Football’s Place in Argentinian Culture
Every country has a sport in which it excels, and for Argentina, this is football. Most
Argentinians can connect when it comes to their love for football. Think about it. If more
than 2.7 million people play the game, how many supporters can it have? Many! Some attend
the matches live and dress up for it, ready to watch their favorite teams win. Those who do
not watch the matches live follow the action on television. Or catch up with their friends
and colleagues about the games. It’s quite normal to come across people in deep
conversations about their favorite teams.
Does it have a hold on its supporters? Let’s use a visual. Most people remain glued to their
phones and TVs during World Cup matches, catching the action live. But have you ever noticed
a change in their patterns or walked into a restaurant and found it deserted? Well,
Argentinians do not play when it comes to supporting their favorite teams. They go all out,
and during international matches, it’s common to find deserted streets. People will be home
watching the matches and hoping that Argentina does well.
You would enjoy watching Argentinians celebrating on the streets when they emerge the
winners. In 1978 and 1986, the Argentinian team won! The streets were full of people dancing
and cheering, not believing their luck! Of course, a country with such deep connections with
the game would have a higher chance of winning. During those celebrations, anybody who was
in Argentina must have felt the excitement in the air and can probably recall it to date. In
1986, everyone was aware that Diego Maradona was a star, a legend that would change the
football scene. Even now, decades later, his star still shines, and many footballers aspire
to live up to even half the footballer he was.
The support shown in Argentinian football matches is not passive. Instead, the fans lean on
aguante, which encourages endurance, courage, and fearlessness. So, throughout the match,
they encourage the players by being active throughout the gameplay. They chant and jump on
the stands, creating energy that reverberates throughout the stadium. They also believe in
standing up to the opposition, and no matter how aggressive the opposition gets, they will
stand their ground. It gets even more interesting because those attending matches are
classified under fans, militant fans, and spectators. The militant fans attend all the
matches regardless of the circumstances as a show of their endurance. Fans also attend most
of the matches but not all like the militant fans. As you may have guessed, spectators are
not that connected to the values of the aguante.
The militant fans often carry bells and tambourines to the stadiums to stir up excitement
among the fans. By engaging in song and dance and keeping the tempo high, the fans can
withstand long periods of chanting and jumping. However, this behavior has been seen to
cause some unruliness among some fans, which led to the banning of Argentinian fans from
away matches. Some riots have also been seen over the years when fans are unhappy with the
The rivalries in Argentinian football are ones for the books. Take the Superderby as an
example where the Boca Juniors and the River Plate teams go at it. Their rivalry is so
intense that it features on the international scene. When the two teams play each other, the
support shown on either side is so huge that it makes other international teams’ fanbases
look like an ordinary thing. Another rivalry that brings Argentina to a halt is the
Avellaneda derby which comprises the Racing and Independiente teams.
Overall, watching a football match in Argentina, more so between local teams, is a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Doing so would enable you to be immersed in the beautiful
soccer culture in this country of the football greats. Standing among fans who have idolized
Maradona and continue to cheer on their own like Messi would be quite a thrilling
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