If trying to sort out which football/soccer match to go see in Buenos Aires, it obviously depends on scheduling, the length of your stay and the availability of tickets.
Any game featuring Argentina’s top soccer teams is an exciting event but some matches are more coveted than others, particularly games between historic rivals.
Assuming you had all options available to you, and you’re a neutral supporter, the games could be prioritized in the following order:
Soccer Games to See in Buenos Aires
The ‘Superclasico’ of Argentine football, and a unique experience that is worth blowing your budget on. An event you’ll never forget even if you’re not a football fan, and if you are, it’s something akin to Nirvana.
It’s preferable to see it at the home stadium, the Bombonera in La Boca, but unfortunately it is extremely difficult for visitors to get tickets, and prices for non-members reach up to around US$500 per person.
You may not find the same level of fanatical fans as at a club game, but when two of South American football’s oldest and fiercest national rivals go head to head with squads bursting to the brim with superstar talent, footballing history is made every time. Plus you don’t want to miss Lionel Messi play in his final years of the game.
Any Boca Juniors Game at Boca’s Bombonera Stadium
Although Boca Juniors and River Plate rival each other for the highest number of supporters in Argentina, Boca’s Bombonera, or ‘chocolate box’ home stadium is unique in world football.
It is comparatively small to other stadiums, with steep stands full of rabid supporters in one of the most colorful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, the atmosphere at big matches is pure shock and awe. For the last few years, Boca has not sold tickets publicly — only those who are ‘socios,’ or Boca Jr. team members can get tickets, so these days it takes a near miracle for visitors to see games in the Bombonera.
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Any game at River Plate’s Home Stadium, Monumental
River Plate fans are just as fanatical as their Boca rivals.
Although their stadium is slightly less intimate, it’s the biggest in the country and more than worth a visit. River Plate’s stadium has a newly renovated midfield premium box seat section with only 109 seats.
Like Boca Juniors, River Plate also has a ‘members only’ policy for ticket sales which gives preferential treatment to ‘club members,’ so they can be difficult to for visitors to acquire.
Other Top Tier Matches Between Rival Teams
If none of the above games are available to you during your stay, there are plenty of alternatives that are sure to leave you satisfied.
Argentine football is full of historical grudge matches. The colorful local rivalries between other big five teams include:
• Racing vs Independiente
• Newell’s Old Boys vs Rosario Central
• San Lorenzo vs Huracán
To see a complete list of rival teams see our post on Argentina’s classic football teams.
Any match played by the national team is a momentous event as well.
Finally, don’t disregard a trip to any of the match ups during a regular weekend of fixtures of any Argentine Super League team, or intra-continental affairs against clubs from elsewhere in South America.
—by Dan Colasimone