Which is the most passionate and mega football derby in the world? The footballer in you will think of Manchester derby in the Premier League or El Clasico of LaLiga. Your mind may also consider the Milan derby. However, a thorough search will take you to Latin America, the cradle of football.
Among the many South American football clubs, Argentina's Boca Juniors and River Plate are the two most popular. In Argentina football, both have commanding more than 70 per cent of all football fans between them. The clash between them is coined as Superclasico is the most important football rivalry in Argentina and the most important local derby.
The fans will turn up in huge number for every match between Boca Juniors and River Plate. The two teams have played 246 times each other so far in which Boca won 88 times and River Plate 81 while rest of the 77 matches ended up in the tie.
The first ever Copa Libertadores final clash
The duo locked ones again on Sunday at Boca's home ground, La Bombonera. However, it was not for a Superliga Argentina match. The arch-rivals are in the fight of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in South American football.
In the first leg of the final held at La Bombonera, River Plate twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Boca Juniors. Ramon Abila put Boca ahead in the first half before Lucas Pratto equalised. Boca regained the lead once again with the strike of Dario Benedetto while Carlos Izquierdo's own goal at 61st minute led to the game to end all square.
The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will take place at River Plate's Monumental stadium on November 24.
Why is it the fiercest club rivalry in the world?
Just to get an idea why the match between Boca and River is the fiercest in the world, away fans were banned from attending the last game because of safety concerns. Yes, both the teams have the most passionate fans and every match ends up in near a war between them.
The rivalry between Boca and River stems from their birth together in the La Boca neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. River, later on, moved to the leafy suburb on Nunez, while Boca has never moved. A real derby is when the clubs are based in the same city like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid or City and United of Manchester. The same birthplace makes the Boca and River arch rivals.
Then the rivalry has been brewed with many incidents that include River Plate's dream run with Norberto Alonso and his goals against Boca in 1986. Meanwhile, River's collapse against Penarol of Uruguay in the 1966 Copa Libertadores final that led to the club getting the nickname of Gallinas or chickens.
Boca fans are also known for mocking River's historic relegation in 2011. All these incidents along with many others have just spiced up Boca and River clash.
Another and most important reason why Boca Juniors vs River Plate match is special is that it's purely club vs club and not player vs player. El Clasico is between Real Madrid and Barcelona but it is also more about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo these years.
The Superclasico will see players like Carlos Tevez on the pitch. It is never concentrated on one or two players as it is always a club against a club.