Rivalries make football more fun and competitive than it already is. All around the world, there are many famous football rivalries which bring more zeal towards competition and make the game a lot more interesting. Some rivalries are just between inter-city clubs and some are between clubs who aren’t even in the same country.
Derbies and Classicos always push the fans to be louder and more zealous than they are for any other match. South American football is known for its amazing rivalries. One of the biggest club rivalries in the world is from South America and that would be the famous Superclásico.
For South American people football is much more than a game, and rival matches there are more exciting and thrilling than anywhere in the world. So, let’s take a look at the biggest rivalries in South American football.
Based on match intensity, atmosphere, media hype, ticket sales, TV viewership, here are the ten biggest football rivalries in South American football.
10. Gremio vs. Sport Club Internacional (Grenal)
The match played between Gremio and Internacional is usually called Grenal. It ranks among the world’s biggest derbies. After 429 meetings between these two teams, Internacional lead by 21 more wins over Gremio. The derby is accompanied by high levels of emotion, competition, and occasional violence.
In the first-ever Grenal derby, Gremio beat Internacional by 10 goals to nil, which was the greatest win in Gremio’s history, thus began the great rivalry of these two clubs. The rivalry of the Grenal reaches beyond football; it is a cultural reference for the Gaúchos (Folk symbol meaning skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly).
9. Cerro Porteno vs. Club Olimpia (Superclásico del Fútbol Paraguayo)
As evident by the name, the match is known as Superclasico of Paraguayo, so it must live up to the name and it does. The biggest Paraguayan football game is the match played between Cerro Porteño and Club Olimpia. Paraguayan people have a lot of affection and passion for football. Both of these teams are well known, with a lot of fan following in all of Paraguay.
Olimpia is way ahead of Cerro with 53 official titles, while Cerro only has 30. This doesn’t mean that Cerro can be underestimated, they have won exactly the same number of matches as Olimpia head-to-head in all competitions.
8. Atletico Nacional vs. Deportivo Independiente Medellín (El Clásico Paisa)
It is also known as Medellín Derby, which is the most important match in Columbia. It is known to be an aggressive rivalry in nature as most of the good rivalries out there are. What would surprise you is the fact that both of these teams share the same stadium, the Atanasio Girardot stadium.
Whenever they meet, naturally they both would have equal representation of fans, which makes the atmosphere even more electric. As far the stats go Atlético Nacional dominates with 131 wins in the derby, while Independiente has 91 wins to their name.
7. Newell’s Old Boys vs. Rosario Central (Rosario Derby)
Argentina doesn’t only have one big fierce rivalry going on in the country, they have also got Rosario derby in addition to the famous Boca Juniors vs River Plate. It is one of the fiercest rivalries in Argentina and South America as well.
In 268 matches played between the two Rosario has won 90 games while the boyhood club of Leo Messi, Newell has won 75. Also known as Clásico Rosario, it is played between clubs from the same city Santa Fe. It is a very iconic rivalry; it divides an entire city into two halves without leaving literally any neutrals.