We’re about to witness something that many just dreamt of for years; Boca Juniors and River Plate are playing for the first time a final of Copa Libertadores between them. The first match of the two-legged tie was suspended yesterday due to very heavy rain in Buenos Aires, but was rescheduled for today at 16:00 hours local time. The fixture will be played at ‘La Bombonera’, Boca’s mythical venue where the stadium doesn’t vibrate when the people jump, it “beats” like a human heart. The second match is going to be played on the 24th of November at ‘El Monumental’, the stadium with a capacity of 75,000 people where River is going to play as the local team.
Gallardo vs. Barros Schelotto, two coaches that long for the eternal glory more than anything; ‘Los borrachos del tablón’ vs. ‘La 12’, two legendary ‘barras’ that are going to root for their respective teams during 180 minutes; Armani vs Benedetto, a magnificent goalkeeper that has the sole objective of stopping the lethal striker of Boca Juniors. As you can see, duels are all over the place, making it a match without precedents that will divide the history of both teams and Argentinian football forever.
Two very different teams
Boca and River are both from Buenos Aires and speak for two very different ideas. On one side, Boca tends to represent ‘the people’, while River Plate is nicknamed ‘Los Millonarios’ because their fans were considered to be the wealthy of the city many years ago. Now, both teams not just divide the capital of Argentina, but the entire country. The majority is said to support Boca, but River has an enormous amount of people backing them with an amazing statistic: River Plate is the team with the biggest fanbase subscribed to the club in America: 146.000 fans.
The biggest from every perspective
River has more titles at a domestic level, while Boca Juniors is a better international side. River has won 36 national leagues (record), while Boca Juniors 33. On the other hand, Boca Juniors has 6 Copa Libertadores, which is the biggest tournament in South America, while River has 3 (with the last one being won on 2015).
When we talk specifically about the teams, here are some facts. Boca Juniors has a positive record against almost every team in Argentina and the world, including teams like Real Madrid, Inter, AC Milan and Peñarol. Besides, Boca Juniors is the only team that has conquered twice the ‘triple crown’: Local tournament, Libertadores and the Intercontinental cup (in 2000 and 2003).
On the other side, River Plate is the team with the biggest amount of local titles, including cups: 47. ‘Los Millonarios’ have also the record of being the team that has disputed more leagues in the first tier (106). Last, but not least, this is the Argentinian club that has played the greatest number of times the Copa Libertadores (33 times).
As it can be seen, we’re talking about the two greatest. Now, the historical result between them favors Boca Juniors. After playing 368 matches, the ‘Xeneize’ has won 134 matches and River Plate just 119. Despite this, the last 4 matches played between them display more equality with two victories for each side, showing how similar is their level on the field.
It is time to enjoy this historical match, where both teams will leave everything on the field and will display guts, heart and a lot of football. It is time for, maybe, the biggest clash in the history of Argentinian and South American football.