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Boca Juniors

I got the chance to attend a Boca Juniors game last week and it was simply amazing. Before coming to Argentina, I told myself that one thing that I had to do while there was go see a Boca game. Boca Juniors is one of the most popular domestic soccer teams in the country and the world. Its followers are ardent, proud, and live and die with the team. The team is most associated with the lower class and common people. 

I went with some friends to the first leg of the Recopa Sudamerica Cup which had Boca Juniors facing its rival, Arsenal from neighboring province of Avellaneda. It was a great cultural event. First, getting to the stadium was an experience in itself. The match was in a semi-dangerous area part of town and not knowing at all where we were going, we depended solely on following rowdy, yelling fans. As we descended with the crowd of people from the bus, police stopped us to ask who we were going to cheer for. The obvious answer was Boca. The police directed us to a particular part of the stadium and told us not to venture away from this side. We realized that this was because opposing fans don’t mix for security reasons. We bought tickets and excitedly entered the stadium (Racing Club’s stadium).

As we entered the stadium, a load roar of cheers and yells filled our ears. There were no seats we just found a little tiny space to stand, squished in between people, and began to enjoy the game. The stadium itself was amazing. The field was almost on a platform as it was surrounded by a moat and an electrical fence to prevent fans from running on the field. The crowd was nothing like any crowd one could find in the U.S. For the entire game, during halftime as well, the people were united in chants and songs and it never ceased. People young and old all knew the chants and they sang and chanted united as one. It was unbelievable being in the stadium, moving, screaming, chanting, and singing as one with the crowd. There were perhaps 10,000 fans at most, but they made 5 times as much noise than 40,000 would in a game in the U.S. It was simply incredible.  


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