Buenos Aires does not really stop, but it seems to have been suspended, paralyzed, inert, as nothing would have been more important, as if the party were all, and not only in those 90 minutes of ecstasy, but the day before, three days before, four, in the last two weeks. In that antechamber, the bodies move in the streets with pain. The unknown looks with confidence. Colors grow from corner to corner, from neighborhood to neighborhood. The fans involved are courageous. The River Plate-Boca Juniors, which will be repeated on Saturday in the Copa Libertadores final (2-2), is not played: it is lived.
The classic is born on the narrowest streets of Caminito, the colorful sector in which Boca Juniors germinates and crosses the whole city through squares and parks, through cement or grass fields where children play to be professionals of the same teams; headed for Obelisc, where fans gather to release their holidays; It runs from Palermo to Recoleta; is installed with its legends in Corrientes libraries; It passes with its graffiti signs of San Telmo and descends to a level in Nunez, the River Plate neighborhood. Echoes come and go: on the one hand, he calls out that Boca is half plus one; on the other hand, they claim that the river is the largest.
Apparently, these fans embrace all fans in the country.
They are the most popular teams in Argentina, but they are so different. The river is called "Puii" because they lost a Copa Libertadores final against Peñarol in 1966, and on the Banfield field they threw saplings instead of paper slides. A Boca is called "Bosteros", which is linked to garbage, that is to bovine waste, associated with the brook adjacent to the La Boca neighborhood. The river is, in popular imagination, the most favored class team, not in vain they call them "millionaires". And, as millionaires, their fans see them as elegant and fragrant fans. For those in Boca, on the contrary, they are tied to folk classes, fighting without opulence. From these symbols, swellings are used to offend, although both have assumed to be theirs; "Chickens" are proud to be "Chicks" and "Bosteros" are proud to be "Bosteros".
Therefore, when River and Boca face each other, it is much more than a football game, it is the challenge of identity, of the culture itself. Gaining or losing directly affects those fans. This is what Claudio Mauri argues, argentinian journalist. He writes for La Nación. You know the idiosyncrasy of the classic. "This is a definition that changes the rhythm of life in the country. For fans of River and Boca there is an emotional impact that has never been experienced. The desire to win is as big and strong as the fear of losing. Not without reason, it is said that the rival's misfortune here is much more enjoyable than his triumph. The other fans of the other teams follow the morbidity of those who are viewers of a foreign drama.
Of course, the definition will mark a border, we will talk about one before and after, with indelible signs and ephemeris that will be remembered until night time, "says Mauri.
The desire to win is as big and strong as the fear of losing
A man notices that something is missing in Núñez – the River District -. The Monumental Stadium is missing. No more Was demolished many years ago … With this revelation begins the story of Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares – Esse est percipi – tells a moment when there are no stadiums, teams or real matches. Literature has not forgotten the importance of football for the Argentinians. No fan imagines today that there is neither Monumental nor La Bombonera. These stadiums are witnessing a good part of the country's culture. Monumental is a symbol of power; Imposing as the Roman Colosseum, it was remodeled during the Argentine dictatorship to host the 1978 World Cup. It is located in an elegant and elegant neighborhood with rich smells. At Bombonera, which has not been remodeled during the dictatorship and no venue of the World Cup, there is a stadium with other odors, the sweat of a passionate people. But it is a fortress where the stands are rubbed by grass: it is the soul of Boca. You have to be in those stadiums – which even if Borges and Casares mislead us – to believe that.
Roberto Fontanarrosa, the Argentine writer and cartoonist who was a furious fan of the center of Rosario, once visited the River's Stadium to see the classic and tell her in El Gráfico magazine: "It's hard to see from the audience. on the corridors and standing on the stalls I have to incorporate myself in my age for every attack of the river and the nerves Then I wonder why I am nervous if I am a central fan It's hard not to be There is an electric charge in These energies that energize and tighten, whether the party is good, bad or regular … "he wrote.
European classics are fascinated, paralyze the world with their stars and their economic power. Argentine classic is something else, passion, rivalry. Juan Villoro, the Mexican writer, thinks of him. "In 1974, when I went to the River Stadium, a gentleman heard the accent and asked me whether it is true that in Mexico the fan of a team like River could stand next to a fan of a bostero (as I say to the fans from Boca). I said yes. – And do not they kill each other? He inquired with interest. I explained that, at least for that, I was peaceful. His answer was fulminant: "But what degenerates!" Villoro told Soho.
This rivalry is said by another non-Argentinean writer, the Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano, in a paragraph that can be understood as fiction or perhaps not. "I think it was Osvaldo Soriano who told me the story of the death of a Boca Juniors fan in Buenos Aires. He spent his whole life hating the River Plate club, but right on the bed of agony he asked to be wrapped up with the enemy flag, so he managed to celebrate the last blow: "To die one of them."
The river and Boca are distributed to famous fans. Argentina's best football player, Diego Maradona, has made a career in La Bombonera's boxes. President of the nation, Mauricio Macri, was the president of the same team. An icon of Argentine and Latin American rock, such as Charly García, is a confessed supporter of the river, also "Flaco" Spinetta. A lot of music moves.
We hope that this game will help us understand football without too much drama
The pieces of paper fall like rain and stroke the bodies of those warriors who, in court, cry out, growls, keep as if from that game and every game, life depended. Some are dressed in white and with a red armor that protects the chest; opponents wear blue and gold armor, unparalleled, without any doubt. Both rivals know each other in the heart. They have been challenged for years: they smell, decode, provoke themselves, look at one another with dislike, but can not live without one another.
River Plate and Boca Juniors are needed to unleash this passion.
However, for some, that game, which may be the most important thing that football can offer to some Argentinians, should not go to excess, to drama. Juanky Jurado is a journalist for the Fox Sports channel. It has the classic look. "River Boca is very important, especially in a country crossed by football, because here people really enjoy the most popular sport in our country. It is the most beloved sport, the most beloved and the one that makes us we come out of the harsh reality, we have economic, political, cultural, social and football problems is our joy.
But I must not stop understanding that it is a football game, that one will win, and the other one to lose, it will not be worse. The next day, fans will go to work, pay taxes, take their children to school. I hope that this game helps us understand football without such a big drama, "he says.
But some fans do not see it like that. For them the drama will or will not be. Gabriel Ruggiero Silva is Argentinian. 29-year-old Belgrano in Buenos Aires. He did not sleep for two weeks. If he falls asleep, he says, he has nightmares: that Boca goes around the Olympics in Monumental. Try not to close your eyes. "If the river will win, I'm sure my family, who is from Boca, will block me from networks, because from here, up to a year, I will celebrate, screaming every day. If I lose, I have to leave the country, look for work outside, I never follow football. When he has children, they will not be from the river because they would fuck their whole life. This game is more important than a final of the world with Argentina. "
On the other hand, the pain is not minor. Lucas Oliveto lives in Villa Ballester, Buenos Aires province. He is 23 years old. He has already seen Boca champion, but this match does not compare to any one. "For a Boca fan, this match is the whole history of the club." I'm going to live with my friends with a lot of nerves. Also, says Vanessa Reyes, Argentina, fan Boca. She lives in the city of Hurlingham, in Greater Buenos Aires. "There are more important things, of course, but here, football is something that has no explanation. I do not see the time to play the game, we have great players and we have to believe that Boca can win. I will see him with my father, who is a fan of the river. We are very impatient, "says Vanessa, and her voice does not hide those nerves that should have your father and fans in the world. This game is spoken in French, English, Japanese … The classic is universal .
River-Boca is culture, sports, art, passion … it's the life of a country! And in a final of Copa Libertadores, as this Saturday, everything is at the extreme. Fans say this and do not exaggerate.