Biggest Rivalries in Soccer

Soccer is renowned for its passionate fans and bitter rivalries, but what are the biggest rivalries in soccer? Below, we discuss eight of the most famous soccer rivalries and look at what makes them so fierce.

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El Clasico – Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Contested between Spain’s most successful clubs – Barcelona and Real Madrid – El Clasico is arguably soccer’s most famous derby match. Real Madrid have won 35 La Liga titles over the years, while Barcelona have won 27 and they invariably produce fireworks when they meet on the field.

The Old Firm Derby – Celtic vs. Rangers

You simply cannot talk about the biggest rivalries in soccer without discussing Celtic and Rangers. Situated in Glasgow, the Old Firm Derby is firmly embedded in Scottish culture. Between them, Rangers (55) and Celtic (53) boast a whopping 108 top-flight titles between them, adding to the competitiveness of the rivalry.

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El Superclasico – Boca Juniors vs. River Plate

It is no exaggeration to say that Boca Juniors and River Plate hate each other. Based in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, El Superclasico always dishes up drama both on and off the field. In fact, the 2018 Copa Libertadores final between the rivals had to be rescheduled due to violence.

Derby della Madonnina – AC Milan vs. Inter Milan

There are many intense soccer rivalries in Italy, including the Derby della Capitale between Lazio and Roma. However, the Derby della Madonnina between AC Milan and Inter Milan is undoubtedly the most famous. Milan and Inter first met all the way back in 1909. They have remained bitter rivals ever since.

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Der Klassiker – Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund

Der Klassiker is contested by the biggest clubs in Germany – Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. However, Dortmund has failed to compete with Bayern in recent years. While Bayern has won each of the past 11 Bundesliga titles, Dortmund has finished as the runner-up on seven occasions since 2013.

The Northwest Derby – Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Liverpool has a fierce rivalry with Merseyside foe Everton, while Manchester United hates Manchester City. Still, the rivalry between Liverpool and Man Utd is even greater. Since the two giants of soccer are the most successful clubs in England, their matches often produce tough tackles, red cards and even fights.

The Intercontinental Derby – Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray

The city of Istanbul is hugely passionate about soccer. Turkey’s Big Three – Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray – have served up countless fierce battles over the years, but the Intercontinental Derby between Fener and Galata is undoubtedly the biggest match, as the fixture has been in existence for more than a century.

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The Paulista Derby – Corinthians vs. Palmeiras

Brazil is famous for its wide array of soccer rivalries, but the Paulista Derby between Corinthians and Palmeiras stands out from the crowd. The Sao Paulo foes have been trading blows for over a century and their matches always produce battles between both players and fans.

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