Huracan and San Lorenzo to mention just a few names.
Going to see a Football Game In Buenos Aires is an obligatory experience that you wont forget, the excitement of a good football game and the passion of the players who give everything they’ve got during the 90 minutes of the game is indeed a good reason, but it's also a cultural experience. The real show at a football game in Buenos Aires is the way that the home crowd sings throughout the entire game from the moment the game begins until it ends, regardless of the result of the game, the weather conditions or the players\’ performance.
The Argentinean fans are very dedicated and will always follow and cheer their favorite team no matter what.
Every Argentinean football team has its own Barra Brava, which is a group of the most dedicated fans who follow the team wherever the matches are played; in Argentina, South America and even around the world. The barra brava are the die-hard fans who entertain the crowd and cheer the players, they usually carry drums and trumpets that convert the entire stadium into a carnival for the 90 minutes. The fans usually sing songs for their team, and the Lyrics are often romantic, including phrases like “you'll always be in my heart,” “I will always follow you” etc. The fans repeat each song for about ten minutes in order to help the newcomers understand The Words and get involved in the atmosphere,so you won’t be left out!
Being a football fan in Argentina is something that runs in the blood and usually in the family, it is very common to see the whole family from the grandmother right down to the grandson going to watch their favorite team together and if for some reason a child decides to rebel and become a fan of another team it can cause family arguments, a divorce between married couples and other tragic consequences. You shouldn't make fun of a football team in front of its fans, even as a joke, the consequences can be irreversible as football is a very serious matter in Argentina.
The Argentinean League has 20 teams and unlike any other major football league in world it is divided in two:
The first half, Apertura (opening) Tournament is played from August through to late December. The second half, Clausura (closing) Tournament is played between the end of January and the end of June. Each tournament consists of 19 games and has its own champion.
Wow, the folks at these games are not messing around! There is no alcohol sold within miles of the football stadiums and once arriving into the stadium you can buy coke, coke or coke. No water - no kidding!
At River Plate, there is a whole section of fans that wait until the minute the game starts and then they create a procession into the stadium and their seats with flags and whistles and drums. They're making all kinds of noise and don't stop the entire game - pretty impressive for a team who's winning streak is awful this season.
Definitely a must see activity when you're in town. If you don't see these guys, Boca Junior is the other most well known club - sure to be an experience!
Argentina is know as one of the countries with more football soccer fans!
Football soccer is the most common and popular sport in Argentina!
If you never been in a football soccer match or if you like them, there are some Agencies that sells you tickets for the games, they pick you up at your hotel and you will be join the whole match with a local guide (some of them speak english)
Cost: $arg 120 aprox ( u$d 40.00 aprox)
the most popular Football Teams are Boca Juniors, River plate, Velez, Rancing, San lorenzo (the actor Viggo Mortensen, from the lord of the rings, used to live in Bs As, and he has always been a huge fan of San lorenzo! )
We went with a local to one of the soccer games. It was held in the only all concrete stadium in the world that is still in use i believe he said it was built in the 1920s. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. People in BA take their soccer seriously. I wish I had pictures as my discriptions will not do it justice. Our local friend told us that we shouldn't bring anything that we wanted to leave with. The stadium was located in a pretty run down shady area. Security was intense around the field. There was a moat with a large barbed wire fence encircling the playing field. Hundreds of riot police walked german shepards across the field before the game started to show their authority. Right before the game started both sides ( the visitors and the home team) fan would sing their team songs at each other while waving big flags and shooting fireworks. They would also shoot fireworks at the refs and the opposing players. One of the refs was hit with a flare from a flare gun. The stadium itself was extremely steep. At the top of the rows of seats you felt like you were right above the players as you almost had to look straight down to see them. pretty scary stuff. There was also no ailse or railings and choas was the only order of seating.
I would say to catch this if you can but go with a local as it can get pretty dangerous.
Going to an Argentine soccer match is a must.
I've been to several including Boca And River ( although not playing each other ) and both the football and the atmosphere are electric. The fans are really crazy about their teams and it shows from before kick-off to well after it.
Tigre is another not to be missed gem- 2 pesos return by train from Retiro and about a 40 minute ride it has a calmness about it that only a river can bring but has plenty of activity( boat trips, Amusement Park and Casino ) you want it.
The outdoor restaurants overlooking the river ( not in the town ) are also great value for money.
Another little treasure that I found on my last trip was the Musee de Immigration down at Puerto Madero - pretty close to the Buquebus Terminal.
It took a little bit of finding -tucked away in a kind of Boulevard and not well signposted -but it was worth the effort.
Not a very big display and looking very like an old hospital it did , however, give real flavour of how it would have been for those poor souls getting to Argentina by boat via Europe Africa and Brazil. It certainly had the Ellis Island feel to it
The huge Monumental Stadium is where River Plate the most famous "enemy" of Boca Juniors play its matches ... located in the opposite side of the city to La boca ..its surrounded by well positioned houses and neighbourhoods...this one is called Nuñez and walking by those streets you are noticing that it isnt unsafe or dangerous at night as southernmost Bs Aires quarters
The history is really curious ...When soccer begins Boca Juniors and River share the same neighbourhood but for any reason River left the quarter and moved northwards... as if they were scared of something ..that the main reason why Boca supporters called River fans as "gallinas" that means hens...and River called to Boca's fans ...."bosteros" ..its argentinian slang and comes from "bosta" that means ***... so bostero you could imagine what it is ....lol !!!
Go watch one of the big teams play a game. Its usually on sunday. River Plate and B*** J****** are the most famous teams and those likely to have the best atmosphere at homegames. People travel from all over latin america to attend them when they meet at the Superclassico. Although hard to admit, the B*** stadium is a tad more atmospheric than El Monumental as it is more intimate and hence noisy. Racing, Independiente, Velez Sarsfield and San Lorenzo are also good options though. B*** got a nice museum at their ground.
All the people speaking about River Plate, Boca Juniors ... but no one do it about Velez Sarsfield.
It's the last champions (won the first term of 2005) and one of the best team in the actually.
At this moment, it's second, a point underneath first who is Boca Juniors. It's more like a neighbourhood team, because most of the fans is calm.
Nevertheless, try to go to the "Platea Norte", the best place to see the match, and very near the field. There's no problems if you want to get the ticket in the stadium, but try to not go to a very popular match because most probable it is than it does not obtain any ticket.
If you want to get a ticket, try in this page: http://www.elpotrero.com.ar/venta_de_entradas_partidos_de_futbol.htm
Surely they will be contentments to take you to the match and to bring you back.
While in Argentina, one cannot miss a futbol game! This is more than a sport here, almost a religion with Diego Armando Maradona as permanent pope :-)
The best game to attempt to is El SuperClassico, the bi-annual championship game between Boca Junior and River Plate. People told me the best is to see it in La Boca, but in River's stadium it should be already good!
If not in Buenos Aires during this occasion, another game will do don't worry. In general it is better to go see a game in La Boca, because the stadium is smaller and the spectators get mad and you really feel it (as I was told, I went to a River's game)
And one more thing, you don't need to love futbal to enjoy yourself, believe me!
Ladies and gentlemen...Soccer!
Soccer is not only a sport in Argentina, but also a way of living. Matches take place on Sunday evenings from March to December, with a small pause during the second half of July. There are two championships: Clausura (March-July) and Apertura (August-December).
There are lots of soccer clubs countrywide, but the two biggest and most popular are River Plate and Boca Juniors.
The Bombonera (in Spanish "Chocolate box", the name of the Boca stadium) is located in La Boca. El Monumental ("The monumental one", River stadium, the biggest in Argentina) is located in Núñez.
It is also a very interesting thing to go and watch a match. The violence has become very normal in the stadiums, though. So I reccomend asking your hotel porter or a local for some advice about what match should you see. Definitely try to avoid River-Boca. But a River-Talleres or a Boca-Rosario Central should be OK.
If you don't like stadiums, another very Buenos Aires thing is go and watch the match from a bar. Every single bar has a TV from where people watch the match. I like it.
Tickets can be bought via telephone with credit card with Ticketek. (See number in "Contact")
It is an understatement to say that this is a soccer-crazy place. I was in Iguazu when Boca was playing Milan in the Intercontinental Cup and the bar room of the Sheraton was super-packed.
You can visit the Boca juniors stadium in La Boca and collect souviniers and jerseys.
You cannot stay in Argentina without someone asking you about Diego Maradona, Argentina's greatest player and perhaps the best of all time (heavily disputed with some guy called Pele).
Catch a Boca Juniors, River Plate, or if your lucky a national game while in Buenos Aires. Just make sure you where the right color when you go.
You can certainly gets tickets at the stadium. But if your spanish is bad and you are concerned about security, the best way to go is book through an agent. They can pick you up, take you to the game with other gringos, and then bring you back. I had my futbol experience with Tangol, a tour operator.
I don't think anything quite compares to seeing a Soccer match in Buenos Aires. The people of Argentina are incredibly pasionate about soccer, it is another form of religion. Game day is usually Sunday, although there are a few on sat and other special matches so check the schedule there. One thing I found different was each teams fans has a designated area for seating. After the match the visiting fans are given a head start of 15 minutes to exit the stadium, to avoid confrontations with the other fans. Now those are dedicated fans!!!
A fire was accidently started in the building next to my hotel due to the CRAZED FOOTBALL FANS! I arrived home to my hotel to find my travel mate in the street cuz she was concerned the fire would spread to our property. We smelled smoke in the hotel hallways and in the room. NOT a good feeling... but the fire was put out by the time we got home!