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Most Famous Football (Soccer) Derbies/Rivalries in the World

I have been a huge football fan since I was seven years old. My favorite team is Manchester United.

The 2005 Milan derby.

The 2005 Milan derby.

Football has seen a lot of rivalries develop between clubs during its rich and long history, some of which can be traced back more than a century. During that time, countless managers and players have come and gone, but the clubs have lived on, with their pride and legacy being passed on from generation to generation to keep the rivalries fueled.

No other match is given as much importance as the derby. These are more than just matches; these are matters where the pride of the club and fans are at stake. It is an all-out war between both the clubs with the victor earning the bragging rights. Here is a look at some of the most prestigious and sought-after derbies in the world of football.

El Clásico is played between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

El Clásico is played between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

1. El Clásico

El Clásico is one of the most exciting derbies in the world of football. It is contested between the 2 giants of Spanish football, Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is one of the oldest rivalries in world football, dating back more than a century. The game is seen by millions worldwide who flock to the stadiums and their television sets to see some of the best talent in the world on display. The match sees the highest caliber of football on display and is also known to represent opposing political parties who market themselves for the biggest game between the 2 biggest cities in Spain.

Many legendary players have represented these clubs, such as Ronaldinho and Raul, as well as the 2 best players of the current generation, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They have certainly not harmed the reputation of this event.

Matches PlayedReal Madrid WinsDrawsBarcelona WinsHighest Scoring Match

225

90

48

87

Real Madrid 11-1 Barcelona

AC Milan and Inter Milan compete in the Milan derby.

AC Milan and Inter Milan compete in the Milan derby.

2. Derby della Madonnina (Milan Derby)

The Milan derby is regarded as the biggest one in Italy. It is contested between city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan and is played in the San Siro stadium, a common home ground shared by both teams. With its rich and eventful history, the Milan derby is often remembered for more of the fighting than the football. The event is also labelled by some as a political affair with AC Milan and Inter being owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and prominent businessperson Massimo Moratti (now Erick Thohir) respectively.

Both teams have enjoyed a lot of success, having amassed 18 trophies each. Even though both sides have been bettered by many other league rivals during the past few years, this match still holds importance in the hearts of their fans with both striving to stamp their name on the city.

Matches PlayedAC Milan WinsDrawsInter Milan WinsHighest Scoring Match

211

73

62

76

AC Milan 6-3 Inter Milan

The North West derby features Manchester United vs. Liverpool.

The North West derby features Manchester United vs. Liverpool.

3. The North West Derby

Regarded as one of the greatest rivalries in English football, the North West derby is one of the most passionate events one can see. Played between arch-rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, this game sees the 2 most successful clubs in England fight it out with each other to lay claim to the title as the best club in English football. Both clubs have won 121 trophies between each other with Manchester United having the edge due to their current domination.

This game has seen a lot of highlights, with many players having voiced their hatred towards their opponents publicly to fuel the rivalry. From last-gasp winners to verbal abuses and brawls, this fixture has seen it all and is the perfect representation of what English football is all about.

Matches PlayedManchester United WinsDrawsLiverpool WinsHighest Scoring Match

189

75

51

63

Liverpool 7-4 Manchester United

Manchester United and Manchester City face off in the Manchester derby.

Manchester United and Manchester City face off in the Manchester derby.

4. The Manchester Derby

The Manchester derby is played between longtime city rivals Manchester United and Manchester City. These fixtures always attract large crowds, and in light of city's recent overhaul, which has seen an influx of many high profile names onto the teams, the importance of the game has risen significantly as the second best club in Manchester looks to give their rivals a feel of what it is like to be in the shadows of another.

Like many other derbies, this one has seen its fair share of drama. The noisy neighbours have always been a thorn in United's season and, in recent times, have stamped their authority on the fixture by playing some mesmerizing football while also finishing ahead of United in the 2011/12 season to win the Premier League. Interesting times lie ahead as well as better quality of football.

Matches PlayedManchester United WinsDrawsManchester City WinsHighest Scoring Match

165

69

50

46

Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City

The Derby d'Italia features Inter Milan and Juventus.

The Derby d'Italia features Inter Milan and Juventus.

5. Derby d'Italia

The Derby d'Italia is also one of the most tightly contested matches which sees 2 Italian giants, Inter Milan and Juventus, face off against each other. Like many other matches in the Italian Serie A, this match is always entertaining in both good and bad ways. These matches are often difficult to critique and predict as the players are rallied by the club's prestige and honour which keeps them fighting to stay in the match till their last breath.

This match, like the Milan derby, has a political link to it and politicians have often been witnessed to point fingers at each other after the matches have been played. Juventus have managed to edge their opponents on a majority of occasions but with Inter's new presidency, only time will tell whether there will be a shift in the favour of the minnows.

Matches PlayedJuventus WinsDrawsInter Milan WinsHighest Scoring Match

214

94

53

67

Juventus 9-1 Inter Milan

Der Klassiker is played between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Der Klassiker is played between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

6. Der Klassiker

Der Klassiker is undoubtedly the biggest derby in German football. It is played between 2 of the most successful clubs in Germany, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Both the clubs and their fans take this fixture very seriously. It provides for an enthralling contest that has all that one can ask for in a game of football. The game is the most watched fixture in German football and often sees record attendance.

The past few years has seen the importance of this match rise to a whole new level with Dortmund edging Bayern to win 2 consecutive Bundesliga titles to rise to prominence. This has provided a much better class of football being exhibited. From rowdy crowds to some of the best football on exhibition, one should not pass on the opportunity to witness this epic battle.

Matches PlayedBayern Munich WinsDrawsBorussia Dortmund WinsHighest Scoring Match

99

43

29

27

Bauern Munich 11-1 Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal and Tottenham play in the North London derby.

Arsenal and Tottenham play in the North London derby.

7. The North London Derby

The North London derby is played between the 2 most notable clubs from London, which are Arsenal and Tottenham. Described as one of the fiercest rivalries in English football, this fixture always provides for an exciting contest played at the fastest pace. This game is watched by many and is one of the best displays of attacking football and one which never seems to bore the audience.

Arsenal have edged their opponents on many occasions but the past couple of seasons have proven to be tight affairs. This is mainly due to Spurs strengthening their squad in a bid to challenge their rivals to claim the title of the best club in London. More exciting times lie ahead for both sets of fans.

Matches PlayedArsenal WinsDrawsTottenham WinsHighest Scoring Match

177

76

47

54

Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal

Real Madrid and Atlético square off in the Madrid derby.

Real Madrid and Atlético square off in the Madrid derby.

8. El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby)

The Madrid Derby, which sees city rivals Real Madrid and Atlético face off against one another, is another of the most highly anticipated matches. Real have prevailed as the victors in the majority of the meetings between in the past, but Atlético have not laid down with ease, gathering a few scalps of their own.

The derby, like other Spanish ones, also has political interference with Atlético named by many as a rebel club whose interests directly conflict with those of their nemesis. Real Madrid have dominated the fixture in the last decade, losing only one match recently. This may be a sign that it is Atlético's time to shine now.

Matches PlayedReal Madrid WinsDrawsAtletico Madrid WinsHighest Scoring Match

197

104

45

48

Real Madrid 9-1 Atletico Madrid

Liverpool plays Everton in the Merseyside Derby.

Liverpool plays Everton in the Merseyside Derby.

9. The Merseyside Derby

The Merseyside Derby has the highest number of matches in the history of English football. This rivalry is one of the fiercest in the country, as indicated by the record number of red cards this fixture has seen. This game always provides onlookers with moments of brilliance as well as madness.

Initially started as a friendly derby due to both clubs belonging from the same city, this match has escalated to a whole new level since the inception of the Premier League. Both teams look to become the pride of Liverpool at the expense of their rivals. It is one of the most explosive and physical matches on the planet.

Matches PlayedLiverpool WinsDrawsEverton WinsHighest Scoring Match

222

89

67

66

Everton 5-2 Liverpool

The Old Firm derby sees the Rangers play the Celtic.

The Old Firm derby sees the Rangers play the Celtic.

10. The Old Firm Derby

The Old Firm derby is contested between 2 of the most successful clubs in the history of Scottish football, Rangers and Celtic. This match is one of the oldest and most fiercely contested and is responsible for generating a heavy revenue for the economy of the country. The game also has a history of violence with a number of fans being involved in pitch invasions as well as vandalism; the violence has even resulted in several deaths over the years. In short, one should go at their own risk if they wish to see the match.

Matches PlayedCeltic WinsDrawsRangers WinsHighest Scoring Match

399

144

96

159

Celtic 6-2 Rangers

Other Famous Derbies

Derby NameTeams InvolvedMatches PlayedWinsDrawsHighest Scoring Match

Derby del Maestro

AC Milan, AS Roma

159

AC Milan (71) AS Roma (40)

48

AC Milan 6-2 AS Roma

Choc des Olympiques

Lyon, Marseille

99

Lyon (31) Marseille (34)

34

Lyon 5-5 Marseille

Le Classique

Marseille, PSG

83

Marseille (32) PSG (31)

20

PSG 4-3 Marseille

Derby del Sole

Napoli, Roma

131

Napoli (41) Roma (44)

46

Roma 4-4 Napoli

Super Clasico

Boca Juniors, River Plate

233

Boca Juniors (84) River Plate (75)

73

River Plate 5-4 Boca Juniors

De Topper

Ajax, PSV

123

Ajax (49) PSV (51)

23

PSV 6-2 Ajax

Derby della Capitale

Lazio, Roma

159

Roma (58) Lazio (42)

59

Lazio 3-3 AS Roma

Paulista Derby

Corinthians, Palmeiras

344

Corinthians (119) Palmeiras (121)

104

Palmeiras 8-0 Corinthians

Ruhr Derby (Revierderby)

Borussia Dortmund, Schalke

86

Borrusia Dortmund (30) Schalke (31)

25

Borussia Dortmund 6-2 Schalke

Eternal Derby (Romanian Derby)

Dinamo București, Steaua București

156

Dinamo București (54) Steaua București (55)

47

Dinamo București 6-4 Steaua București

El Súper Clásico

Club América, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas)

206

Club América (73) Chivas (70)

67

Chivas 3-4 Club América

South Wales Derby

Cardiff City, Swansea City

107

Cardiff City (44) Swansea City (35)

27

Cardiff City 8-0 Swansea City

Serbian Derby

Partizan Belgrade, Red Star Belgade

162

Partizan Belgrade (33) Red Star Belgrade (89)

40

Partizan Belgrade 7-1 Red Star Belgrade

© 2014 Muzzammil Maniar

Comments

Enrique on September 15, 2020:

Boca Jrs. vs River Plate is definitely the most famous.

Ofentse on September 13, 2020:

Orlando Pirates vs kaizer chiefs

Udit on September 05, 2020:

Le Classique

reza garajedaghi on August 23, 2020:

Persepolis vs Esthgal of Tehran. Over 110 K thousand attend at Azadi stadium every year.

Mikakoka on August 22, 2020:

Egyptian derby

abdellah12 on July 25, 2020:

the moroccan derby rajaa vs widad

Dev G on July 19, 2020:

Clearly you don't know much about world football. Check out history and tradition of kolkata derby:

East Bengal vs Mohan Bagan

Check out the stories legends rituals... Find out how many supporters have given up their lives...

Itz Prince Fammzy on July 14, 2020:

Manchestar United Vs Liverpool

Manchestar United Vs Manchestar City

Pablo on July 10, 2020:

Indian Derby called "Boro Match" or "Kolkata Derby" Mohun Bagan Vs East Bengal

Jimbo on June 29, 2020:

Rangers Celtic without doubt. When i go on holiday. Whatever contry always see someone with one of the iconic tops. Still got record for amount fans in stadium at football match. Very rarely see boca/fernabach/Manu etc

DP on April 15, 2020:

Chelsea vs Tottenham

AVL on March 26, 2020:

Aston Villa 4 -2 Birmingham City

Tshiu on March 21, 2020:

Orlando Pirates VS Kaizer Chiefs

ahmed on March 11, 2020:

young africans vs simba

dar es salaam derby

bullshit on February 23, 2020:

Galatasaray-Fenerbahce derby is missing

sami on February 02, 2020:

never ever see Derby like

SuperElclasico

Boca juniors vs River Plate

Shankhadip santra on January 26, 2020:

Kolkata derby....

Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal

Tulio on January 19, 2020:

Boca vs River

Caleb on January 16, 2020:

In my opinion the old firm is the most unique and intense (without star players) rivalry in the world.

Apoole26 on January 16, 2020:

What, no Istanbul derby!!!

Cyril Ramaphosa - President of Republic of South Africa on January 11, 2020:

South African Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs is the biggest in Africa. Even bigger than El Derbie voetsek

juan again on January 10, 2020:

Definitely Sunderland and devon ?

Juan on January 10, 2020:

South Wales derby by far , 100,000 people die when they play

everybody on December 16, 2019:

old firm

Saleh on December 15, 2019:

Derby d'Italia

Tehran derby

MabhebezaEC_69 on December 10, 2019:

What about Soweto Derby?

RAJA on December 09, 2019:

The best derby is the Casablanca derby. Please check youtube to get in impression of this derby. The entourage is the best of the world.

Unfortunately, no media exposure in Europe for this derby.

james festo urio on December 04, 2019:

Young Africans vs Simba...

Ali on December 02, 2019:

Old Firm

WAC on November 25, 2019:

The best derby is the Casablanca derby between WAC vs RCA. Wydad vs Raja.

Moussaoui on November 25, 2019:

RAJA Vs WYDAD derby of Casablanca

Ntikii on November 25, 2019:

Soweto derby

Elton Makondo on November 13, 2019:

Soweto derby

Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates

Rafael Santana on November 10, 2019:

Grenal Gremio x Internacional

Davide Bettella on November 10, 2019:

sporting x benfica

Nein Mineiro on October 31, 2019:

The clássico mineiro is one of the oldest of my country, it happens since 1921, between Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro.

Soumya Bhattacharya on October 28, 2019:

Famous Indian Derby between East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan FC

ED on October 28, 2019:

Prague Derby

Chris on October 26, 2019:

Old firm derby

Robert on October 18, 2019:

Volendam Telstar

Skrappy on October 17, 2019:

Without a doubt you have to look forward to the oldest derby in football history between Sheffield united and Sheffield Wednesday it’s the biggest and oldest derby around

Suman Chakraborty on October 16, 2019:

East Bengal vs Muhan Bagan

Where? on October 06, 2019:

Where is the Intercontinental Derby? (Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray)

a on October 01, 2019:

MCA vs USMA - Algerian League - by far the most spectacular derby you will ever see in terms of passion, atmosphere, and coreography/firecrackers. Trust in me.

Gman on September 25, 2019:

River v boca

Barca v r madrid

Gers v celtic

Penarol v nacional

Lazio v roma

Milan v inter

Den on September 22, 2019:

Who ever wrote this article should watch Golf or something he have no idea what is called a derby even real vs barcelona isn't a derby. Derby is a match between same city rivals not classics.

Andy CFC on September 21, 2019:

Agree with Marco - river plate Boca should be no1 or 2

Andy cfc on September 21, 2019:

Glasgow Derby as it is now called as rangers (old co) died and “The Rangers” (new co/Sevco) is by far one of the best derby’s - should be in the top 5 at least. Has been the derby with the most matches played!!!!

Omemozes on September 18, 2019:

The Argentine derby River Plate should be in the top 10. I miss Feyenoord-Ajax (de Klassieker), LA FC- LA Galaxy (el Trafico), Fenerbahce-Galatasaray and the Moroccan and Iranian derby

Sam on August 25, 2019:

And tehran derby you ask why? because 100000 people come for it

LA GALAXY FAN on August 14, 2019:

LA GALAXY or lafc

Anindya Sundar Mandal on July 25, 2019:

Mohunbagan Vs east Bengal

HM on July 19, 2019:

EL Trafico - LAFC vs. LA Galaxy

Ahmed on May 12, 2019:

Zamalek vs al ahly the most famous derby in africa and middle east

Football Expert on April 29, 2019:

Sparta Prague - Slavia Prague - AS Monaco

Marco on April 17, 2019:

River - Boca, not even in the top 10???

Ohh man, you dont know anything about derbies then

Nunez on April 15, 2019:

cites only European clubs. superficial and untrue list. pure marketing. typical of whoever likes. talk about what you do not know to a lot of people who know less.

Kativa James on April 04, 2019:

Celtic vs Rangers is the biggest world football derby no doubt about that.

Anthony McGuire on February 22, 2019:

The Old-Firm Derby. Highest Scoring Game: Celtic 7-1 Rangers

Ayush sahh on January 30, 2019:

Kolkata derby (india)

Kojo Gomelesio on January 24, 2019:

Does chelsea have a derby.

Trenton Anderdon on December 25, 2018:

The cascadia cup which is between Vancouver whitecaps, Seattle sounders, and Portland timbers. Im american so it is my favorite to go watch.

Ayan on December 22, 2018:

Kolkata Derby is much fierce and competitive than others

Akash on December 11, 2018:

Kolkata Derby in India

EastBengal Vs MohunBagan

Plz check the statistics, History, Emotion of supporters

Leonard on December 03, 2018:

Man utd vs Arsenal

Vido on November 30, 2018:

Super Clasico

Helder on November 26, 2018:

Sporting vs benfica

Luca on November 25, 2018:

Sampdoria - Genoa, derby della lanterna

Emirhan Yılmaz on November 24, 2018:

Fenerbahçe - galatasaray

OG on November 02, 2018:

Fenerbahçe V Galatasaray

Jenas karki on October 29, 2018:

Chelsea vs arsenal

Marc on October 28, 2018:

Really? Ajax-PSV? Sure it's a big game here, but doesn't even come close to Ajax versus Feyenoord, called de Klassieker. By far the biggest game in the country, and definetely deserves a place in the list, instead of Ajax-PSV, which would is more a match like, let's say, Chelsea-Liverpool, a big match but nothing more..

Zwelakhe on October 27, 2018:

Soweto derby

Jimmy on October 25, 2018:

Sunderland

Gazza on October 24, 2018:

Hearts v Hibs.

p.s. The “Old Firm” derby no longer exists. Rangers died some years ago. Fact.

Mux on October 19, 2018:

Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs

Persian on October 18, 2018:

Have u ever heard about the two teams with most fans in asia the red and blue derby of Perspolis-Esteghlal the 100000 stadium of azadi is always full and the whole country is talking about it

Hilgard Mutembo on October 14, 2018:

Power Dynamos FC vs Nkana Football Club (Zambia)

Hentie Goen on October 05, 2018:

Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs

Loelo Quintero on October 04, 2018:

SOWETO DERBY

Orlando Pirates V Kaizer Chiefs

Fabian on September 21, 2018:

Wow, learn your history!!! How is Peñarol vs Nacional not on this list? It’s the oldest derby in the world after the Old Firm. Plus, 8 Copa Libertadores between them and 6 World Cups.

Hayden on September 16, 2018:

Mine (which is not popular (compared to those listed) but gets a good crowd, and is for the future as both teams mentioned are in different leagues) is The Bucks Derby between Wycombe Wanderers and MK Dons.

Harold on September 07, 2018:

Ajax - Feynoord

Best on September 04, 2018:

I think 2nd best Darby - Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal (India- Kolkata)

Sumit Halder on September 02, 2018:

East Bengal Vs mohunbagan

sávy on September 01, 2018:

Kolkata Derby (Mohun Bagan A.C vs East Bengal C.), (Mohun Bagan A.C vs Mohammedan S.C.), (East Bengal C. vs Mohammedan S.C.)

gr on September 01, 2018:

Old Firm

Soumyajit saha on August 29, 2018:

EAST BENGAL vs MOHUN BAGAN

sdd on August 20, 2018:

Best derby = Cracovia - Wisla Cracov

Yannis on August 05, 2018:

Super Classico: Boca - RIver

Boss on July 25, 2018:

Where's Ajax - Feyenoord?

Ye on July 14, 2018:

Club america vs chivas

Jamal on June 13, 2018:

RAJA of Casablanca and WAC of Casablanca derby is one of the best. Playing in botoula moroccan league.

Check it out.

Dibyendu mondal on June 07, 2018:

Kolkata derby between Mohunbagan and Eastbengal

Napoleon on April 24, 2018:

Bantu vs Lioli Lesotho not a derby but rivalry

desalegn molla workneh on March 22, 2018:

I am ethiopian and the famous derby in the capital city is in Addis ababa between St.george vs Ethiopian coffee apart from other derbies which ignited derby emotion recently.

wolfy on March 12, 2018:

Black country or pompey v scummers.

vcotort on March 11, 2018:

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Ward on February 12, 2018:

AS Roma vs Lazio Roma is the most fiercest rivalry, after FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Prodyboy on February 11, 2018:

Old firm derby best atmosphere in the world, second to none

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