It’s the final everyone in Buenos Aires wanted.
Apart from the chief of police, of course.
For the first time in history, River Plate will meet fierce-rivals Boca Juniors in the final of the Copa Libertadores.
The ‘Super Classico’ is largely overlooked in conversations about the biggest derbies in world football.
Bad news for La Liga fans and Glaswegians, it’s easily the biggest.
For the first time in history, this unique derby is going to be played on the biggest stage.
The Copa Libertadores is essentially the South American Champions League. Boca have won the trophy six times and River Plate three.
The final is played out over two-legs and this year’s will surely be remembered as the biggest Super Classico of all time.
Whenever the pair meet, rock music, fireworks, chants and violence closely follow.
This neighbourly-hatred can be tracked some way back.
Both clubs had been based by the docks in Buenos Aires, until 1920 when River Plate moved north to the more ‘up-market’ part of town.
Their relocation left the traditionally working class Boca slumming it out behind.
River Plate were branded ‘Los Millionarios’, The Millionaires, a name which they embraced and still use today.
While you can’t help but admire the occasion and the colours on display, there is often a dark under-belly of violence to his derby.
During one encounter between the pair, Boca fans even showered the players of their rival club with pepper spray, leaving some in tears and forcing the tie to be postponed.
And back here in Blighty, we’re getting hung up about a cabbage being thrown at Steve Bruce. Perspective.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the referees aren’t exempt from the fun-and-games of the day when either of these clubs are involved.
In River Plate’s semi-final win against Gremio, the man-in-the-middle actually had to be escorted off the pitch by police after a dodgy VAR decision
These games, both taking place in November, will go down in history as Argentina’s biggest occasions of club football.
The clashes will sadly not be readily available to viewers on these shores. Not through legal means anyway.
Fear not however as we will probably be able to hear it from here…
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