I’ve been traveling all around Europe to see the fiercest derbies and experience football beyond the traditional routes, exploring new cultures and creating memories. I’ve always had this desire for years to tick off one specific bucket list: Witnessing a match of Boca Juniors in the mythical La Bombonera.
I wanted to experience the energy of the Argentinian football culture and see what it’s like to be inside that stadium. In March 2018 I went to Argentina with Homefans and a small group of travelers to finally see what it’s all about. Endless videos, stories, and articles on social media about Argentina and here it was… I had the most incredible experience of a lifetime.
Reading this story will probably make you wonder what it’s like too. I can tell you this beforehand, it’s nothing like you truly witness it in person. Goosebumps literally.
Without further ado, here is a glimpse into some images from my adventure in Buenos Aires…
Months of planning, 9 people decided to go on this small-group trip to Buenos Aires. We planned to see 4 matches and ended up seeing 8 in total! From the Clásico between Huracán v San Lorenzo, Maradonna’s first club, Argentinos Juniors to both clubs in Avellaneda, Racing Club & Independiente. All the clubs have their own identity and story, each one of them was unique and I can write about it forever. Buenos Aires truly is the capital of football.
On the first weekend of our trip: We started with one of the highlights of the trip. It’s Boca Juniors v Tigre, something I looked forward to for months! You would think not a big match, however, Bombonera is almost always packed, for any game and it doesn’t disappoint. Before the match, we had some pizzas and cervezas to warm up before the big match. We went to a typical pizzeria with a lot of football memorial.
Match Day in Buenos Aires
After dinner, we were guided to the La Boca neighborhood to pass through the lines of security before entering La Bombonera, away fans are not allowed however the system is quite complex in Argentina, especially if you’re from abroad. Our local helped the group to pass through the lines and of course, afterwards, the first thing we did was to get some Boca Juniors things. Everywhere around the stadium people were wearing blue and yellow colors, it’s incredible. We could already hear the noise of the famous La 12, the Barra Brava’s from Boca Juniors outside of the stadium, 1.5 hours before kick-off.
The moment we got into the stadium and got to our section in La Bombonera, it was an incredible feeling, as we had seats in the corner of La Bombonera to see La 12 and the whole stadium the view was magnificent. We made it to paradise. You can’t compare the South American match days with the ones in Europe, these fans keep singing from the moment they enter the stadium until the moment they leave the stadium.
I have to tell you honestly that I haven’t seen much of the match. Time passed by and I was paying attention to the atmosphere in the stands. Boca Juniors had a hard time to score the first goal against Tigre, they created a lot of chances with their main man, Carlos Tevez, but Tigre managed to keep a clean sheet in the first half. It was slowly getting darker in Buenos Aires, in the second half Boca started to put more pressure on Tigre, which resulted in a penalty for Boca Juniors. 1 – 0, South Americans are known for shouting GOOOL, imagine 50.000 people shouting GOOOL, well, it happened, and the noise was incredible.
THE WHOLE STADIUM WAS MOVING. ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!
However, against all the odds, Tigre managed to equalize just minutes away from the final whistle. Totally unexpected, because they were not creating a lot of chances. Everyone looked surprised and thought this match would end up in a draw, until the very last 3 seconds of the match, Boca scored the winner.
I’ve been to a lot of football matches in recent years, but the noise and the passion from the Boca Juniors fans when they scored, is something I’ll never forget in my life. A man next to me cried out of happiness and the stadium was literally moving, what an unbelievable experience and it was only the first match of our journey. Mind-blowing.
And if you’re ever thinking about going to Argentina with friends or alone to see what it’s all about at La Bombonera, just do it. It’ll be worth it. I promise. You’ll learn a bunch and walk away with a great new collection of stories.
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