That’s a photo from my seat in the Bombonera stadium, home of the Boca Juniors Athletic Club, probably the most popular club in Argentina. In fact, if you’ve heard of any Argentine soccer teams, you probably know Boca.
But this wasn’t just any Boca game. This was the game. The kind of event that shuts down the city, as people pour into bars and cafes and just about anywhere that has a TV. They were playing against their cross-town rivals, River Plate, the 2nd most popular team in the country. Locura.
This soccer game is on some newspaper’s list of the top 50 sporting events to see in your lifetime. It deserves the spot. There’s just nothing like being together with thousands of frenzied hinchadas de Boca. When Boca scored its first goal en route to a 2-0 victory, the stadium absolutely rocked. Strangers hugging, people climbing up and standing on top of barbed wire fences, deafening cheers.
This was my first trip to see Argentine soccer live in the stadium. It was hard waiting it out, saving up for the 600 peso ticket (normally 1/4 of that or less), but, wow, it was worth it. Quite an experience.
Thanks to Phoebe for letting me use her photo.