The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium was chosen to host the Superclasico, a match of South America, the return leg of the Copa Libertadores between the two big rival clubs of Buenos Aires, River Plate, and Boca Juniors, will be played in Madrid on December 9, Sunday.
However, this chapter was not closed easily. Boca Juniors refused to play the final leg of the Copa Libertadores in Madrid. The club announced that it would bring the case before the Appeals Chamber of the Conmebol, and possibly before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). River Plate also complained about the decision of the Conmebol, because the club of the upscale neighborhoods of northern Buenos Aires wanted to host the match in its stadium.
Why this postponement?
On Saturday, November 24, two players from Boca Juniors were injured, while the bus carrying them was attacked with stones, bottles and tear gas a few kilometers from the Monumental stadium of River Plate, which was to host the final return. While the majority of the 60 000 spectators had taken place in the stadium, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Conmebol first delayed the match twice, before postponing it on Sunday. But one of the players injured, the captain of Boca, Pablo Perez, still unable to play Sunday, though the Copa Libertadores final was postponed.
The president of the Conmebol Alejandro Dominguez announced that “conditions were not met” for the final return is played in Argentina. In the final match on November 10, played in a fiery atmosphere at the Bombonera stadium of Boca Juniors, the duel ended in a draw (2-2). Many cities were mentioned or offered to host the 100% Argentinean final of the most prestigious club competition in South America, including Asuncion, Doha, Genoa, Belo Horizonte and Barcelona with Camp Nou. Madrid finally inherited Superclasico.
“We found in Spain the neutrality that the Conmebol was looking for,” said Dominguez. “Madrid has everything that is necessary to organize the match, it is the tenth safest city in the world, and its airport is the one that owns the most connectivity with Latin America.”
Why at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium?
Madrid has two beautiful stadiums, the Wanda Metropolitano, and the Santiago Bernabeu. Comnebol’s president said the Bernabeu stadium was loaned free by his “friend” Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid.
“Florentino told me that the stadium was available and free. He told me he could make it available for zero euros, but Comnebol does not want to make money on it, the recipes will be used to create a fund to fight violence in football.”
The mood should be less tense with this change of continent.
— Boca in English (@CABJ_English) December 5, 2018
Why such a rivalry?
We must go back to the creation of clubs, at the beginning of the 20th century and to a neighborhood. River Plate was founded following a merger between Santa Rosa and La Rosales in La Boca, a neighborhood near the center of the federal capital, on May 25, 1901. Boca Juniors was founded in 1905 in the popular part of La Boca district by a group of Italian immigrants from Genoa. Incidents are common during their meetings. The first shock of the professional era ended in a scandal in 1931. River decided to leave the field after the exclusion of three of its players for the protest following the equalization of Boca. In 2015, the last duel between the two teams in Copa Libertadores had to be interrupted at the break.
“Unfortunately, for me, this match has lost its aura in my heart,” said Santiago Solari, Real Madrid coach, in a press conference. “It’s sad to say, but it’s the reality, let’s hope that Bernabeu’s final will be able to repair what happened, repair no, rather give it a worthy end to such a match,” he added. “It’s a shame what happened, especially for the children, that a very small part of our society is doomed to break everything, nothing works, it’s a real shame,” insisted Solari.
— Pity Martínez (@pitymartinez) October 31, 2018
Who is the favorite?
For the first time in history, the final of the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League, is played between River Plate and Boca Junior. With a rich number of stars (Tevez, Zarate, Pavon …), Boca Juniors aims his 7th Libertadores. Boca has not won since 2007, and equal the record of another Argentine club, Independiente, club located in the south of the capital whose supporters are proud of the status of “Rey de Copa”.
Under the direction of Gallardo, River raised the cup in 2015, the third in their history. The coach, who has installed a seductive game, relies notably on the Colombian and Pablo Quintero and the young international Ezequiel Palacios. In Argentina, the balance of power is reversed. River Plate has won 36 championships against 33 for its rival. But Boca has won the last two. Boca’s figure, Diego Maradona chose the Superclasico to put an end to his career in 1997.
“I played a Barcelona – Real Madrid, which is a very important match because it involves two huge cities, but Boca – River, It’s like sleeping with Julia Roberts!”