Update: We weren’t able to get tickets at the stadium. The game was canceled on Sunday and rescheduled for Thursday, March 25. Boca Juniors won 2 – 0!
The Boca vs. River game, el superclasico, is this Sunday and it’s being played at the Boca stadium, La Bombonera. I’m not a big sports fan, but we saw the Boca vs. Racing game two weeks ago and it was thrilling. Plus, the Boca vs. River rivalry is one of the greatest in the world. It’s even listed in the 50 sporting things you must do before you die by The Observer. And not just listed, it’s first on the list!
So, we’re going to try to go. Everyone says that you absolutely cannot get tickets at the stadium on game day. We’re going to try because a lot of people told us the same thing two weeks ago, and we did get tickets for less than a third of what online retailers were asking for.
I’m a Boca fan because Boca represents the working class and I like that. Plus, we live in San Telmo, so Boca is our neighbor.
First, some terminology.
Hincha and Hinchada
Hincha means fan. Hinchada means a group of fans. And boy, Boca’s hinchada is out of this world. You’ll often hear people say “soy de Boca,” or “soy hincha de Boca.” When the whole group is together, waving flags and singing in unison, that’s the hinchada.
Other names that Boca fans go by are los xeneizes, or the Genovese after the Italian immigrants that lived in La Boca and founded the team, and la doce, or number 12 for the 12th player. Fans from other teams call Boca fans los bosteros, or manure handlers. Sometimes los xeneizes also call themselves los bosteros.
Canticos de Boca or Boca Chants
I was dying to chant along with the hinchada, but I couldn’t figure out what they were saying. I’ve collected the chants I heard the most at the game here. Click on title to hear the chant, and open our list of the lyrics and their English translations in a new window to read along as you listen. You might even want to print them out to take with you to the game.
Dale Bo’ – Let’s Go Bo’ (Bo’ is short for Boca)- If you just want to learn one chant, this is the one to learn. Basically, it ends every chant they have.
Hinchada Hay Una Sola – Group of Fans, There’s Only One – Lots of people agree that these are the greatest fans in the world. I’m from Louisiana, home of the Saints (Who Dat?) and LSU and even I’ve never seen anything like the Boca fans.
Vamos Los Xeneizes Vamos A Ganar – Come On Boca Fans, We’re Gonna Win – So I mentioned above that los xeneizes refers to the group of Genovese immigrants that founded the team, but more specifically, Xena is Genova in the Genovese dialect, so xeneizes is people from Genova.
Chants That Mention River
River fans are called las gallinas by Boca fans. Basically, they’re saying that River fans are chickens, but gallina actually means hen. Same idea, but I guess for these guys, being called a hen is worse than being called a chicken. River fans call themselves los millionarios. No explanation needed.
River, Compadre – River, Man – Here we go with the lyrics that aren’t kid-friendly. What rhymes with compadre? You’ll have to listen to find out.
El Que No Salta Es Una Gallina – Whoever Doesn’t Jump Is a Chicken – We used to dare other kids by calling them chicken. How did chickens get such a bad reputation? If you’re sitting in the Boca section and they start this one, you might want to start jumping.
Todas Las Gallinas Son Asi – That’s How Chickens Are - I like this one because it’s sums up what’s great about Boca fans. In essence it says that if River fans aren’t winning, they don’t go to the games, but Boca fans always support their team.
Lyrics and their English translations in .pdf format. If you want to listen to more chants, there’s a longer list at Alternative Boquense (Boquense means someone from La Boca) or try this list on Taringa.
Azul y Oro
The story behind the colors of the team is one of my favorite parts of the history of Boca Juniors. Boca’s first jerseys were pink, not very tough. Since it was founded by workers in La Boca, the port of the city of Buenos Aires, the founders decided that they would take the colors of the first ship to enter the port after their meeting discussing the colors. The first ship was Swedish, hence blue and gold, or azul y oro. Way better than pink!
What to know more… check out these sites.
- All You Need To Know About Boca Juniors
- Boca Juniors on Wikipedia
- Football Rivalries on Wikipedia
- Francisco Gregoric’s Boca Page
- Footballing World’s Short History of Boca
- Brandan BuenosAyres’ Tale of Sitting in the Middle of the Hinchada
Hey Boca fans, did I miss any of the must-know chants?