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Video – Football’s 10 biggest rivalries

This week’s top ten looks at rivalries in World football. These ones are pretty ‘tasty’. I’m sure you can suggest some more.

  • 10. Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
  • There is a real hatred between the fans of these two clubs. The treatment Sol Campbell receives from Tottenham fans some seven years after he left White Hart Lane for the Gunners shows just how deep that hatred is.

  • 9. Liverpool v Everton
  • The ‘friendly derby’, as it is called, is the longest currently running top-flight derby in England, having been at that level since 1962 when Liverpool were promoted to the old First Division. Having watched the last couple of games between the two clubs, I’m not sure how long it can keep the name, ‘friendly’!

  • 8. Al Ahly v Zamalek
  • The greater Cairo derby sees Africa’s two most successful clubs lock horns in a tense atmosphere. Al-Ahly and Zamalek were named as the top two African clubs of the 20th Century by Confederation of African Football. So heated are the meetings between these two clubs that a foreign referee is drafted in to officiate.

  • 7. Manchester City v Manchester United
  • A derby to savour. The game last weekend was their 150th clash in all competitions. Like most derbies, these games have often been bad tempered. Probably the most infamous being when United legend George Best tackled Glyn Pardoe and broke his leg, and in 2001 when Roy Keane’s infamous lunge at Alf-Inge Haaland ended the City player‘s career.

  • 6. Real Madrid v Barcelona
  • This game is not technically a local derby, but it has all the ingredients needed to make it a bitter rivalry. The strongest ingredient this one has, like all the others, is hatred of the opposition. Barca and Real are torn by adversary regions in Spain: Catalonia and Castile. In the past, Franco’s regime suppressed the Catalan ways, deepening the friction with Franco’s team, Real Madrid.

  • 5. AC Milan v Inter Milan
  • When the Milan derby kicks off at the San Siro the rivalry is fierce and the result means everything to the supporters. Who can forget the Champions League meeting between the two in 2005 when Inter were losing and tempers flared. Inter fans rained objects down onto the pitch. Milan keeper Dida was struck by a flare and the match was abandoned.

  • 4. Roma v Lazio
  • This game between the occupants of the Stadio Olimpico is like a war. Battles between the Lazio ultras in Curva Nord and the Roma ultras in Curva Sud are a regular occurrence and violence is usually prevalent. In 2004, the game was abandoned after rumours spread amongst the crowd suggesting a child had been killed by the police. The resulting battle saw stands set on fire, 13 arrests and over 170 injuries.

  • 3. Celtic v Rangers
  • The first ’old firm derby took place in 1888. The atmosphere at Ibrox Stadium or Celtic Park has to be experienced to be believed. Violence has often surrounded the clashes in a game that is about more than football. It is about religion, politics and differing social attitudes.

  • 2. Galatasaray v Fenerbahce
  • We’ve all seen the banner. ‘Welcome to hell’. Well, when Turkey’s two most successful clubs engage in this derby the fans regard the result of the meeting as being more important than their final league standing. It is reported that the first friendly between the two clubs in 1934 was abandoned as riots broke out. Nothing changes!

  • 1. Boca Juniors v River Plate
  • This match is world-renowned for its unforgettable atmosphere. Riots have been plentiful while police often have to battle against violence. It is said that social class plays a part in this game, with Boca Juniors reputed to be the club of Argentina’s working class, against the supposedly higher class support base of River Plate.

    Fri 5 December, 2008
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    2 Comments:

    1. John says:

      Really, these are the most rivalries. I totally agreed with you.

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