Club Atlético Boca Juniors known also as Boca Juniors or simply Boca, is one of the most popular Argentine sports clubs, best known for its football team. Its home base is the neighbourhood of La Boca, in Buenos Aires, and it hosts its home games at the Estadio Alberto J. Armando (La Bombonera). They are the reigning holders of the Recopa Sudamericana title.
Boca have won a record 18 international titles, equal to AC Milan. Their haul includes six Copa Libertadores and three World Club crowns (Copa Intercontinental) and one Copa Oro and Supercopa Masters. The club has also won 22 Argentine professional championships.
The club is a permanent fixture in the International Federation of Football History & Statistics Club World Ranking top 25, Boca is currently ranked 4th and has reached the top position of the monthly ranking 6 times (mostly during coach Carlos Bianchi's tenure).
Boca Juniors played in local leagues and the amateur second division until being promoted to the first division in 1913, when the division was expanded from six teams to 15. Boca were never relegated; they won six amateur championships (1919, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, and 1930). With the introduction of professionalism in Argentina, Boca won the first title in 1931.
In 1970, one star was added to the badge for each title won domestically (top part, above the initials) and internationally (bottom part). A new star was added to the corresponding section whenever Boca wins a title. To the delight of fans, the crest had to be modified several times in recent years. In 2007 the club changed its crest to include only 3 stars, one for each Intercontinental Cup / Club world title .
Boca Juniors used several fields before settling on the current grounds on Brandsen. Their first ground was in la Dársena Sur but it was vacated in 1907 because it failed to meet the minimum requirements of the league, they then used three pitches in the Isla Demarchi area between 1908 and 1912. Between 1914 and 1915 the club moved away from La Boca for the only time in their history, moving to Wilde in the Avellaneda Partido of the Buenos Aires Province but a relatively poor season and low attendances in 1915 forced them to move back to La Boca.
On May 25 1916 Boca opened their new stadium on the intersection of Calle Ministro Brin and Calle Senguel they stayed there until 1924 when they moved to their current location on Calle Brandsen and Calle Del Crucero.
Construction work on the concrete structure of their current stadium started in 1938 under the supervision of Engineer José L.Delpini. Boca played their home matches in the Ferrocarril Oeste field in Caballito until the structure was completed in 1940. A third level was added in 1953, giving the ground its nickname La Bombonera ('The Chocolate Box'). The side opposite the Casa Amarilla railway platforms remained mostly unbuilt until 1996, when it was upgraded with new balconies and VIP booths. Three sides of the Bombonera are made up of traditional sloping stadium stands, but the fourth side had to be built vertically, with several seating areas stacked one on top of the other, to stay within the stadium's property. La Bombonera is renowned for vibrating when fans start to jump in rhythm; in particular, the unique vertical side will sway slightly, leading to the phrase "La Bombonera no tiembla. Late" ("the Bombonera does not tremble. It beats.").
The Bombonera currently has a capacity of around 61,000, the club's popularity make tickets hard to find, especially for the Superclasico game against River Plate. There are planned improvements for the stadium, including measures to ease crowd congestion, use of new technology in the stadium and improved corporate facilities.
Boca Juniors is traditionally regarded as the club of Argentina's working class, in contrast with the supposedly more upper-class base of cross-town archrival Club Atlético River Plate .
Boca Juniors claims to be the club of "half plus one" ("la mitad mas uno") of Argentina's population, but a 2006 survey placed its following at 40%, still the largest share.
The Boca-River Superclásico rivalry is one of the most thrilling derbies in the world. Boca have won 114, River 102 and there have been 100 draws. After each match (except ties), street signs cover Buenos Aires, at fans' own expense, "ribbing" the losing side with humorous posters. This has become part of Buenos Aires culture ever since a Boca winning streak in the 1990s.
In 1975 a film, La Raulito was made about the life of Mary Esher Duffau, known as La Raulito, a well known Boca Juniors fan. She died at the age of 74 on 30 April, 2008 on the same day Boca Juniors played a Copa Libertadores match against Brazilian club, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube with the players and fans observing a minutes silence in her remembrance.
Many Rivals in Argentina Reffer to the Boca Junior Fans as Los Bosteros (Manure Handler) originates from the horse manure used in the brick factory that occupied the ground where La Bombonera stands. Originally an insult used by rivals, Boca fans have taken to wearing it with ultimate pride.
Following the team colors, Boca's shirt is also called la azul y oro (the blue-and-gold).
Boca's supporters are known as "Bosteros". There is a society which dedicates its entire life to the team which is known as la número 12 or La Doce (player number Doce or 12, meaning "the 12th player")
Boca Juniors are particularly popular in Japan because of the club's success in recent years at the Intercontinental Cup held in Japan. All over the world, fans are drawn to Boca by the club's international titles, and by the success of Boca players who went on to play in European football such as Hugo Ibarra, El Vasco Arruabarrena, Diego Cagna, Enzo Ferrero, Roberto Abondanzieri, Nicolas Burdisso, Fernando Gago, Diego Maradona,Claudio Paul Caniggia, Gabriel Batistuta, Juan Román Riquelme and Carlos Tevez.
Boca have fans throughout Latin America, especially in Colombia and Peru, and also in parts of the United States where there has been Latin immigration and where in July 2007, after the club had toured pre-season, it was reported that the club were considering the possibility of creating a Boca Juniors USA team to compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) with in New York City, Miami Los Angeles and Arizona mentioned as possible locations.
Boca Juniors has had a long standing rivalry with River Plate. The Superclásico is known worldwide as one of world football's fiercest and most important rivalries. It is particularly noted for the passion of the fans, the stands of both teams feature fireworks, coloured confetti, flags and rolls of paper. Both sets of supporters sing passionate songs (often based on popular Argentine rock band tunes) against their rivals, and the stadiums are known to bounce with the simultaneous jumping of the fans. Sometimes the games have been known to end in riots between the hardest supporters of both sides or against the police. The English newspaper The Observer put the Superclásico at the top of their list of 50 sporting things you must do before you die.
In the overall match historial, Boca Juniors has beaten River Plate more times (66–61)
Women Football Titles 8: 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000 (unbeaten), 2001 Apertura, 2002 Clausura, 2003 Apertura, and 2004 Apertura.
In Futsal, Boca has won 4 Championships: 1991, 1992, Clausura 1997, and Apertura 1998.
International Cup Titles (18)
Current squadAs of September 29, 2008
note: these squad numbers are for domestic tournaments only and were published in Boca Juniors´ official website.
note 2: Mouche asked Guillermo Barros Schelotto for permission to wear number 7
Squad changes for Apertura 2008For information on squad changes for Apertura 2008 see the List of Argentine football transfers.
Amateur Era (1905-31)
Professional Era (1931-present)
1930s - 1970s
1970s - 1990s
1990s - 2000s
Boca's two most successful coaches were Juan Carlos Lorenzo (1976~79, 1987), and Carlos Bianchi, (1998-2002, 2003~04). Toto Lorenzo won five titles with the team, including the Libertadores Cup in 1977 and 1978, the Intercontinental Cup in 1977, and the Metropolitano and Nacional in 1976. Bianchi won nine, including Aperturas in 1998, 2000 and 2003, the 1999 Clausura, the Libertadores Cup in 2000, 2001, and 2003, and the Intercontinental Cup in 2000 and 2003.
On 22 August, 2006, it was announced that Ricardo Lavolpe would take over the post of coach on September 15, replacing Alfio Basile, who has been selected to manage Argentina National Football Team. Lavolpe failed to continue Basile's chain of success, losing the 2006 Apertura championship in spite of a 4 points advantage with only two rounds to go.
Miguel Russo was hired as Lavolpe's replacement. Boca took second place to San Lorenzo de Almagro in the 2007 Clausura tournament, but went on to win the Copa Libertadores with a 5-0 overall rout of Brazilian Grêmio.
Pedro Pompilio is the current chairman of Boca Juniors.