Boca Juniors: Why Libertadores finalists are known as 'Xeneizes'
Ahead of Boca Juniors' 'Superclásico' Copa Libertadores final clash with River Plate, AS looks at the origins of the club's nickname.
The reason why Boca Juniors are nicknamed the 'Xeneizes' goes back to the Argentinian outfit's beginnings over a century ago.
Founders' Genovese heritage leads to famous nickname
The club was founded on 3 April 1905 by six men of Italian heritage, most of whom - Esteban Baglietto, Santiago Sana, Alfredo Scarpatti, and the brothers Juan and Teodoro Farenga - were from families hailing from the city of Genoa. They opted to name their team after the Buenos Aires district in which they lived, La Boca, and added in a sporting element by tacking on the word 'Juniors'.
At that time, the vast majority of the Italian immigrants who lived in the area were from Genoa, which in its local dialect is known as 'Zéna', leading the Genovese to call themselves 'zenéixi'. Finally morphing into 'xeneizes', the moniker then became synonymous with Boca players, staff and supporters.
Boca Juniors celebrated 'Xenetenario' in 2005
In 2005, Boca celebrated their centenary year and, in a nod to the nickname that grew out of the club's origins, referred to their 100-year anniversary as their 'Xenetenario'.