A small snapshot of BOCA Juniors. Unlike most 20 century football clubs founded by English, Club Atletico Boca Juniors started as the group of Greek and Italian immigrants who were gathered in the port of southeast Buenos Aires. It is also due to the name of the Los Xeneizes, since the La Boca district was the heart of the community of Genoa. Nevertheless, its name is in English, as it used to be in Argentina.
After in-depth research in collaboration with the Boca administration and the Greek community of Argentina, the Greek author Kyriaki Trakada managed to shed light on the unknown "birth" of the club and to discover that four of the six founders of the club were Greeks from the Diaspora. , while the other two were Italian immigrants.
According to Mrs. Trakada, Boca Juniors was founded in 1905, with Chioi Theodoros and Ioannis Faregas, Samiotis Konstantinos Karoulias (long ancestor of the veteran footballer and subsequent coach Nikos Karoulias) and Vitiina Arkadia, Siani.
The author presented all the elements of her research in a book entitled "Boca Juniors - Aegean, what unites us".
The President of Boca, Jorge Amor Amal, faxed me the names of the Greek founders of the club. I started to investigate and discovered that the Greek movement in Argentina started 1750.
At that time, the young people of subjugated island Greece to escape the army in the Ottoman army fled to Genoa and from there they were drawing for Latin America. Thus the founders of Boca were found in Buenos Aires.
According to Ms. Trakada, at the beginning of the last century 40% of the shops in the Boca district, around the mouth of the port of Buenos Aires, belonged to Greeks, while a Greek named Emmanuel Hatzidakis from Kasos was also the Port Authority. The Greeks had as their hangout the "Cafe of friends", by Chiotis Antonis Zeppou. And there they conceived the idea of creating a football team. They named it Boca Juniors.
Also interesting is the history of the colors of the Boca jersey, which were finalized after a friendly with the (then) hated and eternal rival River Plate. In that match it was decided that whichever team won would get the colors red and white. River won and Boca decided to adopt the colors of the flag of the first ship to enter port. According to information, this was the ship "Ocean", which had sailed from Piraeus, with the flag of Sweden.
So Boca dressed in blue and yellow.
The club runs programs for children of non-privileged families so that they stay at school while giving facilities to the elderly to play paper toys and dance tango. There is football, like other sports: from volleyball to boxing.
The Culture Department runs many programs for fans and other locals. From art and photography lessons to foreign language learning and gardening. The umbrella of the club includes up to the host of stray dogs, many of which can be seen in the bullfight from the changing rooms on the pitch. Another branch of Boca's family is Boca Social, an organization that works with non-governmental organizations to offer opportunities to children living in shameful shantytowns.
Unlike the major European clubs, there is no marketing guru in Boca. Many of the employees of the club, who help in their day-to-day operations, are not even paid to do so. Argentina's football clubs are nonprofit companies, and jobs with a salary are very few.
Unlike the rest of the city, the area retains a sense of independence. The houses are connected by steep stairs and are painted in identical colors. The world also reflects the spirit of the Genoans who have tried to declare independence in the past. Their choreographies on the pitch write: "Since we can not be unique, we decided to be the best."
Boca Stadium, Alberto J. Armando, is located in the La Boca area and most people know it as La Bombonera which means "chocolate box". It was named so because of its strange shape, with one side of the field being almost flat. The strange shape of the pitch led to an excellent acoustics, with the result that the fans of the team have earned the nickname "La Doce" (the twelfth player).