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11 Similarities and Differences Between Brazilian and Argentinian Soccer Fans

Argentina Brazil
by Daniel Milan May 30, 2014
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1. The way they treat their teams

Fact: Brazilians pester their players. In Argentina, supporters cheer nonstop for the whole 90 minutes. Yes, they also assault their players from time to time, but that’s another story.

2. Fan violence

Compared to the Argentinian barras bravas, the Brazilian organizadas behave like grandmothers. Soccer violence in Argentina is more prevalent and problematic because it gets political — a serious issue.

3. Party style at the stadiums

This point isn’t all that different. Both sides wave flags, display banners, and flaunt their pride. But Argentinians are prone to make a mess, launching all those pieces of shredded paper onto the field. I’d hate to be the cleanup crew after the game.

4. Earned conceit

Brazilians are arrogant about their soccer tradition. But, as five-time World Cup champions, they have good reason. While Argentina is certainly a major player on the world stage, it’s not as important as its supporters like to think.

5. Idols of the past

In Brazil, it’s Pele, and there’s no way to adequately explain the idolatry that Brazilians heap on him. In Argentina, you have Diego Armando Maradona, and the relationships Argentinians have with him transcend rationality. There’s even a church in his name — maybe a mixture of craziness and mockery.

Either way, these two legends stand opposite each other in the pantheon of football — Maradona was a controversial prima donna who made headlines on and off the field while Pele was, frankly, just kinda boring despite his beautiful prowess on the pitch.

6. Idols of the present

In Brazil, it goes like this: You have to be a World Cup champion. Until this day comes, Neymar won’t secure his place in Brazilians’ hearts. Not even Zico has achieved it. The Argentinians have been hard judges of Lionel Messi, but the lefty overcame critics with his splendid performance four years ago.

7. Classic matchups

In Brazil, they’ve tried holding games where only one team’s fans have been admitted, but classic matches are still played with fans of both teams in the stadium. In Argentina, because of fan violence, games between Boca Juniors and River Plate, the two teams with the strongest rivalry in the country, take place with supporters of the home team only in attendance.

8. Local teams

Argentinian soccer fans have an affection for the local neighborhood teams. This is why even the smallest teams stay alive. As for Brazilians, they prefer to support only the most important teams of the city, state, or country.

9. Intra-national rivalries

In Argentina, every club has a rival. In a local third-division classic, Chacarita Juniors fans took Palestine flags to the game against a team traditionally championed by Jews, the Atlanta.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, the rivalries happen inside the major leagues: Flamengo vs. Fluminense, São Paulo vs. Corinthians. But who’s the arch-nemesis of Juventus? Who provokes the Bangu fans? No one.

10. Television rights

In both countries, soccer fans have no problem watching matches on TV. In Brazil, all-powerful national network Rede Globo holds rights to most important games, while in Argentina the government subsidizes the transmission rights.

11. Stadium ownership

Almost all Argentinian fans attend games in privately owned and operated stadiums. Meanwhile, in Brazil, taxes are used to build and maintain arenas like Maracanã, Pacaembú, and Mané Garrincha.

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