Argentineans are, by nature, huge sports lovers.
For years, Argentina has been almost only identified with the fancy footwork of soccer great Diego Maradona.
Nowadays, Argentineans not only love soccer and tennis, but also volleyball, basketball, pollo, rugby and numerous other sports.
Weekends in Buenos Aires bring huge crowds to the soccer matches all over the city. Three of the more popular teams are Boca Juniors, River Plate and Independiente.
The national league championships is a tournament that is played twice a year: "Torneo Clausura" from February to July, and "Torneo Apertura" from August to December.
River Plate: The team that has the best stadium in Argentina. It has also won more local championships than any other club.
Boca Juniors: The most popular team. The passion that it brings out of its fans is known all over the world as one of the most enthusiastic.
Racing Club: A very popular team that in 2001 won the league after 34 years, which was a very colorful event.
Independiente: Another classic team. Its rivalry with Racing club is one of the oldest of our soccer league. It is the team that has won more international championships around the whole world.
San Lorenzo: With the former four teams, it composes the group of the "Five Big Teams" of Argentina.
The most famous and best soccer player ever, Diego managed to make noise on and off the field.
Find out more about him on his official website.
World Cup 2006 Tournament:
Although Argentina lost to Germany in penalty kicks during the quarterfinals of the previous World Cup Tournament, this was an eventful competition for Argentina.
Tournament Preview and Overview
For general Argentine Tennis info click here.
Gabriela Sabatini: She shined in the late 80's and early 90's. She reached as high as number 3 in the world (1991-1993) and ended in the top ten tennis players form nine consecutive years (1986-1994). Winner of 27 single career titles, including a Grand Slam (US Open 1990) and two Year End Masters Championships, she is known as the best sportswomen in Argentine History. She retired at the age of 27 in 1995.
Now she has a perfume line and does a number of advertisements.
Guillermo Vilas: He won 62 career professional titles. Winner of three Grand Slams, he was the reason why tennis became one of the most popular sports in our country. His incredible predisposition towards training and hard work was an inspiration for other players, like Jose Luis Clerc, Martin Jaite, Horacio de la Pena, Guillermo Perez Roldan, Alberto Mancini, etc. to succeed in the sport. Vilas was named the best tennis player of the year in 1977, when he won 12 titles, something that no other player has done in tennis history. He now joins the senior tennis tour and has a rock band.
New tennis players: Argentina is currently having its best tennis showing on the world stage. With 12 players in the top 100 and after two consecutive years of reaching the Davis Cup Semifinal, the sport has found the audience and the respect that it deserves. Guillermo Coria, who is currently ranked highly in the world, and David Nalbandian, who reached Wimbledon final in 2002, are two 21 year olds that are leaving a mark on Argentine tennis. Guillermo Ganas, Gaston Gaudio and Ignacio Chela are other names of players who will be fighting for the top spots the next couple of years.
Pato is a special Argentinean sport, first played by the Gauchos. Pato means duck in spanish.
Pato was originally played by two teams on horseback using a duck in a leather pouch with handles. Two
players would grab the handles and pull until one let go. The winning team would ride away, while
the opposing team tried to stop them and grab the pato. The sport became dangerous and it was
banned in 1882. In the late 1930s, the sport was revived with new rules. Now two teams of four men
on horseback attempt to throw the modern pato, a leather ball with six handles, into one of two
baskets at either end of a large field.
Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey and Rugby
These four sports have grown enormously the last couple of years in Argentina. Good performances in the World Championships and better organization of the local leagues are making people more interested in the situation of the sports. Like what happens with the soccer national team, these four national teams inspire a lot of passion in people.
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