Amateur era in Argentine football

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The Buenos Aires Cricket Club field in 1868. The first football match in Argentina was played there.
St. Andrew's football team of 1891, the first Argentine champion ever.

The amateur era in Argentine football lasted between 1891 and 1931, although there was an amateur rival association, the "Asociación Argentina de Football" (AAF) which organized its own championships from 1931 to 1934. One year later it merged with the existing professional league, "Liga Argentina de Fútbol" (LAF), being all its teams relegated to second division.[1]


The first league tournament outside the United Kingdom took place in Argentina in 1891, it was dominated by British expatriate players and teams. The Scottish influence is evident in the names of the league's first winners and runners up.[2] Over the following decades the Creole football population of Argentina adopted and came to dominate the game. The most successful team until then, Alumni, folded in 1911 putting an end to the British dominance of the game. Although many English Argentine footballers played for Argentina into the 1920s, and many descendants of English immigrants have played football at the highest level.

There were many divisions and re-unifications, several seasons featured two top-flights run by rival associations. The end of the Amateur era came in 1931 with the birth of the first professional Argentine league. The most successful surviving team of the Amateur era is Racing, that won nine league championships between 1913 and 1925, including seven in a row (1913–1919).

Towards the end of the amateur era, many of the best players, like Luis Monti, Renato Cesarini and Raimundo Orsi, were leaving Argentina to play in the professional leagues of Europe, especially Italy. The professional Argentine Primera was launched by 18 breakaway clubs in 1931. The amateur league survived until 1934.

The 18 teams that broke away to form the first professional league were: Atlanta, Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Chacarita Juniors, Estudiantes (LP), Ferro Carril Oeste, Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP), Huracán, Independiente, Lanús, Platense, Quilmes, Racing, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Talleres (RE), Tigre and Vélez Sársfield.


For more details on this topic, see List of Argentine football champions.
The medals awarded St. Andrew's as the first Argentine champion in 1891.
A picture of Alumni taken in 1910. Alumni is the most successful team with 10 titles won before its dissolution in 1911.
The Racing Club team that won the championship in 1915, one of its 9 titles won during the amateur era.
Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
1891 St. Andrew's Old Caledonians Buenos Aires and Rosario Railway
1893 Lomas Flores Quilmes
1894 Lomas Rosario AC Flores
1895 Lomas Lomas Academy Flores
1896 Lomas Academy Flores Lomas
1897 Lomas Lanús AC [a] Belgrano AC
1898 Lomas Lobos Belgrano AC
1899 Belgrano AC Lobos Lomas
1900 English High School [b] Lomas Belgrano AC
1901 Alumni Belgrano AC Quilmes
1902 Alumni Barracas Quilmes
1903 Alumni Belgrano AC Barracas
1904 Belgrano AC Alumni Lomas
1905 Alumni Belgrano AC Estudiantes (BA)
1906 Alumni Lomas Quilmes
1907 Alumni Estudiantes (BA) San Isidro
1908 Belgrano AC Alumni Argentino (Q)
1909 Alumni River Plate Quilmes
1910 Alumni Porteño Belgrano AC
1911 Alumni Porteño San Isidro
1912 Quilmes San Isidro Racing
1912 FAF [c] Porteño Independiente Estudiantes (LP)
1913 Racing San Isidro River Plate
1913 FAF Estudiantes (LP) Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA) Argentino (Q)
1914 Racing Estudiantes (BA) Boca Juniors
1914 FAF Porteño Estudiantes (LP) Independiente
1915 Racing San Isidro River Plate
1916 Racing Platense River Plate
1917 Racing River Plate Huracán
1918 Racing River Plate Boca Juniors
1919 Boca Juniors Estudiantes (LP) Huracán
1919 AAm [d] Racing Vélez Sársfield River Plate
1920 Boca Juniors Banfield Huracán
1920 AAm River Plate Racing San Lorenzo
1921 AAm Racing River Plate Independiente
1921 Huracán Del Plata Boca Juniors
1922 Huracán Sportivo Palermo Boca Juniors
1922 AAm Independiente River Plate San Lorenzo
1923 Boca Juniors Huracán Sportivo Barracas
1923 AAm San Lorenzo Independiente River Plate
1924 Boca Juniors Temperley Dock Sud
1924 AAm San Lorenzo Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) Independiente
1925 Huracán Nueva Chicago El Porvenir
1925 AAm Racing San Lorenzo Almagro
1926 Boca Juniors Argentinos Juniors Huracán
1926 AAm Independiente San Lorenzo Platense
1927 San Lorenzo Boca Juniors Lanús
1928 Huracán Boca Juniors Estudiantes (LP)
1929 Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) Boca Juniors River Plate
1930 Boca Juniors Estudiantes (LP) River Plate
1931 AAF [e] Estudiantil Porteño Almagro Sportivo Buenos Aires
1932 AAF Sportivo Barracas Barracas Central Colegiales
1933 AAF Dock Sud Nueva Chicago Banfield
1934 AAF Estudiantil Porteño Banfield Defensores de Belgrano

Titles by club[edit]

The "Copa Campeonato" trophy, awarded by the Primera División champion, was played from 1894 until 1926.[3]
Team Titles Years won
Alumni 10 1900,[b] 1901, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911
Racing 6 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918
Boca Juniors 6 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1930
Lomas 5 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898
Huracán 4 1921, 1922, 1925, 1928
Belgrano AC 3 1899, 1904, 1908
St. Andrew's 1 1891
Lomas Academy 1 1896
Quilmes 1 1912
San Lorenzo 1 1927
Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) 1 1929

Top scorers by year[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Argentine Primera División top scorers.

Below is the list of topscorers in amateur era (1891-1934):[4][5]

Season Player Club Goals Matches
1891 England F. Archer Buenos Aires and Rosario Railway 7
1892 (No championship held)
1893 Scotland William Leslie Lomas 7
1894 England James Gifford Flores 7
1895 (No records for this season)
1896 England Thomas Fearnley Allen
England Juan Anderson
1897 Scotland William Stirling Lomas 20
1898 England Thomas Fearnley Allen Lanús Athletic 11
1899 England Percy Hooton Belgrano AC 3
1900 England Spencer Leonard Buenos Aires English High School [b] 8
1901 England Herbert Dorning Belgrano AC 5
1902 Argentina Jorge Brown Alumni 11
1903 Argentina Jorge Brown Alumni 12
1904 Argentina Alfredo Brown Alumni 11
1905 Argentina Tristán Gonzáles
Argentina Carlos Lett
Estudiantes (BA)
1906 Argentina Eliseo Brown
England Percy Hooton
Argentina Henry Lawrie
South Africa Carlos Whalley
Belgrano AC
1907 Argentina Eliseo Brown Alumni 24
1908 Argentina Eliseo Brown Alumni 19
1909 Argentina Eliseo Brown Alumni 17
1910 Argentina Arnold Watson Hutton Alumni 13
1911 Argentina Ricardo Malbrán
Argentina Ernesto Lett
Argentina Antonio Piaggio
San Isidro
1912 Argentina Alberto Ohaco Racing Club 9
1912 FAF [c] Argentina Ernesto Colla Independiente 12
1913 Argentina Alberto Ohaco Racing Club 20
1913 FAF Argentina Guillermo Dannaher Argentino de Quilmes 16
1914 Argentina Alberto Ohaco Racing Club 20
1914 FAF Argentina Norberto Carabelli Hispano Argentino 11
1915 Argentina Alberto Ohaco Racing Club 31
1916 Argentina Marius Hiller Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA) 16
1917 Argentina Antonio Marcovecchio Racing Club 18
1918 Argentina Albérico Zabaleta Racing Club 13
1919 Argentina Alfredo Garassino
Argentina Alfredo Martín
Boca Juniors
Boca Juniors
1919 AAm [d] Argentina Antonio Marcovecchio Racing Club 16
1920 Argentina Fausto Lucarelli Banfield 15
1920 AAm Argentina Santiago Carreras Vélez Sársfield 19
1921 Argentina Guillermo Dannaher Huracán 23
1921 AAm Argentina Alberico Zabaleta Racing Club 32
1922 Argentina José Clarke
Argentina Domingo Tarasconi
Sportivo Palermo
Boca Juniors
1922 AAm Argentina Manuel Seoane Independiente 55
1923 Argentina Domingo Tarasconi Boca Juniors 40
1923 AAm Argentina Martín Barceló Racing Club 15
1924 Argentina Domingo Tarasconi Boca Juniors 16
1924 AAm Argentina Fausto Lucarelli
Argentina Luis Ravaschino
Sportivo Buenos Aires
1925 Argentina José Gaslini Chacarita Juniors 16
1925 AAm Argentina Alberto Bellomo Estudiantes de La Plata 16
1926 Argentina Roberto Cherro Boca Juniors 20
1926 AAm Argentina Manuel Seoane Independiente 29
1927 Argentina Domingo Tarasconi Boca Juniors 32
1928 Argentina Roberto Cherro Boca Juniors 32
1929 Argentina José Cortecce
Argentina Manuel Seoane
San Lorenzo
1930 Argentina Roberto Cherro Boca Juniors 37
1931 AAF [e] Argentina José Ciancio Almagro 14
1932 AAF Argentina Juan Carlos Irurieta All Boys 23
1933 AAF Argentina Alfonso Lorenzo Barracas Central 16
1934 AAF Argentina Pedro Maseda
Argentina Domingo Tarasconi
Argentino de Quilmes
San Martín de Tucumán


  1. ^ Not to be confused with Club Atlético Lanús, founded in 1915.
  2. ^ a b c The Buenos Aires English High School changed its name to "Alumni" in 1901.
  3. ^ a b The Federación Amateurs de Football (FAF) was a rival association that organized its own championships from 1912 to 1914.
  4. ^ a b The Asociación Amateurs de Football (AAm) was a rival association that organized its own championships from 1919 to 1926.
  5. ^ a b The Asociación Argentina de Football (AAF) was an amateur rival association that organized its own championships from 1931 to 1934. In 1935 it merged with the professional league Liga Argentina de Fútbol (LAF), being all its teams relegated to second division.

Other tournaments[edit]

Apart from the Primera División championship, there were many tournaments played during the amateur era, some of them extended to professional era.

The domestic competitions were:

The international competitions, organized by AFA and AUF together, were:



  • Historia del Fútbol Amateur en la Argentina, by Jorge Iwanczuk. Published by Autores Editores (1992) - ISBN 9504343848
  • Historia del Fútbol de AFA: Orígenes 1891/1899, by Carlos Yametti. Published by Edición del Author (2011) - ISBN 978-987-05-9773-5
  • Alumni, Cuna de Campeones y Escuela de Hidalguía, by Ernesto Escobar Bavio. Published by Editorial Difusión (1953)

External links[edit]