Argentina is a soccer country par excellence. Followers can be seen anywhere wearing the shirt of their favorite team. There are 20 teams in the top-level league. Eight of them have their venue in Buenos Aires City. AFA (Asociación de Fútbol Argentino, Argentina Soccer Association) is the organization in charge of regulating the activity, the institutions and the members.
Along the year, there are two main tournaments, whose literal translations are Apertura (Opening) and Clausura (Closing). In January and February, the most popular teams face in friendly exhibition matches in Mar del Plata, Mendoza and Salta.
According to the tradition, games generally take place on Sundays, in the afternoon, even though sometimes during the week and at night too.
Boca Juniors, with headquarters “La Bombonera” in La Boca, and River Plate, whose Monumental Stadium is situated in Nuñez, are the two most popular teams in the country.
The previous and succeeding moments to matches constitute a different show, very popular and usual among porteños, absolutely tingeing their life. Especially after the Super Classic match (River vs. Boca), the city gets crowded with posters joking about the turn out, as the best expression and production of humor and irony. At a more general scale, rivalry always brings about chanting and joking in the street, the office and the bar.
When Argentina plays, the city gets crowded with white and light-blue flags; this is one of the few moments it keeps quiet, only to burst out screaming hysterically when the team scores.
There is a historical rivalry between Argentina and Brazil, and tension and expectations increase each time they face.
Argentina won the World Cup twice: Buenos Aires 1978, and México 1986.
Argentine players deserve the consideration of gifted sportsmen. The best clubs in the world hire the most outstanding ones.
But it is out of the question that Diego Armando Maradona is the Argentine hero worldwide.