DALE DALE BOCA! DALE DALE BOCA!

Last week, we managed to get tickets to a game at the Bombonera to watch Boca in the Copa Libertadores (equivalent to the Champions League in Europe). The stadium was filled to the brim with blue and gold, and you could feel the excitement! Boca needed to have a 5 goal difference at the end of the game to guarantee qualifying for the next round, so we were looking forward an intense and exciting game. They played against Maracaibo, a relatively unknown side from Venezuela, where there isn´t a football tradition, so the fans were ready to see goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If they didn´t get to score enough goals, they´d be depending on the Colo-Colo vs. Atlas game that was being played at the same time.

On the way to the ground our guide told us a little of the history of Boca and the players to watch out for.
He also told us about the Barras Bravas, a mafia hooliganism organisation (they call themselves La Doce, the 12th man) centered around football and who have a lot of influence at Boca. They were the ones who sang, banged their drums and made most of the noise throughout the whole game.

Our tickets were in different areas of the stadium, but in true South American style that didn´t count for much and you could sit pretty much anywhere, unless some intense scary looking fan would tell you to move! As the first half kicked off a huge flag almost spanning a entire stand descended over the Barras Bravas, and as that one was pulled up, another one (looking a lot more historic and threadbare) replaced it, all the time the fans underneath faithfully singing, playing instruments, setting off fireworks and sending streams of paper to the tiers below. The Venezuelan side mustn´t have had more than 200 fans present, so almost the whole stadium was filled with Boca supporters.

The first goal occurred soon after the kick off and sent the fans crazy, the lower tier fans rushing to the fence separating them from the pitch. The second goal came after a good break and we had to wait for the third (a great goal scored by Riquelme) early in the second half. You can see the goals here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7FE3o7Xzg&feature=related

Luckily for Boca, Colo-Colo lost in the other game against Atlas, so Boca went through having scored only 3 goals. It was an amazing experience, the noise and atmosphere was intense and even got a glimpse of a small topless Maradonna, the most famous ex Boca player, waving his shirt from his executive box at the end of the match!

Blanca and Jon at the Bombonera

Free kick to Boca

Bombonera

3!!!

DALE DALE BOCA! DALE DALE BOCA!

La semana pasado fuimos a un partido de Boca en la Bombonera. Se jugaba la Copa Libertadores (equivalente a la Liga de Campeones). El estadio estaba lleno y los colores del Boca, azul y oro, relucian por todas partes. Se sentia la emocion, y es que Boca necesitaba una diferencia de 5 goles para pasar a la siguiente fase sin depender de nadie. Asi que estabamos preparados para un partido emocionante! Jugaban contra Maracaibo, un equipo poco conocido de Venezuela, un pais que no tiene mucha tradicion futbolera asi que todos estabamos listos para ver goles!!!!! Si no conseguian meter tantos goles, dependerian del resultado entre Colo-Colo y Atlas, partido que se estaba jugando al mismo tiempo.

Camino del estadio, el guia nos conto algo sobre la historia de Boca, los jugadores mas importantes… y los hinchas extremos y semimafiosos, las Barras Bravas, que se llaman a si mismos La doce (el doceavo jugador). Ellos son los que no pararon de animar al equipo durante todo el partido!

Teniamos tickets para diferentes zonas del estadio, pero como suele suceder en Sudamerica, nos sentamos todos juntos donde quisimos. Podias sentarte donde quisieras a no ser que un hincha con cara agresiva reclamara su lugar! En el extremo donde las Barras Bravas estaban aparecio una bandera gigantesca, que despues fue remplazada por otra que parecia mas antigua. A la vez, los fans no paraban de cantar, tocar instrumentos, arrojar papeles y bengalas… Solo habia como unos 200 fans del lado venezolano y el resto del estadio estaba lleno de fans del Boca.

Boca metio el primer gol casi al principio y el estadio enloquecio! El segundo ocurrio poco antes del medio tiempo y el tercero, en la segunda parte. Podeis ver los goles aqui: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7FE3o7Xzg&feature=related

Por suerte para Boca, Colo-Colo perdio contra Atlas, asi que pasaron a la siguiente fase con solo tres goles. Fue un partido apasionante, el ruido y el ambiente eran intensos e incluso vimos al ex-jugador del Boca mas famoso del mundo, Maradonna, celebrando desde su tribuna despues del partido.

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