Great team rivalries in sport

Great team rivalry only helps to build atmosphere on match days, the below are some team rivalries which are legendary and are still being played out today.

Celtic and Rangers

Glasgow city in Scotland is split between the green of Celtic and the blue of Rangers. There is no in-between in the Scottish capital. The Celtic versus Rangers rivalry isnt just about football, rather it has a lot to do with the religious divide between Catholics and protestants in Scotland.

Both are two of the oldest football clubs and there is bitter divide between the two sides.   Known as the Old Firm, the two hated rivals have been playing against one another since 1888 when Celtic drew first blood with a 5-2 win. Today, the rivalry between the two teams is as intense as ever.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

The rivalry between Major League Baseballs New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox is about two major northeastern American cities trying to one up the other. The feud between the teams started when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919.   This was was followed by an 86-year period in which the Red Sox did not win a World Series.  This led to the popularisation of a superstition known as the “Curse of the Bambino”

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No MLB rivalry is as intense as when these two teams get o the pitch.  Violence between fans, trash talk and political intervention is not uncommon!

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid

The two Spanish heavyweights are the two richest teams in soccer, and among the richest teams in the world, and given the fact that Messi and Ronaldo were on opposite sides, they are also the two most followed sports teams in the world.

The rivalry of these two teams dates all the way back to the 1930s when Spain was under dictatorship rule. Real Madrid is seen as representing Spanish nationalism, and Barcelona is viewed as representing Catalan nationalism.  Throughout history, Barcelona has been known for its rebellious nature, while Madrid has been a conservative symbol. You often dont see two cities within the same country with such open political disputes every day.

When these two giants clash its nicknamed an El Clásico in Spain  and hundreds of millions of fans around the world tune in.  The clubs are tied in head-to-head results in competitive matches with both sides earning 96 wins.  The rivalry continues of the pitch in the transfer windows and these two clubs are responsible for the most expensive transfers in the history of soccer.

Green Bay Packers V’s Chicago Bears

The Packers v’s Bear rivalry is pretty legendary in the NFL.  They’ve played over 200 times since their first game in 1921, with the Packers leading 99€“95€“6.

These two teams are also two of the most successful teams in the NFL They also have 48 players in the Hall of Fame, more than any other rivalry in the NFL.    This rivalry is more than some of the greatest accomplishments in league history. Much of this rivalry has been get-down-and-dirty football, fought in the trenches, and featured some of the toughest players in history, such as Bronko Nagurski, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher, Ray Nitschke, Jerry Kramer, Reggie White and Clay Matthews.

With Chicago only a 30-minute drive from the Wisconsin border, this derby rivalry is sure to keep going.

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Lakers V Celtics

The greatest traditional rivalry in NBA history also happen to be the two most successful teams in the NBA.   The Celtics and Lakers have by far the most NBA championships and NBA Finals appearances. Altogether the Boston Celtics have been in 21 NBA Finals and won 17 of them, they also hold 21 conference titles and 22 division titles.  While the Los Angeles team have made an incredible 31 finals and won 16 of them.

The rivalry was it’s most exciting during the Bird vs. Magic era when the Celtics, led by Larry Bird, brought a fundamental, well-executed style of play against Magic Johnsons €œShowtime€ free-wheeling, up-and-down play. Magic and Larry Bird (and of course the greatest of all Michael Jordan) were credited with taking the NBAs popularity to the next level.  The two teams meeting is still a massive occasion to this day.

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