THE SOUTHERN AMERICAN SERIES PT2
ESTADIO MONUMENTAL ANTONIO VESPUCIO LIBERTI, BUENOS AIRES – PARAGUAY
As a huge fan of football I would be happy to watch anyone. I’ve been to some great derbies in the UK but in South America they take it to the next level. Even their 2nd, 3rd and 4th level derbies have probably the best atmosphere you would ever experience.
THEY NO LONGER ALLOW AWAY FANS IN THE STADIUM
So when I was planning my South American Series I put the Boca Juniors v River Plate close to the top of my to do list and I almost organized my whole trip around it.
WHERE IS ESTADIO MONUMENTAL?
The biggest derby in the world.
When planning a trip I always start with a concrete date or an event that is a must do for me, e.g. for my first Asia trip it was the New Years Full Moon Party LINK. The event could be at the start or the end but it gives me a starting point and everything is arranged to suit that to make sure I don’t miss it.
This game was no different but it had one problem. It was scheduled for before Xmas and I wanted to be in Rio for Xmas and then BA for New Year. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice either so I flew into BA purposely for the match and flew back to Rio straight after. I’d then return to BA after Xmas, not cheap but nothing is around this time of year!
I stayed at Milhouse Hipo, a highly commended recommendation I got from a friend in central America. Not only does it offer pretty much everything you’d need but it also arranges everything for the match.
Apart from emailing them a few weeks in advance to ensure they had tickets I didn’t need to lift a finger, everything was done, tickets, transport and a guide. We even had a vendor come onto the bus selling cheap River jerseys, not authentic but I’m only going to wear it once.
GET THERE EARLY
The whole day isn’t cheap, after all it is the fiercest derby in the world. If you plan to do it yourself to maybe save some dollar then I would highly recommend to get to the stadium early. This match only happens twice a year so fans tend to hang around the stadium early to make the most out of it.
Seats aren’t allocated so it’s a good idea to get into the stadium at least an hour before it kicks off. We arrived 2 hours before kick off and even then we could see fans sitting on the fences. Only the ultras can arrive when the game starts and expect their seats to be available.
Another note is the alcohol laws, there isn’t a problem drinking on the streets around the stadium, in fact there are vendors every 10metres but you will be searched getting in and no alcohol can be bought inside. I didn’t know this so would have sank a few more beers before heading hand.
The fans treat the whole build up as more of a party rather than a football match. The decoration that is put up inside is incredible. Banners spanning from the back of the stand to the pitch in the colours of the hosts along with mosaics, smoke bombs and fireworks, its more akin to Rio Carnival than a football match. You immediately start to participate in the carnival of singing and jumping, getting completely lost in the moment even though you can’t speak or sing a word of Spanish!!
The match has plenty of dark history, countless matches have been postponed and cancelled due to pitch invasions, missiles being thrown and players being attacked. It should also come to no surprise that there is no away support allowed into The Superclasico.
The match was good, we had plenty of goals and Tevez was playing for Boca which was interesting. The match ended up 4-2 to Boca with River Plate starting well but you could see they were never going to compete during the 90.
I wasn’t there as a supporter of River but more so as a fan of football. You can see they take the entire day as almost like a national holiday. I’m not sure many were worried about the score and more making some noise and enjoying the occasion!
It’s more a dream of mine to return and this time see the match from the La Bombonera, Boca Juniors stadium. Another level again.
Whether you are a fan of football or a fan of great experiences I would suggest you seriously look into this. It can be a bit much to fly to BA just for this but there is an endless list of things to do in this part of the world, go and try it!
Back up north to Rio and Paraty to nearly lose my head on a boat party. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Would this interest you?
- Have you been to this match?
- What is the best derby in your country?
Let me know in the comments below . . .