Hard fought competition between two teams inevitably brings out anger, frustration and disdain for your opponent. Over the years this seems to be more evident between certain teams, and this is true of all sports around the world. It is inevitable that rivalries form between teams, and this is a massive factor for what makes sport enjoyed by people all around the globe. Even those with little interest in a sport will tune in to watch a big rivalry match, as these become an event that is bigger than a game between two teams. The atmosphere at these games palpable, with the lead up to the game creating a mixture of nerves, excitement and anticipation for the players, staff and of course the fans, who play a huge role in rivalry matches.
Sometimes these rivalries are deep rooted into the history of a city or region, creating a divide between the population of these areas. These derby games are particularly important for the fans, as the winner will get bragging rights and claim the city theirs until the next game rolls around. Many modern day derby games require extra security and police presence, as you will often see tempers boil over in the stands and there is unfortunately a history of violence with many of these fierce rivalries. It is not always geographical proximity that creates tantalising rivalries between teams however; they can sometimes be a result of similar levels of success over the years. In some cases you will even find rivalries between teams that have stemmed from one particular game or event, where confrontation between the players has not been forgiven and revenge is sought after each time they face off.
Fortunately for the fans, the media frenzy and fan excitement of rivalry games will impact what happens on the pitch. The tension can have an impact on the players, with nerves and sudden rushes of adrenaline seeing them make questionable decisions. This means that often a rivalry game will be full of everything that makes football so enjoyable; goals, penalties, red cards, late drama, scuffles and two teams giving everything they have to put one over their bitter rival.
Here are 25 of the oldest, greatest and most venomous rivalries in club soccer.
25 25. CSKA Moskva v Spartak Moskva (Main Moscow Derby)
24 24. Manchester United v Manchester City (The Manchester Derby)
23 23. Persepolis v Esteghlal (The Tehran Derby)
22 22. Liverpool v Everton (The Merseyside Derby)
21 21. Penarol v Nacional (The Uruguayan Clasico)
20 20. Schalke v Borussia Dortmund (The Ruhr Derby)
19 19. Al Ahly v Zamelek (The Cairo Derby)
18 18. West Ham v Millwall
17 17. Flamengo v Fluminense (Fla-Flu)
16 16. Benfica v Porto (O Classico)
15 15. Wisla Krakow v Cracovia Krakow (The Holy War)
14 14. Tottenham v Arsenal (The North London Derby)
13 13. Newcastle v Sunderland (The Tyne-Wear Derby)
12 12. Ajax v Feyenoord (The Klassieker)
11 11. Internazionale v Juventus (Derby d’Italia)
10 10. Corinthians v Palmeiras (Derby Paulista)
9 9. A.C Milan v Internazionale (Derby Della Madonnina)
8 8. Manchester United v Liverpool (North West Derby)
7 7. Olympiakos v Panathinaikos (Derby of Eternal Enemies)
6 6. Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade (Eternal Derby of Serbia)
5 5. Roma v Lazio (Derby Della Capitale)
4 4. Fenerbahce v Galatasaray (Intercontinental Derby)
3 3. Barcelona v Real Madrid (El Classico)
2 2. Celtic v Rangers (The Old Firm Derby)
1 1. Boca Juniors v River Plate (El Superclasico)
There is no quicker way to divide a group of people in Argentina than asking them who they support. When these two face off it is practically a national event, with a staggering 70% of supporters following one of these two clubs. Both teams emerged from Buenos Aires, with River Plate moving to the wealthier neighbourhood of Nunez in 1938. This adds wealth and class to the local rivalry, which makes games between the two full of colour, noise, passion, emotion and unfortunately sometimes violence. El Superclasico is a unique sporting event that has an atmosphere like no other, with many stating that it is one of the all time great sporting events.
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