Top: Boca vs River at La Bombonera
Below: River vs Boca at El Monumental
|City or region||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|First contested||24 August 1913|
|Teams involved||Boca Juniors, River Plate|
|Most wins||Boca Juniors (118 wins)|
|Most player appearances||Reinaldo Merlo (42 matches)|
Superclásico is the name used to describe the football match in Argentina between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. It derives from the Spanish usage of "clásico" to mean derby, with the prefix "super" used as the two clubs are the most popular and successful clubs in Argentine football. According to some statistics, commandeering more than 70% of all Argentine football fans between them,[dead link] with Boca claiming 40% and River 32%.
The Superclásico is known worldwide as one of the fiercest and most important derbies. In April 2004, the English newspaper The Observer put the Superclásico at the top of their list of "50 sporting things you must do before you die", saying that "Derby day in Buenos Aires makes the Old Firm game look like a primary school kick-about."
Origins and background
The two clubs both have origins in La Boca, the working class dockland area of Buenos Aires, with River being founded in 1901 and Boca in 1905. However, River moved to the affluent district of Núñez in the north of the city in 1925. Since then Boca Juniors has been 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. Boca fans are actually known as Xeneizes (Genoese). By contrast, River Plate became known by the nickname, Los Millonarios (The Millionaires), with a supposedly upper-class support base. Both clubs do though have supporters from all social classes.
The first ever recorded Superclásico was a friendly played on 2 August 1908, when Boca prevailed 2-1. The first official match was played on 24 August 1913, with River winning 2-1.
The Superclásico is particularly noted for the passion of the fans, with what the BBC describe as "a sea of colourful flowing banners, screams and roars, chanting, dancing and never-ending fireworks." Both sets of supporters sing passionate chants aimed at their rivals, often based on popular Argentine rock band tunes. Each stadium, Boca's La Bombonera and River's El Monumental are known to bounce with the simultaneous jumping of the fans. At times the matches have been known to end in fights between the violent factions on both sides or with the police.[dead link]
Boca fans refer to River supporters as gallinas (chickens) claiming the lack of guts of River fans and players. Despite the fact that their club traces back its roots to La Boca, River fans refer to their Boca rivals as los chanchitos (little pigs) because they claim their stadium, located in the less affluent La Boca area, smells most of the time, as well as bosteros (manure collectors) a reference to the smell of a polluted river in La Boca. Another infamous slur, coined in the late 1990s over remarks of Boca's forward Diego Latorre, is to brand Boca Juniors as "The Cabaret", due to the alleged aspiration of some players to steal the limelight.
The rivalry between the two clubs can also affect players, particularly those who are transferred between the two clubs. Cataldo Spitale was the first to make the change, when he left Boca to sign for River in 1933. Oscar Ruggeri, who moved to River from Boca in 1985 said, "It's not easy I can tell you. One side looks on you as a traitor and the other doesn't really trust you. You need time to adapt and a lot of character to win people over." Some players have gone so far as to state that they would not play for the other club such as River's Uruguayan player Enzo Francescoli while Diego Maradona during his time playing for Argentinos Juniors, refused to even consider a move to El Monumental, stating that his dream was to play for Boca.
Puerta 12 tragedy
On 23 June 1968 in El Monumental after a match between the two teams 71 fans were killed in a crush at gate 12 and 150 fans injured. The disaster was the worst football related incident in the history of Argentine football and the majority of the dead were teenagers and young adults. The average age of the victims was 19.
There are various claims as to what exactly happened that day. Some claim that the disaster happened after Boca Juniors fans threw burning River flags from the upper tiers of the stadium, causing a stampede of their own fans in the lower tier.
Others claim that it happened after River fans arrived at the Boca section, causing the stampede of the visiting fans. Yet others claim that gate 12 was locked, or would not open at the time, and that the fans at the back did not hear the ones at the front telling them to stop coming out. William Kent, River's former president, claimed that the police were the culprits, as they began repressing Boca fans after they had thrown urine at them from the stands. Some witnesses claim that the turnstiles to the exit were blocked by a huge iron pole.
After three years of investigation a government enquiry found no-one guilty, much to the disappointment of the families of the victims. Since the tragedy, the gates at El Monumental have been identified by letters instead of numbers.
Head to Head
Match record as of October 25, 2009
|Friendlies & other||104||39||33||32|
- Source: ESPN Deportes statistics
|Carlos Manuel Morete||9||River|
|Hugo Alberto Curioni||7||Boca|
- Asterisk denotes player is still active
|Boca 6-0 River||23 December 1928|
|River 5-1 Boca||19 October 1941|
|River 4-0 Boca||19 July 1942|
|River 0-4 Boca||17 August 1955|
|Boca 5-1 River||19 May 1959|
|River 1-5 Boca||7 March 1982|
Highest scoring games
|River 5-4 Boca||15 October 1972|
|River 5-3 Boca||24 November 1957|
|Boca 5-2 River||27 June 1973|
|Boca 5-2 River||3 February 1974|
|Boca 2-5 River||2 March 1980|
|Boca 4-3 River||27 February 1991|
Players to have played for both clubs
Please note - this is a non-exhaustive list of players to have played for both clubs
River's greatest moments
- August 13, 1913: River won the first official Superclásico 2-1.
- October 19, 1941: The River team of the 1940s known as "La Máquina" beat Boca 5-1, their biggest win over Boca, on their way to the Argentine championship.
- July 19, 1942: River won 4-0, equalling their biggest win over Boca.
- February 10, 1966: River won 2-1 at El Monumental in the first ever meeting of the clubs in international competition.
- October 15, 1972: River came back from 4-2 down to win 5-4 in the highest scoring Superclásico in history.
- November 9, 1977: River came back from 1-0 down in La Bombonera to win 2-1 with a last minute goal from a 40 meters dash of Pedro Alexis Gonzalez, securing River's top position in the 1977 Metropolitano championship, which they won in the next round.
- April 6, 1986: In a game remembered for the fact that it was played with an orange ball, River won 2-0 at La Bombonera right after winning the 1985–86 championship.
- July 27, 1989: River won 2-1 the requalifying final of the 1989 Liguilla pre-Libertadores preventing Boca's qualification for Copa Libertadores 1990.
- December 11, 1994: River won 3-0 at La Bombonera, clinching the 1994 Apertura.
- March 23, 1997: River came back from 3-0 at El Monumental to draw 3-3 costing Boca a famous win.
- March 10, 2002: River won 3-0 at La Bombonera on their way to win the 2002 Clausura.
- May 16, 2004: River won 1-0 a decisive match at La Bombonera with a goal from Fernando Cavenaghi, paving the way to win the 2004 Clausura.
- October 8, 2006: River beat Boca 3-1 at El Monumental, breaking a 22 matches record without defeats.
- October 7, 2007: River won 2-0 at home to prevent Boca from going top of the table and damaged their chances of winning the 2007 Apertura.
Boca's greatest moments
- August 2, 1908: Boca won the first Superclásico ever 2-1.
- May 19, 1959: After 18 years Boca avenged their 5-1 defeat by River with a 5-1 win at La Bombonera with two goals from Jose Yudica.
- December 9, 1962: Boca defeated River 1-0 at La Bombonera to secure the top position of 1962 championship, which they won in the next round.
- February 3, 1974: Carlos García Cambón scored four goals on his Boca debut in a 5-2 win, the most goals scored by a single player in the Superclásico. It was also Boca's second successive 5-2 win.
- December 22, 1976: Boca won the first ever final between the two clubs 1-0 to claim the 1976 Nacional.
- April 10, 1981: Boca won 3-0 on their way to winning the 1981 Metropolitano championship.
- March 7, 1982: Boca won 5-1 at El Monumental, in the 1982 Nacional championship, the biggest away win in the history of the Superclásico.
- March 31, 1991: Boca won its fifth consecutive derby of the year 1-0 at La Bombonera.
- July 14, 1996: Claudio Caniggia scored a hat-trick to help Boca win 4-1 at La Bombonera, barely a month after River won Copa Libertadores.
- May 24, 2000: Having lost the first leg of the 2000 Copa Libertadores quarter-final 2-1 at El Monumental, Boca won 3-0 at home to progress to the semi-final and later go on to win the competition. Boca's third goal was scored by substitute Martín Palermo after a six-month injury.
- November 9, 2003: Boca, then Championships of Copa Libertadores 2003 won 2-0 at El Monumental with goals scored by Brazilian striker Iarley and Sebastián Battaglia.
- June 17, 2004: Having won the first leg of the 2004 Copa Libertadores semi-final 1-0 at La Bombonera, Boca went to El Monumental, where River scored first. With just five minutes left Carlos Tévez scored to level the score 1-1 and so give Boca a 2-1 aggregate lead. However, a last-minute goal by Cristián Nasuti for River took the match to penalties. Boca then won the penalty shootout 5-4.
- ↑ "Argentine football statistics" (PDF). consultoraequis.com. http://www.consultoraequis.com/Estudios_PDF/futbol_marzo06_.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "La Doce, Los Borrac del Tablon". footballderbies.com. http://www.footballderbies.com/fans/index.php?id=34. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Boca Juniors v River Plate". bbc.co.uk. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/football/features/newsid_2297000/2297495.stm. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Hamilton, Gavin (4 April 2004). "50 sporting things you must do before you die". The Observer. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,6903,1182710,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Periódico para todos
- ↑ "Marca America article about the violence" (in Spanish). marca.com. http://www.marca.com/marca_america/argentina/clausura01/violencia.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Latorre comparó al plantel de Boca con un cabaret (Spanish)
- ↑ "Crossing the Superclasico divide". FIFA. 17 October 2008. http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=916996.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ "disasters". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 18 October 1996. http://www.rsssf.com/rssbest/disasters.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Prieto, Carlos; Andres Burg (27 June 2000). "Puerta 12: Memorias del horror" (in Spanish). Clarin. http://www.clarin.com/diario/2000/06/27/d-04201.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Prieto, Carlos (7 October 2006). "Puerta 12, horror de película" (in Spanish). Clarin. http://www.clarin.com/diario/2006/10/07/deportes/d-08005.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- ↑ Scandolo, Ramiro (22 December 2006). ""Ganamos la final más importante"" (in Spanish). Olé. http://www.ole.clarin.com/notas/2006/12/22/01332343.html. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- El Superclásico.com
- Superclásico at footballderbies.com
- (Spanish) ESPN Deportes statistics
- (Spanish) Boca-River in FIFA Magazine
- (English) Super-classic! An inside look at one of the game's most wild rivalries http://www.southamericanfutbol.com