Five young men, Santiago Sana, Alfredo Scarpatti, Esteban Baglietto, and the brothers Juan and Teodoro Farenga, played on a team of friends called Independencia Sud from the Italian immigrant neighborhood of La Boca. The group decided to create something much more formal and met in Plaza Solis on Saturday, April 1, 1905, to shape the project; the next day the team was formed in the house of Esteban Baglietto. Discussions surrounding the color of the uniform were heating up when Baglietto’s mother, who was sipping tea with friends, asked the group to take the discussion outside. The young men returned to the Plaza, between the streets Olavarria, Suarez, Gaboto and Ministro Brin, where they continued deliberating. Discussions surrounding the team name continued, and suggestions like “Sons of Italy” and “Stars of La Boca” had already been ruled out. “Boca” was gaining favor when Santiago Pedro Sana had the honor of officially naming the new club by adding the word “Juniors,” using the British touch typical of the era. On Monday, April 3, 1905, the group appointed the first Executive Committee in the house of the Farenga brothers. Thus began a history of popular passion, rarely seen, that endures eternally in the hearts of a legion of supporters who are now scattered all over the world.
The first president of Boca, elected that same day, April 3, 1905, was Esteban Miguel Baglietto. The office of the Executive Committee had taken up temporary residence at Pinzon 267 (the Farenga house), but few months later moved to Suarez 531. The first official playing field of the team was that used by Independencia Sud, on Pedro de Mendoza and Colorado (now Benito Perez Galdos). The first uniform was the color pink but the resulting insults of the neighborhood teams led them to rapidly change the jersey to a white shirt with vertical blue stripes, though the new design was not met by popular approval. In 1907, when the club already had many supporters and members, Juan Brichetto, who worked at the second bridge of La Boca, saw the colors of the flag of a Swedish boat that entered the port of Buenos Aires (the “Drottning Sophia”). It occurred to him to adopt the blue and gold as team colors. The new jersey was blue with a diagonal yellow stripe across the front, but in 1913 the diagonal stripe was changed to a horizontal stripe.
Boca now had an official club, field, president, uniform, and headquarters, but they had yet to begin playing. On the 21st of April, 1905, Boca Juniors played the first match in their history against Marian Moreno, and won 4 to 0. The team consisted of the players Esteban Baglietto, Jose Farenga, Santiago Sana, Vicente Onate, Guillermo Tyler, Luis De Harenne, Alfredo Scarpatti, Pedro Moltedo, Amadeo Gelsi, Alberto Talent, and Juan Farenga. Juan Farenga had the honor of scoring the team’s first goal. However, it was not until 1908, when it was written in the Official League (Second Division) of the Argentinian Football Association, that on the 3rd of May, the Boca Juniors had their first official match against Belgrano, which they won 3-1. The first goal of this match belonged to Rafael Pratt. The international debut of the team took place in Buenos Aires on the 8th of December, 1907, against the Uruguayan team Universal de Montevideo. The re-match took place the following year on the 4th of October, and marked the first time that Boca played outside of Argentina.
The club was growing rapidly but the stadium remained small. The club began a pilgrimage in search of a new field, until they decided to rent a piece of land behind the Wilson coal deposits in Wilde. The only result of this move, however, was to distance the fans, and 1,200 members stopped paying the club fees. In 1916 Boca returned to its neighborhood of origin. Before the club’s return, Boca managed to ascend in rank to the First Division, from which they have never descended. The team went on to play exceptionally well and in 1919 they won the title of champion for the first time. They repeated this title in 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1930. In 1925 they were given the title Champion of Honor, after their historic tour around Europe. On the 4th of February of that year, the entire team including seventeen players traveled aboard the Vapor de la Carrera to Montevideo, Uruguay. From there they embarked on a transatlantic journey aboard the Formosa to Europe; they arrived twenty-three days later. The team played nineteen games throughout its journey, the majority in Spain, and returned with fifteen victories to record on the first page of many that recount the glories of the club.
In 1931 the professional era of Boca began, of which they won the first championship, and went on to be the first team to win consecutive titles in Argentinian football in 1934 and 1935. In the 1940s Boca conquered the championships of 1940, 1943 and 1944, the latter two with a team composed of stars such as Ernesto Lazzatti, Mario Boye and Natalio Pescia, among others. Furthermore, on the 25th of May, 1940, the club celebrated the opening of its new stadium, La Bombonera. In 1949 Boca miraculously saved itself from descending in categories when, after tying in points with Lanus, the team played a tiebreaker that they won 5-1.
The 1950s were not the team’s best years, and they only managed to win one championship in 1954 with “Pepino” Borello, their best player. However, the decade of the 1960s was draped in blue and gold. The 9th of December, 1962, was a magical afternoon. Boca beat River 1-0 in our stadium when Antonio Roma caught the ball of the famous penalty kick by Delem, and the team was able to increase its rank, becoming champions one week later. In 1963 Boca fought for the first time in the Copa Libertadores, where they made their way to the finals, but were defeated by the famous Brazilian team Santos de Pele. In 1964, Boca won the local tournament, and in 1965 they repeated this victory, beating River in the second to last game, giving them an advantage point. In 1969 Boca tied with Nunez 2-2, after the unforgettable goals of Norbeto Madurga, and completed the championship victory lap in the Monumental (stadium of River Plate). That same year, Boca won the Copa Argentina. In the Nacional tournament of 1970, Boca became champions once again in the stadium of River against Rosario Central, marking the end of this privileged decade.
The first half of the 1970s was nothing auspicious in terms of results, despite the emergence of several extraordinary players from the reserves, discovered by “Nano” Gandulla. The players were Osvaldo Potente, Marcelo Trobbiani, Alberto Tarantini and Enzo Ferrero, amongst many others. The best, however, had yet to come. The arrival of Juan Carlos Lorenzo began a period both spectacular and unforgettable. The double-championship of 1976 marked the prologue of the first international titles that the team would win. In 1977 and 1978 Boca won the Copa Libertadores, and for the final touch they won the Intercontinental championship in Germany on the 1st of August, 1978.
Despite the arrival of Diego Armando Maradona, who helped the team to win the Metropolitano in 1981, the decade of the 80s was unsuccessful for Boca Juniors on the institutional and the sporting levels. In 1984 the club was intervened and the stadium closed. Appointed by Federico Polak, Antonio Alegre and Carlos Heller, President and Vice President respectively, managed to save the club from bankruptcy in January of 1986. In 1989 the club bid farewell to the 80s by winning the Supercopa.
As the 1990s commenced, Boca managed to win the Recopa, the Copa Master in 1992, the Apertura of 1992, and the Copa Nicolas Leoz of 1993. It was not until 1998 when former President of the club, Mauricio Macri, contracted Carlos Bianchi that Boca entered into the glorious age in which they still remain. A new era of titles began, eighteen in ten years, eleven international and seven local.
Pedro Pompilio, the last president elect of the club, collaborated passionately on the continuation of this brilliant age. Sadly, on the 30th of October, 2008, Pompilio’s xeneize heart had had enough, and he passed away from heart failure. He was the only president to die during his term.
There are many pages in the history of Boca that have yet to be written. The club will continue to win championships and face disappointments, they will have good times and sad times, players that will be revered as xeneize idols, and those that will not be remembered as fondly. But the permanent mark of the passion and unconditional love of Boca fans, both present and future, will remain in the history that will never be unwritten. The same mark that Esteban Baglietto, Alfredo Scarpatti, the Farenga brothers, and Santiago Sana only dreamed of during the long-gone days of April 1905, on a humble park bench in Plaza Solis.