Sunday, June 6, 2010
One of the things that makes every championship more interesting are derbies and big rivalries.
Without a doubt the biggest in Argentina is the Super Derby between Boca and River.
The two teams with most fans in the country have a worldwide known rivalry and the country stops every time they meet. This derby was born almost 100 years ago because both were established in the "La Boca" neighborhood of Buenos Aires. River later moved far from there, to Nuñez, on the other side of the city, but the rivalry kept growing.
While all games between the 'Big 5' (Boca, River, San Lorenzo, Independiente and Racing) are considered derbies, Independiente and Racing have another huge rivalry, with their 45-50k fans stadiums separated by only 2 blocks in the Avellaneda area, just outside Buenos Aires.
San Lorenzo is the odd team of the 'Big 5' as their biggest rival, Huracan, is outside of this group. This rivalry is also caused because both teams are from very close neighborhoods and it's still a big one although there's a big difference between them in championships (10 to 1) and fans.
San Lorenzo has also a rising rivalry with Velez Sarsfield in the last 20 years because of the success of Velez.
One of the big missings for next season will be the Rosario derby between Newell's and Rosario Central because the last one was relegated to 2nd division 2 weeks ago.
Football in this city, 300 km from Buenos Aires, is a religion, and the almost 2 million habitants are divided between this two teams (there are also other very small clubs from lower divisions) making it one of the most violent derbies in the country.
Another huge rivalry from outside Buenos Aires is the La Plata (50 kms from Buenos Aires, 600.000 habitants) derby between Estudiantes and Gimnasia.
Estudiantes with 4 championships and 4 Copa Libertadores has been much more succesfull than its rival, who never won a championship since profesionalism started in 1931, but this is still a big derby with La Plata city habitants divided between this two teams.
Banfield, Lanus and the newly promoted Quilmes are all clubs from the south of the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires and games between them are derbies and must win games for this teams.
Argentinos Juniors and All Boys, also Buenos Aires teams and with their stadiums 20 blocks from each other will meet again next season after All Boys spent 30 years in lower divisions.