Biggest Football Rivalries In The World – Top 12
7. Lazio vs AS Roma (Italy )
They aren’t the biggest or most successful clubs in Italy, but the fight for Rome in the “Derby Della Capitale” is one of the world’s best. The lack of success in Serie A for both these clubs forced them to focus on their hatred of one another. The game is about control of a city and is said to be the fiercest rivalry in the country.
Roma was founded in 1927 as a result of a merger between three teams: Roman, Alba-Audace and Fortitudo, initiated by Italo Foschi. It was the intention of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to create a unified Roman club to challenge the dominance of Northern clubs. But because of the influence of Fascist general, Giorgio Vaccaro, Lazio were the only major team from Rome to resist the merger, thus a kind of rivalry emerged from the very early years of the coexistence in the same city.
Back in 2004, a match was postponed four minutes into the second half when a riot broke out in the stands and the president of the Italian League forced the referee to suspend the match. After the match, a battle among fans and police occurred which ended with fires being set in the stands, 13 arrests and over 170 people injured.
6. Manchester United vs Liverpool (England)
One of the most important rivalries in British football, the rivalry between the Red Devils and the Reds is one between the two most successful clubs in the history of English Football. The clubs share over 120 titles and the two cities, just 35 minutes apart, share a passion for football that few can match. It is a rivalry based on success rather than their derby rivalries.
United’s dominance of the Premier League era saw them overtake Liverpool’s 18 League titles, while Liverpool trumps their rivals on the Continent with six European Cups to three. Culturally, too, an industrial rivalry exists between the two beacons of England’s north-west.
This is a big one whenever the two clubs meet. The biggest game of England is ranked 6th in ‘Biggest Football Rivalries In The World’.
5. Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Turkey’s most successful teams represent two parts of Istanbul. Galatasaray represents the European part while Fenerbahce represents the Asian part of the city. It is one of the most dynamic rivalries. The game has been played for over 100 years and the fire is still just as fiery as ever.
Istanbul’s dominant sides were founded two years apart and a social rift soon added spice to the rift already created by geography. Gala were seen by many as a club for the aristocracy with Fener the ‘people’s club’.
When the two teams come together the city of Istanbul turns into an epicenter of color, passion, songs and fireworks. All things that promote a great rivalry.
4. Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos (Greece)
You know a rivalry is legit if it is called the “Derby of Eternal Enemies.” This rivalry isn’t just about football. It involves social, cultural and regional hatred. When Greece’s two biggest clubs meet, riot police, flares and red cards are as common as corner kicks.
This derby has always been a classic for the Greek capital, as well as the whole of Greece, the most prestigious in the country.
Panathinaikos are considered to represent high-class Greek society. Olympiakos was founded in Piraeus, a port of Athens, which attracted support from the working class. Both teams have massive groups of fans and hooliganism is a very common phenomenon.