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Julio Melendez.jpg
Daniel Onega (River) and Julio Meléndez during a 1960s Superclásico
LocaleBuenos Aires, Argentina
TeamsBoca Juniors
River Plate
First meetingAugust 24, 1913 [1][2][3][4]
Latest meetingBoca Juniors 2–2 River Plate
(November 11, 2018)
Next meeting24 November 2018
StadiumsLa Bombonera (Boca Juniors)
El Monumental (River Plate)
Meetings total246
Most winsBoca Juniors (77) (only Primera División matches)[5]
Most player appearancesReinaldo Merlo
(42 matches)
All-time seriesBoca Juniors: 88
Draw: 77
River Plate: 81
Largest victoryBoca Juniors 6–0 River Plate
(December 23, 1928)
River Plate 5–1 Boca Juniors
(October 19, 1941)[6]

Superclásico is the football match in Argentina between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. It derives from the Spanish usage of "clásico" to mean derby, with the prefix "super" used as the two clubs are the most popular and successful clubs in Argentine football. According to some statistics, they commandeer more than 70% of all Argentine football fans between them,[7] with Boca claiming 40% and River 33%.[citation needed]

The Superclásico is known worldwide as one of the fiercest and most important derbies.[8] In April 2004, the English newspaper The Observer put the Superclásico at the top of their list of "50 sporting things you must do before you die", saying that "Derby day in Buenos Aires makes the Old Firm game look like a primary school kick-about",[9] in 2016 the British football magazine FourFourTwo considered it the "biggest derby in the world",[10] The Daily Telegraph ranked this match as the "biggest club rivalry in world football" in 2016,[11] and the Daily Mirror placed it number 1 in The top 50 football derbies in the world, above El Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F., in 2017.[12]

Origins and background[edit]

A Superclásico of 1931. River Plate still wore the stripped jersey, then replaced by the diagonal sash design in 1932.
The palomita goal scored by Severino Varela in 1943 became legendary.
Angel Labruna dribbling in a 1950 match.

The two clubs Boca and River Plate both have origins in La Boca, the working class dockland area of Buenos Aires, with River being founded in 1901 and Boca in 1905. River, however, moved to the affluent district of Núñez in the north of the city in 1925. Since then, Boca Juniors has been known as the club of Argentina's working class or the people's club, with many Boca fans coming from the local Italian immigrant community. Boca fans are actually known as "Xeneizes" ("Genoese").[13] By contrast, River Plate became known by the nickname, Los Millonarios (The Millionaires), with a supposedly upper-class support base.[8] Both clubs, however, have supporters from all social classes.[13]

The first official match was played on August 24, 1913, with River winning 2–1.[1][2][3][4]

The Superclásico is particularly noted for the passion of the fans, with what the BBC describe as "a sea of colourful flowing banners, screams and roars, chanting, dancing and never-ending fireworks".[8] Both sets of supporters sing passionate chants aimed at their rivals, often based on popular Argentine rock band tunes. Each stadium, Boca's La Bombonera and River's El Monumental are known to bounce with the simultaneous jumping of the fans. At times, the matches have been known to end in fights between the violent factions on both sides or with the police.[14]

Boca fans refer to River supporters as "gallinas" ("chickens") claiming the lack of guts of River players. Despite the fact that their club traces back its roots to La Boca, River fans refer to their Boca rivals as "los chanchitos" ("little pigs") because they claim their stadium, located in the less affluent La Boca area, smells most of the time,[8] as well as "bosteros" ("manure collectors"), a reference to the smell of a polluted river in La Boca.[13] Another infamous slur, coined in the late 1990s over remarks of Boca's forward Diego Latorre, is to brand Boca Juniors as "The Cabaret", due to the alleged aspiration of some players to steal the limelight.[15]

The rivalry between the two clubs can also affect players, particularly those who are transferred between the two clubs. Cataldo Spitale was the first to make the change, when he left Boca to sign for River in 1933. Oscar Ruggeri, who moved to River from Boca in 1985 said, "It's not easy I can tell you. One side looks on you as a traitor and the other doesn't really trust you. You need time to adapt and a lot of character to win people over." Some players have gone so far as to state that they would not play for the other club such as River's Uruguayan player Enzo Francescoli while Diego Maradona during his time playing for Argentinos Juniors, refused to even consider a move to El Monumental, stating that his dream was to play for Boca.[16]

Recently, on March 21 in the Clausura 2010 tournament, the two teams started playing in La Bombonera. In the ninth minute of play, the match was suspended because of heavy rainfall in Buenos Aires. The pitch was practically flooded, but in spite of this, referee Héctor Baldassi stated that the match could be played.[17] In the course of the match, the two teams were unable to keep possession because the ball became repeatedly bogged down. The match restarted on Thursday, March 25, 2010, and was played with two halves of 41 minutes.[17] This was the first Superclásico suspended in history.[18]

In January 2013, El Superclásico became a topic of diplomatic discussion when the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires; Argentina released a video entitled, Fiebre del Superclásico.[19] In the video, American diplomats from different sections of the Embassy (including the Deputy Chief of Mission and Ambassador) debate the question of "Boca or River?" by trading a series of common jokes and barbs from the Boca–River rivalry. In its first week, the video garnered nearly 50,000 views on YouTube.

Puerta 12 tragedy[edit]

River Plate's player Luis Artime scoring a goal during a 1962 Superclásico, River won 3–1.

On June 23, 1968, in El Monumental, after a match between the two teams, 71 fans were killed in a crush at gate 12, with 150 fans left injured. The disaster was the worst football related incident in the history of Argentine football and the majority of the dead were teenagers and young adults; the average age of the victims was 19. There are various claims as to what exactly happened that day. Some claim that the disaster happened after Boca Juniors fans threw burning River flags from the upper tiers of the stadium, causing a stampede of their own fans in the lower tier.[20]

Others claim that it happened after River fans arrived at the Boca section, causing the stampede of the visiting fans. Yet others claim that gate 12 was locked, or would not open at the time, and that the fans at the back did not hear the ones at the front telling them to stop coming in. William Kent, River's former president, claimed that the police were the culprits, as they began repressing Boca fans after they had thrown urine at them from the stands. Some witnesses claim that the turnstiles to the exit were blocked by a huge iron pole.[21]

After three years of investigation, a government inquiry found no one guilty, much to the disappointment of the families of the victims. Since the tragedy, the gates at El Monumental have been identified by letters instead of numbers.[22]

At the end of the 1968 season, the 68 football clubs in the Argentine Football Association collected 100,000 pesos for the families of the deceased.


Overall record[edit]

Only official matches are included. Updated to 11 November 2018.

Type Competition Games played Boca wins Draws River wins Boca goals River goals
League Primera División 210 77 65 69 288 270
Total (league) 210 77 65 69 288 270
National cups
Copa Competencia Jockey Club 3 0 1 2 3 6
Copa Centenario de la AFA 2 0 1 1 0 1
Copa Adrián Escobar 1 0 1 0 0 0
Copa de Competencia Británica 1 1 0 0 2 0
Supercopa Argentina 1 0 0 1 0 2
Total (national cups) 8 1 3 4 5 9
CONMEBOL competitions
Copa Libertadores 25 10 8 7 30 21
Copa Sudamericana 2 0 1 1 0 1
Supercopa Libertadores 2 0 2 0 1 1
Total (CONMEBOL) 28 10 10 8 29 21
Total (official matches) 247 88 78 81 324 300

Primera División matches[edit]

Includes only matches in the Primera División since their first official game in 1913.

  1. ^ Some historians do not include this match due to the championship was annulled, prior the creation of dissident Asociación Amateurs de Football, with River Plate being one of the teams that joined the new league (while Boca Juniors remained in the official body). As a result, the Superclásico would not be played until 1927 after both, official and dissident associations, merged.
  2. ^ River Plate knocked out Boca Juniors of 1985 Copa Libertadores
  3. ^ Boca Juniors played as the home team at River Plate stadium

Head-to-head statistics in Primera División[edit]

Boca Juniors Wins 77
Draws 65
River Plate Wins 69
Total 211

Copa Libertadores[edit]

These are only matches in the Copa Libertadores, club name in bold indicate win. The score is given at full-time, in the goals columns the goal scorer and time when goal was scored is noted.

  1. ^ Boca Juniors won the 1st Leg match (1-0), River Plate won the 2nd Leg (2-1) forcing the match to be decided in a penalty shoot out that was ultimately won by Boca Juniors 5-4.
  2. ^ Suspended at 0-0 at half-time because of an attack on River Plate players in the tunnel with tear gas as they came out for the second half in 'La Bombonera'. Finally, CONMEBOL applied Article 22 of the official rules of this Confederation: Boca Juniors was disqualified from the tournament (with severe future CONMEBOL sanctions to the club). CONMEBOL's records show River Plate winning 3-0, the goal scores are accounted for Marcelo Barovero (River Plate's Team-Captain & Goal Keeper). Although the match technically ended with the score of 0-0: River Plate continued to the Quarterfinals with an overall score of 4-0 and ultimately to the third Libertadores Title.

Head-to-head statistics in the Copa Libertadores[edit]

Boca Juniors Wins 10
Draws 8
River Plate Wins 7
Total 25

Other international cups[edit]

These are only matches in other international cups. The club name in bold indicates a win. The score is given at full-time, in the goals columns the goal scorer and time when goal was scored is noted.

# Date Tournament Round Stadium Home Team Away Team Score Goals (H) Goals (A)
1 6 October 1994 Supercopa Sudamericana "João Havelange" Quarterfinal River Plate River Plate Boca Juniors 0–0
2 13 October 1994 Boca Juniors Boca Juniors River Plate 1 (5)–1 (4) L. Carranza (6) Francescoli (48)
3 20 November 2014 Copa Sudamericana Semifinal Boca Juniors Boca Juniors River Plate 0–0
4 27 November 2014 River Plate River Plate Boca Juniors 1–0 Pisculichi (16)

Head-to-head statistics in other international cups[edit]

Boca Juniors Wins 0
Draws 3
River Plate Wins 1
Total 4

National cups[edit]

These are only matches in national cup competitions. The club name in bold indicates a win. The score is given at full-time, in the goals columns the goal scorer and time when goal was scored is noted.

# Date Cup Stadium Home Team Away Team Score Goals (H) Goals (A)
1 2 May 1915 Competencia Jockey Club Boca Juniors Boca Juniors River Plate 1–1 (e.t.) Roldán (37) C. García (40)
2 9 May 1915 GEBA River Plate Boca Juniors 4–2 Chiappe (p. 15), Simmons (25), Penney (50), C. García (65) E. Bertolini (5), Ochoa (30)
3 30 August 1918 Competencia Jockey Club Racing Club Boca Juniors River Plate 0–1 Laiolo (17)
4 1 December 1942 Adrián Escobar River Plate River Plate Boca Juniors 0–0
5 15 August 1946 Competencia Británica San Lorenzo Boca Juniors River Plate 2–0 Corcuera (20), G. Pin (57)
6 3 July 1993 Centenario Boca Juniors Boca Juniors River Plate 0–0
7 11 July 1993 Vélez Sarsfield River Plate Boca Juniors 1–0 (e.t.) Silvani (116)
8 14 March 2018 Supercopa Argentina Malvinas Argentinas Boca Juniors River Plate 0–2 Martínez (p. 18), Scocco (70)
  • (e.t.) = Extra Time

Head-to-head statistics in national cups[edit]

Boca Juniors Wins 1
Draws 3
River Plate Wins 4
Total 8

Friendly matches[edit]

This is a list of Friendly matches. The club name in bold indicates a win. The score is given at full-time, in the goals columns the goal scorer and time when goal was scored is noted.

(*) Game was suspended 15 minutes into the second half.

Head-to-head statistics in Friendlies matches[edit]

Boca Juniors Wins 46
Draws 37
River Plate Wins 41
Total 124

Player records[edit]

Match records[edit]

Players who have played for both clubs[edit]

List of 100 players who have played for Boca Juniors and River Plate

Players who played for one club in youth career and for rival club in senior career[edit]

Coaches who worked at both clubs[edit]

Played for one club and coached the rival club[edit]

River's greatest moments[edit]

  • August 24, 1913: River won the first official Superclásico 3–1.
  • October 19, 1941: The River team of the 1940s known as "La Máquina" beat Boca 5–1, their biggest win over Boca, on their way to the Argentine championship.
  • July 19, 1942: River won 4–0, equaling their biggest win over Boca.
  • November 8, 1942: River came back from 2–0 down to a 2–2 draw, clinching the championship of that year in the home of their archrivals for first time in history.
  • December 8, 1955: River won the second championship at La Bombonera after a 2–1 victory over Boca.
  • February 10, 1966: River won 2–1 at El Monumental in a match for the 1966 Copa Libertadores, in the first ever meeting of the clubs in international competitions.
  • October 15, 1972: River came back from 4–2 down to win 5–4 in the highest scoring Superclásico in history.
  • November 9, 1977: River came back from 1–0 down in La Bombonera to win 2–1 with a last minute goal from a 40 meters dash of Pedro Alexis González [es], securing River's top position in the 1977 Metropolitano championship, which they won in the next round.
  • April 6, 1986: In a game remembered for the fact that it was played with an orange ball, River won 2–0 at La Bombonera right after winning the 1985–86 championship.
  • July 27, 1989: River won 2–1 the re-qualifying final of the 1989 Liguilla pre-Libertadores preventing Boca's qualification for Copa Libertadores 1990.
  • December 11, 1994: River won 3–0 at La Bombonera, securing the 1994 Apertura.
  • March 23, 1997: River came back from 3–0 at El Monumental to draw 3–3 costing Boca a famous win.
  • March 10, 2002: River won 3–0 at La Bombonera on their way to win the 2002 Clausura.
  • May 16, 2004: River won 1–0 a decisive match at La Bombonera with a goal from Fernando Cavenaghi, paving the way to win the 2004 Clausura.
  • October 8, 2006: River defeated Boca 3–1 at El Monumental, breaking Boca's 22 match record without defeats.
  • October 7, 2007: River won 2–0 at home to prevent Boca from going top of the table and damaged their chances of winning the 2007 Apertura.
  • March 30, 2014: River defeated Boca 2-1 at La Bombonera with a goal from defender Ramiro Funes Mori after 10 years without winning at Boca's stadium. Later they clinched the Final 2014 championship.
  • November 27, 2014: River defeated Boca 1-0 at El Monumental in the second leg of the 2014 Copa Sudamericana semifinals with a goal from Leonardo Pisculichi. River won 1-0 on aggregate and advanced to the finals for the first time since 2003. Boca were knocked out from an international competition by River for the first time in 28 years.
  • May 7, 2015: River defeated Boca 1-0 at El Monumental in the first leg of the 2015 Copa Libertadores round of 16 with a goal from Carlos Sánchez from the penalty spot. In the second leg, the game was abandoned at half-time after River players were attacked with pepper spray by Boca fans, with the score still 0-0. The match was terminated and Boca were disqualified from the tournament. River would go on to win the cup for the first time since 1996 and for the third time in club history.
  • March 14, 2018: River took revenge of the 1976 defeat in the Nacional championship final by beating Boca 2-0 to win the 2017 Supercopa Argentina in the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza. The match was the second ever final between the two adversaries.

Boca's greatest moments[edit]

  • August 2, 1908: Boca won the first Superclásico ever 4–1.
  • December 23, 1928: Boca defeated River 6–0, the biggest win in Superclásico history, with two goals from Domingo Tarasconi, Roberto Cherro and Esteban Kuko.
  • May 19, 1959: After 18 years Boca avenged their 5–1 defeat by River with a 5–1 win at La Bombonera with two goals from Jose Yudica.
  • December 9, 1962: Boca defeated River 1–0 at La Bombonera to secure the top position of 1962 championship, which they won in the next round. This match is remembered for Boca's fans, because Antonio Roma stopped a penalty kick shoot by Delem, in the last minutes of it.
  • December 14, 1969: Despite River's recovery from a 0–2 down, Boca won the national championship in the home of their arch-rivals after a 2–2 drawn.
  • February 3, 1974: Carlos García Cambón scored four goals on his Boca debut in a 5–2 win, the most goals scored by a single player in the Superclásico. It was also Boca's second successive 5–2 win.
  • December 22, 1976: Boca won the first ever final between the two clubs 1–0 to claim the 1976 Nacional.[24]
  • April 10, 1981: Boca won 3–0 on their way to winning the 1981 Metropolitano championship, with a famous goal of Maradona against Ubaldo Matildo Fillol.
  • March 7, 1982: Boca won 5–1 at El Monumental, in the 1982 Nacional championship, the biggest away win in the history of the Superclásico. Due to a contractual conflict, River played the match with youth players.
  • February 27, 1991: Boca came back from 3–1 down to win 4–3 in the highest scoring Superclásico in Libertadores Cup history.
  • March 31, 1991: Boca won its fifth consecutive derby of the year 1–0 at La Bombonera.
  • July 14, 1996: Claudio Caniggia scored a hat-trick to help Boca win 4–1 at La Bombonera, barely a month after River won the Copa Libertadores.
  • May 24, 2000: Having lost the first leg of the 2000 Copa Libertadores quarter-final 2–1 at El Monumental, Boca won 3–0 at home to progress to the semi-final and later go on to win the competition and the Intercontinental Cup. Boca's third goal was scored by substitute Martín Palermo after a six-month injury.
  • November 9, 2003: Boca, then champions of Copa Libertadores 2003 won 2–0 at El Monumental with goals scored by Brazilian striker Iarley and Sebastián Battaglia in their way to win the Apertura 2003.
  • June 17, 2004: Having won the first leg of the 2004 Copa Libertadores semi-final 1–0 at La Bombonera, Boca went to El Monumental, where River scored first. With just five minutes left Carlos Tevez scored to level the score 1–1 and so give Boca a 2–1 aggregate lead. However, a last-minute goal by Cristián Nasuti for River took the match to penalties. Boca then won the penalty shootout 5–4.
  • October 18, 2008: Ten-man Boca won 1–0 at El Monumental on their way to winning the 2008 Apertura.
  • January 31, 2015: In Mendoza, Boca won 5-0 and three River Plate players were red carded, being it, the biggest win in the professional football era of El Superclásico.


Official titles[edit]

Boca Juniors Competition River Plate
33 League titles 36
12 National cups 11
45 Total 47
4 AFA / AUF 6
22 Total 16
67 Total 63


  1. ^ a b "A 100 años del primer superclásico oficial", Perfil, 24 Ago 2013
  2. ^ a b "Hace 100 años, River le ganó a Boca el primer superclásico", Clarín, 24 Ago 2013
  3. ^ a b "El primer superclásico se publicó en 1913", La Nación, 19 Mar 2010
  4. ^ a b "Periódico Para Todos".
  5. ^ "Estadísticas previas al Superclásico" by Hernán Ramazoti, ESPN, 2 May 2015
  6. ^ "Todos los números de la historia del superclásico", Infobae, 4 Oct 2014
  7. ^ "La vidriera". La Nacion. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  8. ^ a b c d "Boca Juniors v River Plate". 2002-10-05. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  9. ^ Hamilton, Gavin (4 April 2004). "50 sporting things you must do before you die". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  10. ^ "FourFourTwo's 50 Biggest Derbies in the World, No.1: Boca Juniors vs River Plate". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  11. ^ "The 25 biggest club rivalries in world football - where does Real Madrid vs Atletico rank?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  12. ^ Mewis, Joe (13 October 2017). "The top 50 derbies in the world 10-1: Find out who tops our countdown".
  13. ^ a b c "La Doce, Los Borrac del Tablon". Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  14. ^ "Marca America article about the violence" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2008-03-24. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  15. ^ Latorre comparó al plantel de Boca con un cabaret (in Spanish)
  16. ^ "Crossing the Superclasico divide". FIFA. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  17. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
  18. ^ "FUTBOL-Clásico Boca-River suspendido por primera vez en historia". Reuters. 21 March 2010.
  19. ^ EmbajadaUSA (16 January 2013). ""Fiebre del Superclásico"" – via YouTube.
  20. ^ "disasters". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 18 October 1996. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  21. ^ Prieto, Carlos; Andres Burg (27 June 2000). "Puerta 12: Memorias del horror" (in Spanish). Clarin. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  22. ^ Prieto, Carlos (7 October 2006). "Puerta 12, horror de película" (in Spanish). Clarin. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  23. ^ a b c d "Números y estadísticas de Boca-River" [Numbers and statistics of Boca-River]. ESPN Deportes. October 25, 2009. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  24. ^ Scandolo, Ramiro (22 December 2006). "Ganamos la final más importante" (in Spanish). Olé. Retrieved 2009-01-23.

External links[edit]