Guide to Football in Argentina
Football is closer to a religion than a sport in Argentina, and you'll be hard-pressed to find many Argentinians who don't have a fervent interest in the game. Domestic matches are passionate and lively affairs, and international matches are always keenly contested, particularly against old rivals like Brazil. Buenos Aires is the obvious place to catch a game, but the capital doesn't have a monopoly on the big teams, so if you want to maximise your bragging rights, you could always take in a few different football games during your holiday.
Club Football in Argentina
Buenos Aires' super-clasico between Boca Juniors and River Plate is one of the most famous matches in world football, and the sheer venom of the rivalry between the two clubs is difficult to explain to a neutral. Rangers vs Celtic in Scotland is probably up there, but none of the English derbies even come close to the visceral hatred the two clubs have for each other. River are known as "Los Millionarios" and supporters are traditionally from middle-class backgrounds in the north of the city, while Boca are seen as the people's team and traditionally fans are more working-class, while the team's famous Bombonera stadium is in the heart of the dockside Boca district. In practice, of course, lines aren't quite so easily drawn and you'll find a big mix of fans on both sides, although both will be equally passionate and vocal.
It does have to be said that football in Argentina has been blighted by hooliganism for many years, and the super-clasico in particular is a flashpoint. However, on organised trips to the match (and in the nicer seats) there aren't any problems and you have no reason to worry. However, any football match in Argentina offers great atmosphere in the stands and some good football on the pitch, so a trip to see one of the other historic Buenos Aires clubs like Racing or Velez Sarsfeld is also a fantastic experience.
Outside Buenos Aires
You also shouldn't ignore the chance to watch some football in Argentina outside of the capital. Clubs like Estudiantes from La Plata have been league champions in recent years; Newell's Old Boys from Rosario are arguably the biggest club apart from River or Boca; and in other regional cities, clubs like Godoy Cruz from Mendoza and Belgrano from Cordoba have been increasingly successful over the past few seasons and are probably better sides at the moment than many of the more historic teams from the capital.
We are delighted to help arrange tickets to watch football in Argentina, but the schedule can often be re-arranged at the last minute, so we find the best approach is just to leave some free days in your holiday itinerary and then we can try and fit in a game while you're actually in Argentina.
Of course, Argentinians are also big rugby and polo fans as well, so if you'd like to take in some other sporting events while you're in Argentina then just let us know.