That Wasn’t Friendly

A preseason friendly between Boca Juniors and River Plate was once again a violent affair in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

It was a not-so-friendly friendly. 5 players were sent off, 3 on Boca Juniors and 2 on River Plate, in a match marred by fouls and ugly play that ended Boca Juniors 0-1 River Plate after a penalty conceded by a Carlos Tevez hand ball.

Last year’s champions Boca Juniors, led by former Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, have had 4 red cards shown in their last two matches, and according to Tevez, “must grow [up].”

Tevez himself was head butted by center back Jonathan Maidana that started a 40 person brawl, for which Maidana was sent off. “Neither of us behaved well,” said Tevez after the match.

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Overall, the game saw 40 fouls, 9 yellow cards, and 5 red cards. While derby matches between the two sides are usually more violent than most because of the fierce Buenos Aires rivalry, this game was essentially a mix of soccer and a WWE tag team fight.

South American and Argentinian soccer is known for its passion, ferocity and rivalries, and that brings energy and excitement to the game on all fronts. And fouls are a part of any game and can even be a useful strategy in certain situations (as long as they aren’t intended to cause injury). But such a massive disrespect to the opponent, the referee, and the game itself that both teams showed was appalling and only barely deserves to be called soccer.

Hopefully this game, albeit a friendly, will go down in history as a monument to what soccer shouldn’t be so that younger generations don’t resort to playing a not-so-beautiful game like this one.

If you would like to see a video of the expulsions and general nastiness of the game, click here.

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