Fans and players widely love derby games. Here we look at some of the biggest rivalries in football across Europe.
1. Real Madrid and Barcelona (El Clasico)
Initially, El Clasico indicated a game between the two teams in the Spanish championships, but it is now widely used across Europe. Although these are two of the best teams in the world, they have significant differences in political views, social values, and history. They have constantly had to play against one another in different games while putting some of their titles on the line, including the La Liga, Copa del Rey, and Champions League titles. The first derby game between these two clubs occurred on 13 May 1902 and was a 3-1 win for FC Barcelona. The reverse was the case in their most recent game on 16 October 2022 in a 3-1 loss instead for Barcelona.
2. Arsenal and Tottenham
Often dubbed the North London derby, the rivalry started when Arsenal moved to North London in 1913, and they had their first-ever derby as a friendly match in the War Relief Fund at White Hart Lane on 22 August 1914. It ended as a victory for Arsenal in a 5-1 win. The rivalry started due to the decision made by Arsenal in 1913 to change locations from Woolwich to Highbury and is one of the longest-standing rivalries in England. Their first league game came up in 1909, with Arsenal emerging as the winner in a 1-0 match from Walter Lawrence’s goal. These clubs have more than 180 matches between them, with Arsenal currently leading in their games.
3. Inter Milan and AC Milan
Nicknamed the Derby della Madonnina (Milan Derby), the first between these teams occurred in 1909. All the best Italian players have played for either of these teams. Their rivalry differs slightly from other derbies as both use the San Siro stadium, which, as you can imagine, gets very interesting when the two teams face off. The Milan derby is more focused on the mutual desire to acquire more trophies and winnings.
4. Manchester United vs Liverpool
The derby game between Manchester United and Liverpool can be considered one of the most significant football rivalries. These two are the most dominant and wealthy clubs, and the hatred gets more profound as the years go by. The consistent rivalry between these clubs is partly a result of economic and industrial growth since the industrial revolution. They first met in 1894 at the Football League test match, with Liverpool leading with 2-0 win.
Manchester has won the league games 69 times, Liverpool 60 times, while their matches have ended in a draw 50 times. The highest defeat Manchester has ever encountered from Liverpool was in October 2021 in the 2021/22 Premier League, where the match ended in 5-0 win in favour of Liverpool. One of the goals was a hat trick performed by Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah.
5. Celtic and Rangers
The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is one of the most historic and intense rivalries in the world of football. The two teams are based in Glasgow, Scotland, and are deeply rooted in Scottish culture. The rivalry stems from religious tensions as Celtic was traditionally associated with the Catholic community, while Rangers was associated with the Protestant community.
The rivalry between the two teams has resulted in heated and intense games over the years. Both teams have won numerous Scottish titles and trophies, including the Scottish League championships and Scottish League Cups. In fact, the two teams have battled each other in 422 games, with Rangers winning 164 times and Celtic winning 159.
The rivalry between the two teams has become so ingrained in Scottish culture that it is often referred to as the “Old Firm” rivalry. The first meeting between the two teams was a friendly in 1888, which saw Celtic come out on top with a 5-2 win.
Despite the intense rivalry and occasional instances of violence, the Celtic-Rangers games are always highly anticipated and attract fans from all over the world. The passion and intensity of the fans only add to the excitement of the games, making it one of the most thrilling rivalries in the world of football.
6. Roma and Lazio
The rivalry between AS Roma and SS Lazio, also known as Derby della Capitale, is one of the most intense in the world of football. The two teams share the same stadium, the Stadio Olimpico, which adds to the intensity of the rivalry. The derby is known for its hostility and violence, both on and off the pitch. Fans of both teams often exchange cruel words and engage in physical altercations before, during, and after the game.
The rivalry between the two teams goes beyond football. It is often portrayed as a battle between working-class Roma and upper-class Lazio. This perception is fueled by the fact that Lazio has traditionally been supported by the wealthier residents of Rome, while Roma has been seen as a team for the working-class.
The political views of the two clubs also play a role in the intensity of the rivalry. Lazio has a history of association with the far-right, while Roma is known for its left-leaning views. This has led to clashes between fans of the two teams, both in and out of the stadium.
Despite the violence and hostility associated with the derby, it remains one of the most highly anticipated fixtures in Italian football. Fans of both teams flock to the stadium to witness the spectacle and support their respective teams.
If you want to experience the thrill of a derby game like Derby della Capitale, Vivaseats offers football tickets for a range of events across the globe. From the Premier League to La Liga and beyond, Vivaseats allows you to be a part of the action and witness some of the most intense rivalries in the world of football.