Argentina is among the countries with the best football worldwide. The game is admired for its technical richness, making the greatest teams in European constantly keep an eye on the local Argentinean players standing out in local championships. Two of the most important football clubs are Boca and River. They stand out for their long history and the great amount of fans that support these two clubs both based in the city of Buenos Aires.
In the year 2004 the football match between these two great teams in Argentina was ranked by a English newspaper, "The Observer," as Number 1 in a Top 50 list of international events that any fan of the sport should witness at least once in their lifetime.
Boca Juniors - Half Plus One
On April 3rd, 1905, five young Italians from "La Boca," a neighborhood in the south of the city of Buenos Aires, gathered together with the idea of funding a football club. The majority of the founders were from Genoa, Italy, and Xeneizes, as the club's fans are referred to today, means Genoese in their local dialect.
During the team's first two years of existence, they used a few different designs for their shirt. The first was pink, the second black and white. But it was in the year 1907 that the now so popular blue and yellow colors where adopted, taken from the flag of a Swedish ship anchored at the harbor of Buenos Aires.
The reason that the colors of their football shirts were changed was because Nottingham de Almagro, another football club, used a very similar shirt, and it was very confusing for the players during their encounters. In 1906 the two teams squared it off in a match where the winner would get to keep their original design. As you can imagine, Boca lost the match and had to come up with a design for their shirts.
But the now so famous shirt (blue with a horizontal yellow stripe in the middle) wasn´t the first design combining the two colors. In 1907 the team started out with a blue shirt with a yellow diagonal stripe going from the right shoulder to the bottom left side, or in some cases from top left to bottom right. This conflict occurred because each played had to sew his own yellow stripe, causing some disagreement as to which way was best. This Uniform was used until 1912.
Their stadium was built in 1923, when a terrain in Brandsen and Del Crucero was rented. Some wooden tribunes where constructed, and it was officially inaugurated on May 25th of 1940, coming to be known as the Stadium "La Bombonera." The construction was completed in 1953 and was later remodeled in 1996, with a capacity for up to 57.395 people.
In 2005 the Fiesta del Centenario Xeneize (Celebration of the Xeneize Century) took place in the Boca teams stadium. Before the great celebration, a torch went around the country for a year, gathering the followers of this great team.
River Plate - The Millionaires
River Plate football club was founded on May 25th of the year 1901. Legend has it that as the "dam 3" of the Southern Dock was being constructed, one of the young founders of the club saw a number sailors arranging huge boxes to play some football on their break. On the boxes he read the inscription "The River Plate."
The red stripe that defines the team's shirt is said to have been robbed from a chariot seen a carnival night. The stripe's purpose was to give the shirt some color, since before that it had been only white.
The Millonarios (Millionaires) is how fans of the club are known. This nickname originated between the years 1931 and 1932 due to the high prices that had to be paid when purchasing a player during those years. Their opponents, on the other hand, call them gallinas (chickens or hens). This not very nice nickname was adopted after River Plate lost a game 4-2 against Peñarol de Montevideo, after it had started with River leading with 2-0. In the year 1934 the terrain intended for the construction of their stadium where bought in the Nuñez neighborhood, where the stadium still stands. On May 25th, 1938, the stadium was inaugurated and it was called "Monumental". The following day the opening match between River and Peñarol took place.
In 1978, several matches of the World Cup took place in the stadium. In that championship Argentina came out as the winner. With a capacity for 65.645 people, the stadium Monumental is the official field for Argentina´s National Team.