Every major footballing country in the world has some great local rivalries. Some of those rivalries run deeper than others. Italy is home to some of the fiercest football clubs in the world. In this article, let us have a look at some of the biggest rivalries in Italian football.
Here are the top 10 biggest rivalries in Italian football.
5. Pisa vs Livorno
A mere twenty miles separate Pisa and Livorno and while Tuscany is renowned for its beauty and culture, the region also contains numerous towns and cities which have been vying for power and independence for countless centuries.
Livorno and Pisa have spent much of their history erratically scaling between divisions, the amaranto’s most successful season came back in the 1942-1943 campaign where they finished runners-up in a pre-World War Two Serie A.
Like their counterparts on the Tyrrhenian coast, Pisa’s most successful season came before World War II in 1920/1921 when they also finished second. This is among one of the biggest rivalries in Italian football.
4. Palermo vs Catania
Fourth in our list of ”biggest rivalries in Italian football” is The derby between Calcio Catania and U.S. Città di Palermo, called ”The Derby di Sicilia”.
On the streets of Palermo, the Sicilian capital, you can often find a slogan spray-painted on the walls, it reads “Forza Etna”. Forza meaning “go” and Etna being the Volcano which leers ominously over the city of Catania, their most hated of rivals. It’s a visceral message from the Palermo ultra’s urging the island’s famous volcano to erupt once more and engulf Calcio Catania. Such is the hatred between the clubs.
However, they have seldom played each other within the Italian football league system, because in many seasons they have played in separate divisions of the league. The first time the Sicilian derby took place in the context of league football was on November 1, 1936, at Palermo in Serie B level; it ended in a 1–1 draw.
The Sicilian derby has been played 10 times in Serie A: Catania leading their rivals by 5 victories to Palermo’s 4; the other occasion was drawn.
The most notorious derby was on 2 February 2007, when 40-year-old policeman Filippo Raciti died in Catania from severe liver injuries during riots following the derby.For the 2007 season, all Palermo fans were banned from Catania’s Stadio Massimino for the Catania-Palermo match on December 2, 2007. Catania subsequently proceeded to defeat Palermo 3–1, a historic derby win for Catania, their first in Serie A.
3. A.C Milan vs Inter Milan
The Derby della Madonnina or the Milan Derby, played between the two prominent Milanese clubs Internazionale and AC Milan, is one of the biggest games in Italian football. It is called Derby della Madonnina in honour of one of the main sights in the city of Milan, the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the Duomo, which is often referred to as the Madonnina.
On December 16th 1899 Alfred Edwards, the former vice-consul in Milan and a member of Milan’s high society founded Milan Cricket and Football Club. There was a strong English driving force behind the team and half a dozen of the associations original members were English – and the son of a Nottingham butcher was the club’s first captain. For a while things were all good, with Milan picking up the title in 1901, 1906 and 1907.The triumph of 1901 was particularly relevant because it ended the consecutive series of wins of Genoa, which had been the only team to have won the title prior to 1901.
On 9 March 1908, issues over the signing of foreign players led to a split and the foundation of Football Club Internazionale.The first meeting of the clubs was played in Chiasso, 50 miles north of Milan and actually in Switzerland,which AC Milan won 2-1.
Since then these clubs have met 218 times and Inter have just edged their rivals AC Milan by 80-76 wins. However Milan have won more trophies than Inter.