Boca x River has an audience again today at Bombonera after three years

Still “recalculating the route” of what to do to return to compete with the Brazilians, Argentine football will have its gala afternoon today (11th) with the holding of Boca Juniors x River Plate in the overcrowded Bombonera, at 5pm (GMT), for the 18th round of the Argentine Championship.

This will be the first Argentine superclásico with an audience at the Bombonera since October 2019, when River qualified for the Libertadores decision that would lose to Flamengo.

All 49,200 tickets for today’s game sold out within hours — and that’s because Boca established a “loyalty filter” for members who tried to get in for this afternoon’s game. Only those who attended at least six games in this Argentine Championship could acquire their ticket.

The superclassic was not played in 2020, and in 2021 the traditional clash at Bombonera ended up always being held behind closed doors due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Ball dispute in the River x Boca yesterday at the Monumental de Núñez

Image: CARP Disclosure


What draws a lot of attention in today’s confrontation is the parity of the campaign of both teams in the Argentine Championship.

Both River and Boca have 29 points, appearing in sixth and seventh in the standings (River has the advantage by having 13 goals against only 1 for Boca).

The current Argentine Championship is one of the most balanced in recent years, with Atlético de Tucumán, with 33 points, appearing in the lead at the opening of the round. Then come Gimnasia y Esgrima, Huracán, Godoy Cruz and Argentinos Juniors, and only then are the two Buenos Aires giants.

Boca will not have the presence of Colombian striker Sebastián Villa, who underwent surgery on his right knee and is scheduled to return in two months. River put at risk the participation of injured goalkeeper Armani and forward Solari, but both trained well and showed playing condition for a match in Argentina as a true knockout to decide which of the two clubs will be able to continue in the fight for title.

It is worth remembering that Boca won the Professional League Cup, in May, and River won the last edition of the Argentine Championship, in November last year.

They are the two most expensive squads in the country, and both are trying to regain international prominence after recent falls against Brazilians in this (in the case of Boca) and in the previous Libertadores (such as River).

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Boca Juniors and River Plate players lined up at Bombonera

Image: Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images

It’s in Brazil?

The superclassic will be shown live on Star+, which has cast Luiz Carlos Largo, Lucho Silveira and Leonardo Gaciba for the broadcast.

The column had a chat with Largo, “the voice of Argentine football in Brazil”. He is excited for the return of Boca x River with the Bombonera packed: “Boca transforms when they are pushed by their fans”, he says.

“It’s a team that grows in the Bombonera, despite being inferior in terms of quality of players. And the atmosphere of the fans in a broadcast is something contagious. A game at Boca stadium is different.”

And is the return of balance between Argentines and Brazilians, Largo, viable?

“I think Argentina is a little far from that balance with Brazilian football,” he replies.

“Argentine clubs have been going through difficulties in the financial part, following the country’s crisis, and this prevents the hiring of foreign players.”

“With this problem, Argentine clubs are forced to seek solutions within the youth categories and are often forced to use players without the proper experience, which ends up being a negative factor.”


BOCA JUNIORS: Agustin Rossi; Luis Advíncula, Nicolás Figal, Marcos Rojo and Frank Fabra; Martín Payero, Pol Fernández, Alan Varela and Juan Ramírez; Luca Langoni and Darío Benedetto. TECHNICIAN: Hugo Ibarra.

RIVER PLATE: Franco Armani; Andrés Herrera, Emanuel Mammana, Paulo Díaz and Milton Casco; Santiago Simón (Agustín Palavecino), Enzo Pérez, Rodrigo Aliendro and Nicolás De la Cruz; Pablo Solari (Esequiel Barco) and Lucas Beltrán. TECHNICIAN: Marcelo Gallardo.

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