Living the South American football experience is like being immersed in one of the most thrilling experiences this continent has to offer. If you like sport tourism, are a football fan or want to get to the heart of South American culture, then this article is just what you need.
Discover the best derbies in South America (First Leagues), the dates of the next games and some useful tips in order to go and celebrate amongst the “hinchas” (South American football fans) in the stadium.
Superclasico Boca vs River in Argentina
The Superclásico of Argentina - one of the most famous throughout the world - is the game between the Club Atlético Boca Juniors and the Club Atlético River Plate. Boca plays at “La Bombonera” and has achieved a lot since its creation: they won the record of consecutive years played in the Premier League and 66 official titles in national and international championships. As for River's stadium, it is called “El Monumental” and is the biggest in Argentina. River has won 63 official titles and won more games in the Argentine First Division than any other club.
The two teams come from the same neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, "La Boca", and their rivalry began at the beginning of the twentieth century. From the very beginning the competition between the two teams was so tight that they became legendary rivals making this superclasico a totally unique experience. It is so popular that The Telegraph - on May 2016 - ranked River and Boca first in their list of 25 biggest club rivalries in the world.
Even during the summer, Boca and River play each other in a superclasico in the “Torneo de Verano” (Summer championship) in Mar del Plata, a traditional summer holiday destination for Argentinians. You cannot survive an entire summer without football!
Travelling tip: Be prepared as in Argentina, football is a complicated event, especially at La Bombonera. It can be very difficult to buy tickets for the games and it can be tricky entering and finding your way around the stadium.
Next Boca-River game: Sunday, 14th May of 2017 at La Bombonera
Buy your tickets for the Superclasico Boca vs River with Bsas4u
Uruguayan Clasico Nacional vs Peñarol
Uruguay's superclasico is between Club Nacional de Football and Club Atlético Peñarol. If you go to the Gran Parque Central - Nacional's stadium - and Campeón del Siglo - Peñarol's home stadium - you will instantly become part of their colourfull celebration, stood amongst the “hinchas” euphorically singing throughout the game. Nacional has won 155 official national and international titles while Peñarol is considered Best Continental Club of the XXth Century in South America by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
The rivalry between these two legendary teams dates back to the creation of the two clubs in the late XIXth century. Peñarol players were initially immigrants from England whereas Nacional players were exclusively Creole (born in South America). This superclasico derby is considered the oldest rivalry in the world - excluding the United Kingdom - and usually takes places in the magnificent Estadio Centenario, known for hosting the first World Cup in 1930.
Of the 528 clasicos played between Peñarol and Nacional, Peñarol has won more so far.
Travelling tip: If you coming from abroad, you should book a football tour with tickets and transport to the stadium included. This way you can be guided by a local company and peacefully enjoy your football experience.
Next game: Nacional - Peñarol, Wednesday, 5th April of 2017 in the Estadio Centenario.
Buy your tickets here for football games in Montevideo - Uruguay4u
Fla-Flu Derbie or Flamengo vs Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro
The rivalrly between Rio's Clube de Regatas do Flamengo and Fluminense Football Club, is commonly known as Fla-Flu. Fla-Flu is how this Rio de Janeiro clasico is commonly called. Every game is a true national event and every “hincha” gets as emotional as if that game were their last.
The rivalry between Flamengo and Fluminense dates back to 1911 when some Fluminense's players abandoned the club and joined Flamengo. However, some Brazilians football experts claim that this is a social class rivalry: Fluminense is considered a football club from the high class whereas the fans of Flamengo are considered as being part of the popular classes.
The clasico Fla-Flu was played the 2nd of April and ended with a tie (1-1)
Buy here your tickets for football tours in Rio de Janeiro - Rdj4u
Atlético Nacional vs Millonarios Derbie en Colombia
Of all the South American derbies described so far, the one between the Azul & Blanco Millonarios Fútbol Club S. A. and the Atlético Nacional S.A is the most recent. The others originate back to the late XIXth century or the early XXth whereas the rivalry between Millonarios and Nacional began in the 1980’s.
The antagonism began with Ricardo “Chico” Pérez, who first signed for Millonarios and then, only a few days later, for Nacional. If this triggered the rivalry, the quality of both clubs on the “cancha” (field) is what turned this game into a true South American superclasico derby. So far, Millonarios won 102 clasicos and Nacional 75; there were 75 ties.
Next game: Nacional - Millonarios, Friday, 7th of April of 2017 in the Estadio El Campín de Bogotá.
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Tips for going to a stadium in South America
- Buy your tickets from registered agencies or a package deal with transport and guide included from tourism agencies. This might result in being more expensive, but this is the only way to be sure you can safely see the game without having to worry.
- Wear comfortable clothes and leave all unnecessary valuables at the hotel. You can take a camera to the stadium, but it should be small enough to go unnoticed.
- Going with a group is always better. First of all, because clasico is best celebrated among friends, but also for safety reasons. Going with a group will enable you to look after one another and to be more organised when you enter or exit the stadium.
- Every Football clasico is a celebration, so behave respectfully to avoid any kind of violence. Even though the famous “barras bravas” (organised groups of supporters of football teams in Latin America) are there, everyone inspires be part of an amazing spectacle without any confrontation. Celebrate, sing and enjoy the euphoria of football in South America.
Be the first protagonist in this passionate experience that is football in South America and go to the stadiums of the most important teams of the continent. Ask our support team all the information you need to enjoy this experience. Our experts will be ready to answer all your questions. You do not have any excuse to have authentic experiences during your vacation in South America!
By: Keilma Rojas, Venezuelan journalist, specialised in culture and actuality. Writer in Spanish for Daytours4u