Buenos Aires (Villa Fiorito - Argentina) is the birthplace of Diego Maradona, one of the greatest soccer players of the game. 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. Another popular team is Racing Club, which won the league in 2001. 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. For the most up-to-date schedule of soccer matches, visit GoFootball.com For general info about teams, matches, dates, fixtures, etc, go to the Association of Argentinean Football website (in Spanish)
Besides being soccer mad, Buenos Aires residents enjoy many sports activities. The city features facilities for hiking, biking, skiing, white water rafting, fishing, climbing and many other activities in beautiful surroundings. Argentina is also the home of tennis greats Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas. Volleyball, basketball, hockey and rugby are also popular.
Pato is a special Argentinean sport, first played by the Gauchos. Pato was originally played by two teams on horseback using a pato, or 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 was banned in 1882 but revived with less dangerous rules in the late 1930s. 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
Buenos Aires is also home to a number of picturesque parks. Among the most popular is the natural park Costanera Sur which features walking trails and special tours under the full moon. Another park, 3 de Febrero in Palermo is a green oasis in the city center. It was first developed in 1890 and has grown into a huge park with big trees, beautiful sculptures and magnificent flower gardens. You can also ride a mateo (stagecoach) everyday here.
Near this park, the Jardín Zoológico (Buenos Aires Zoo) is a nice outing for children. Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens) is filled with a vast array of trees, plants and flowers, original sculptures and majestic fountains. Jardín Japonés (Japanese Gardens) features plants, flowers, waterfalls and little bridges in an Asian atmosphere. The Karpa fish were originally brought from Japan. Tierra Santa is the first religious theme park in the world. More than a million people have already discovered its distinctive architecture, learning about its history and customs focusing on the time of Jesus Christ.