Players of River Plate and Boca Juniors fight during a local tournament soccer match at Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, May 7, 2023.

Grab the popcorn for 7 minutes of glorious River & Boca pandemonium

The Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors is often namedropped as a bucket list football game for fans to attend, and with the carnage that erupted from between the two sides most recently, it’s pretty clear to see why.

In short, Argentinian football is a bit nuts. The Argentinian Superclasico, though, is completely batsh*t crazy levels of nuts. Pretty much all the time.

Two of the nation’s most successful and well-supported sides locking horns in a country where support from fans knows no bounds, with the 90 minutes played on the pitch quite often an afterthought for plenty in attendance.

It very rarely disappoints with the winner of the game claiming the all-important bragging rights over Buenos Aries for the considerable future, until the two rivals lock horns once again.

When a footballer as notable as Italian star Daniele De Rossi is desperate to end his one-club player status in order to get a piece of the action down at La Bombonera, you know whatever the hell is going on down there is special.

We’re not sure ‘special’ is probably the best word to describe the seven minutes of chaos that broke out in River Plate’s most recent 1-0 Superclasico win, but then again, there aren’t too many words for it. A very quick full house Argentinian football stereotypes bingo, that’s for sure.

Messier than a mid-1990s ECW pay-per-view, River snatched a late 1-0 win thanks to a late penalty scored by Miguel Borja, extending their lead at the top of the table to nine points.

But we’re not concerned with boring table permutations right now. Nah. After scoring the injury-time spot-kick, the Estadio Monumental completely erupts and Borja is mobbed by his teammates.

While he’s celebrating, though, former Manchester United man and current Boca goalkeeper Sergio Romero finds himself in a scuffle with several River players, backed by some teammates, with the poor referee doing his best to calm the situation down. Spoiler – he didn’t.

What follows next is spectacular. Players fall to the floor as this brawl from nothing continues to snowball, with the stands behind now masked in red and white smoke from pyrotechnics.

All while this is going on, unbothered king Borja continues his celebration alone, basking in the ambience of scoring a winner in such a game.

By the time he’s finished, he’s looking around at the scenes bewildered. Subs have now spilt onto the pitch. So too medical staff and just about everyone who was sat on the sidelines beforehand.

Fans are still going absolutely mental, trying to start a firework display in the stands, while stewards frantically wrestle players away from one another. At this point, the chaos has eclipsed the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ stunt which WWE tried to pull in the Middle East.

Borja continues to celebrate.

River head coach Martin Demichelis – yes, you read that correctly – then enters the fold in his black shirt and loud red tie, headlocking Borja and giving out instructions to a few players away from the madness – as if they’re actually going to need those at any point right now.

The home support continues to sing loud and proud as they burn through their lifetime supply of Pyro, while the on-pitch brawl has moved to the sidelines and now resembles a riot in a city centre more than it does a football match.

Incensed Boca players can be seen flailing their arms and shouting, with Romero seemingly between every scrap possible at all times. Local police are now on the pitch. Literally.

Forget VAR. Referee can’t make a decision? Get the fuzz involved.

Three River players are eventually sent off – one of whom had been substituted on – while three Boca players were also dismissed – all were on the pitch at the time, as some sort of order is restored.

Six red cards. Six. This is football heritage.

Rumour has it that Borja is still finishing his celebration.

By Mitchell Wilks

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