A Moment in Buenos Aires: Derby Day
After a great second day full of great experiences in Buenos Aires, it was time for another exciting day. On Sunday, it was time for the match we all looked forward to the most: the intense derby between Huracan v San Lorenzo. After an early breakfast, we traveled with the group straight to the Huracan HQ to meet up with one of the club directors, Alejandro, at Huracan.
In Argentina, there’s a policy that you cannot attend a match without a membership. For some matches and clubs, it’s extremely difficult to get them. Ivan from Homefans has been in touch with Huracán to arrange a membership for everyone. There was a big line of fans, who were waiting to pick up their tickets for this match. Luckily Homefans had the arrangements with Alejandro and everyone also received a scarf as a gift from the club. After we got our membership, Alejandro took us around the neighborhood and ultimately to Estadio Tomas Adolfo Duco.
All the streets around the stadium were packed with Huracan fans enjoying a beer and BBQ before the match, all dressed in Huracan colors. Once we arrived at the stadium, there was a great atmosphere and vibe before the match. The stadium is very old and authentic, they still even have seats made of stone in this stadium! Once we got into the stands, we spoke with some local Huracan fans about this match and their club. They all appreciated that we traveled all the way from Europe to watch Fútbol in Argentina, especially because Huracan is not a very well known club around the world.
Huracan v San Lorenzo
Before the match, there was a big tifo from the ultras of Huracan in the corner of the stadium and some pyro to welcome their biggest rival. For the record, there are no away fans allowed in any stadium in Argentina. Once the match started, the quality of football was not high, a lot of fouls and of course a very bad referee. Despite this, fans kept singing, shouting and made a big party in the stadium from the first minute till the last minute of the match. The noise was incredible during the match when the whole stadium started to sing and jump to make fun of San Lorenzo. Just before half-time, Huracan scored the first goal, and like everywhere: the celebrations are crazy in Argentina!
In the second half, the quality of playing didn’t change and Huracan didn’t finish their clear chances to score the second goal. Like most football derbies around the world, the end of the match is the most entertaining and that’s when a derby truly comes alive. That’s what happened in this derby: San Lorenzo scored a very late equalizer against all the odds and got the draw. Overall, it was a very good experience and you can feel the passion and rivalry for this derby in this neighborhood.
After the match, some travelers of the group decided to go to another match between Independiente v Argentinos Juniors in the evening. This match started at 9:30 pm local time as it’s normal in Argentina that matches start very late in the evening. Again we enjoyed our taxi ride, as some of them think it’s Formula 1 in Buenos Aires. Once we arrived at Avellaneda, we had to pick up our tickets around Racing Club’s stadium, the biggest rival of Independent. Again we needed a membership to enter the stadium and watch the match, luckily we had Pedro and Ivan with us as they speak Spanish so we could enjoy our second match of the day. It’s an amazing stadium called Estadio Libertadores de America with a capacity of 40.000. This match was not sold out, but again the atmosphere was amazing and the Barra Brava’s from Independiente created a big party in their stand.
Independiente played very attacking football and this resulted in an early goal for Independiente. This was also the score at halftime. In the second half, Independiente started to play very attacking football again and scored the second goal. After this, the match was already decided and the quality football dropped a bit between the teams. We decided to leave the stadium a bit earlier due to the traffic and we had another great day on Monday. After we got back to the hotel, we decided to have another beer in our own ”Beergarden” to end this day in style!
Stadium Tours in Buenos Aires
On Monday, we had a full day of stadium tours in Buenos Aires. We all gathered at 10 am, as we all went to bed in the night some guys were a bit late. Luckily in Argentina, they don’t really care and it’s all fine. We walked to our meeting point and got on the football bus for the first stadium of the day: La Bombonera. As we already watched a match in this stadium, now we could learn more about the history of Boca Juniors and see the stadium from the pitch side. We ended the Boca tour at the part with all the cups and leagues, one thing is for sure Boca Juniors is a very big club.
The second club of the day was Huracan where we also watched a match. At Huracan we could just enter the pitch to have a look around and see this beautiful stadium from the players’ perspective, it is a very impressive stadium. Next up was their biggest rival and a popular club nowadays: San Lorenzo. We could enter the stadium again for free and walk around the pitch to have a look in the stadium, a great one as well!
The fourth stadium of the day was a very special one, we went to Argentinos Juniors, the first club where Diego Amando Maradona started his career. The stadium is also named after Diego and there’s a lot of graffiti around the stadium of this legend. Inside this stadium, there’s a room dedicated to Diego with all the prizes he won and some very old photos. Someone from the club gave the group a tour, although he could only speak Spanish so Pedro and Ivan had to translate some parts to us to understand a bit more about the history of Argentinos Juniors.
Even though it was in Spanish, you could still see the emotion and the passion of this man, great to see this. We saw the changing rooms, the pitch, and the pers conference room. After this stadium, we all agreed we had to see a match of Argentinos Juniors this week as there’s a lot of history around this club. Sometimes the small clubs are way more interesting to see than the big ones and the same was for Argentinos Juniors.
The last stadium of the day was Estadio Monumental, home of River Plate. It’s an enormous stadium, with a lot of history. We could just walk into the stadium to see the museum and learn more about River Plate. It’s an amazing stadium, unfortunately, we didn’t visit a match of River Plate this week but its still on my list! After all the tours we traveled back to the hotel to rest as we had another great day scheduled: A day trip to Montevideo in Uruguay!
Some of the travelers will write a part about his Argentina experience covering the matches and the experiences of the Ultimate Argentina trip. A moment in Buenos Aires.
Written by Ronald Klein Mentink