Rosario Central fans at the Clásico Rosarino. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Argentina's two biggest clubs also make up the country's biggest sporting rivalry, and one of the fiercest in world football, el Superclásico. The intensity of the rivalry is hardly surprising given that they both hail from Buenos Aires and were even formed in the same neighbourhood (La Boca) at the start of the twentieth century. Since then, River Plate may have moved to the north of the city but the rivalry has never gone away, with both clubs having won more Argentinian titles than anyone else, regularly battling it out at the top of the league for supremacy.
The third and fourth most popular, and successful, Argentine clubs make up the second biggest football rivalry in Argentina. Both clubs are from the port city of Avellaneda in Greater Buenos Aires, so the rivalry started because of the clubs close proximity to each other. And when we say close, we mean it. The club's two grounds were literally built next to each other, just 250m separating them!
The final club of Argentina's Cinco Grandes (Big Five) is San Lorenzo, and they have their own historic rivalry with another Buenos Aires club, Huracán.
The biggest rivalry outside of Buenos Aires is that of the two big clubs from the city of Rosario, Newell's Old Boys and Rosario Central.
Given the club's full names, Estudiantes de La Plata and Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, it's no surprise to learn that both are based in the city of La Plata. Anyone doubting how fierce the rivalry is for this particular match need only look back to 1992, when Gimnasia beat Estudiantes 1:0. The celebrations from Gimnasia's fans when José Perdomo scored from a free-kick registered a low-intensity seismic event on a seismograph in the area, and so ever since the goal has been known as "El Gol del Terremoto" ("The Earthquake Goal").
The Clásico del Oeste translates as The Western Derby, because it features the two main clubs from the the western part of Buenos Aires, Vélez Sársfield and Ferro Carril Oeste. It's one of the oldest rivalries in the Argentinian league, although Ferro Carril Oeste's constant struggle to get out Primera B Nacional since the turn of the century has meant that the fans haven't been able to experience it as much in recent years.
The Clásico Cordobés takes its name from Argentina's second largest city, Cordoba, and its two biggest teams, Club Atlético Belgrano and Talleres de Córdoba. Together they make up one of the oldest rivalries in Argentinian football, with the first match dating back to the 17th of May, 1914. It's believed that when friendlies and Liga Cordobesa matches are taken into account, alongside their clashes in the national Argentine football league, that the Clásico Cordobés encounter has taken place more than any other rivalry in Argentina.
No surprise to discover that this rivalry is between two clubs from the city of Sante Fe, Club Atlético Colón and Unión de Santa Fe. There are a number of cities and towns in Argentina where support for Boca Juniors and River Plate tends to be greater than that of the local clubs, but Sante Fe is one of the exceptions, and the passion for both clubs makes the Clásico Santafesino an intense affair.