The biggest European football Derbies

There something about local derbies that are captivating, it’s always a master rivalry that can be traced back in a lot of cases, centuries.  The reasons for this arch rivalry are the result of many things – Religious divide in some cases, in other cases just 2 competing cities or even universities,  local local bragging rights, a player moving to a rival team, great example of this was when Luis Figo became most hated man in Catalonia in 2000 when he moved to Real Madrid,

All are enough to fan the flames of team and fan rivalry.

Celtic and Rangers

The great rivalry, the “Old Firm” derby between Celtic (Catholic) and Rangers (Protestants) is a classic example of religious divide.

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.

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FC Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid

El Clasico is one of the greatest derbies played, and it just happens that these two Spanish giants are the two biggest and best football clubs 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.

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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.

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.

Dinamo Zagreb Vs. Hajduk Split

Know as the “Eternal derby” is a match between the two biggest and most popular Croatian clubs Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split.

These two teams in Croatia have almost as much of a bitter rivalry as Barcelona and Madrid, and it is no surprise that their matches always end up in a high fever pitch no matter what the outcome might be. They are the two biggest and two most popular teams in Croatia, and their derbies tend to be full of a real aggression that is unlike any you see anywhere else in the world, let alone just in Europe.

This derbies are always full of hates between two clubs which is a bit odd considering  they were fighting together in war against Serbian aggression.

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Everton Vs. Liverpool

The Merseyside derby has prominence coming sheerly from Geography!  Their placement on the Mersey river, used to see two of the vest UK teams battle it out but that has become a little unbalanced with Liverpool’s dominance, but that doesnt stop these two teams really going at each other.

This derby is relatively painless, but it has seen the highest amount of red cards than any other game in the history of the Premier League.

PSG Vs Marseille

Le Classique is a football match contested between Marseille and PSG.  The fixture is the biggest rivalry in France, important security measures are taken ahead of these matches to prevent confrontations between the fans, but violent episodes still often occur when they meet.  The rivalry comes about as Paris and Marseille are two largest cities in France.

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AC Milan Vs. Inter Milan

Derby della Madonnina is local derby between Milan and Inter and is one of the most followed derbies in football world.

It is called “Derby della Madonnina” in honour of one of the main sights of the city of Milan, the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the Duomo, which is usually called “Madonnina”.

Milan has long been a proud home ground of football, and it is no surprise that its two biggest teams would often fight it out over home turf for the title. Something that makes this particular derby especially interesting, and something which you dont see in many other parts of the world, is that both AC Milan and Inter Milan share a football stadium – so even when one team is playing away, really theyre playing at home!

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Roma Vs Lazio

The Derby della Capitale is the local football match between Lazio and Roma. The AV v’s Inter Derby may be a much bigger event but Roma Vs Lazio is considered to be the fiercest derby in the country!

The derby has been historically marked by massive crowds, excitement, violence and €“ recently €“ racism.

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Olympiacos Vs. Panathinaikos

The Derby of the eternal enemies is a football match, between two the most successful clubs in Greece, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.  This derby has always been a classic for the Greek capital, as well as the whole of Greece, and one of the most well-known rivalries around the world.

As with the one listed above, this derby is also rooted in social differences, with Panathinaikos being the club of the rich. Fireworks, missiles and other violence are pretty much standard at this Derby.

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