Top 10 Most Famous Football (Soccer) Derbies/Rivalries in the World

Updated on March 27, 2019
muzzster profile image

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

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.

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 Played
Real Madrid Wins
Draws
Barcelona Wins
Highest Scoring Match
225
90
48
87
Real Madrid 11-1 Barcelona

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 Played
AC Milan Wins
Draws
Inter Milan Wins
Highest Scoring Match
211
73
62
76
AC Milan 6-3 Inter Milan

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 Played
Manchester United Wins
Draws
Liverpool Wins
Highest Scoring Match
189
75
51
63
Liverpool 7-4 Manchester United

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 Played
Manchester United Wins
Draws
Manchester City Wins
Highest Scoring Match
165
69
50
46
Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City

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 Played
Juventus Wins
Draws
Inter Milan Wins
Highest Scoring Match
214
94
53
67
Juventus 9-1 Inter Milan

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 Played
Bayern Munich Wins
Draws
Borussia Dortmund Wins
Highest Scoring Match
99
43
29
27
Bauern Munich 11-1 Borussia Dortmund

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 Played
Arsenal Wins
Draws
Tottenham Wins
Highest Scoring Match
177
76
47
54
Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal

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 Played
Real Madrid Wins
Draws
Atletico Madrid Wins
Highest Scoring Match
197
104
45
48
Real Madrid 9-1 Atletico Madrid

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 Played
Liverpool Wins
Draws
Everton Wins
Highest Scoring Match
222
89
67
66
Everton 5-2 Liverpool

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 Played
Celtic Wins
Draws
Rangers Wins
Highest Scoring Match
399
144
96
159
Celtic 6-2 Rangers

Other Famous Derbies

Derby Name
Teams Involved
Matches Played
Wins
Draws
Highest 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

Which derby do you look forward to the most?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Muzzammil Maniar

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Ahmed 

        3 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Football Expert 

        3 months ago

        Sparta Prague - Slavia Prague - AS Monaco

      • profile image

        Marco 

        4 months ago

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

        Ohh man, you dont know anything about derbies then

      • profile image

        Nunez 

        4 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Kativa James 

        4 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Anthony McGuire 

        6 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Ayush sahh 

        6 months ago

        Kolkata derby (india)

      • profile image

        Kojo Gomelesio 

        7 months ago

        Does chelsea have a derby.

      • profile image

        Trenton Anderdon 

        8 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Ayan 

        8 months ago

        Kolkata Derby is much fierce and competitive than others

      • profile image

        Akash 

        8 months ago

        Kolkata Derby in India

        EastBengal Vs MohunBagan

        Plz check the statistics, History, Emotion of supporters

      • profile image

        Leonard 

        8 months ago

        Man utd vs Arsenal

      • profile image

        Vido 

        8 months ago

        Super Clasico

      • profile image

        Helder 

        9 months ago

        Sporting vs benfica

      • profile image

        Luca 

        9 months ago

        Sampdoria - Genoa, derby della lanterna

      • profile image

        Emirhan Yılmaz 

        9 months ago

        Fenerbahçe - galatasaray

      • profile image

        OG 

        9 months ago

        Fenerbahçe V Galatasaray

      • profile image

        Jenas karki 

        10 months ago

        Chelsea vs arsenal

      • profile image

        Marc 

        10 months ago

        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..

      • profile image

        Zwelakhe 

        10 months ago

        Soweto derby

      • profile image

        Jimmy 

        10 months ago

        Sunderland

      • profile image

        Gazza 

        10 months ago

        Hearts v Hibs.

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

      • profile image

        Mux 

        10 months ago

        Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs

      • profile image

        Persian 

        10 months ago

        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

      • profile image

        Hilgard Mutembo 

        10 months ago

        Power Dynamos FC vs Nkana Football Club (Zambia)

      • profile image

        Hentie Goen 

        10 months ago

        Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs

      • profile image

        Loelo Quintero 

        10 months ago

        SOWETO DERBY

        Orlando Pirates V Kaizer Chiefs

      • profile image

        Fabian 

        11 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Hayden 

        11 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Harold 

        11 months ago

        Ajax - Feynoord

      • profile image

        Best 

        11 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Sumit Halder 

        11 months ago

        East Bengal Vs mohunbagan

      • profile image

        sávy 

        11 months ago

        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.)

      • profile image

        gr 

        11 months ago

        Old Firm

      • profile image

        Soumyajit saha 

        12 months ago

        EAST BENGAL vs MOHUN BAGAN

      • profile image

        sdd 

        12 months ago

        Best derby = Cracovia - Wisla Cracov

      • profile image

        Yannis 

        12 months ago

        Super Classico: Boca - RIver

      • profile image

        Boss 

        13 months ago

        Where's Ajax - Feyenoord?

      • profile image

        Ye 

        13 months ago

        Club america vs chivas

      • profile image

        Jamal 

        14 months ago

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

        Check it out.

      • profile image

        Dibyendu mondal 

        14 months ago

        Kolkata derby between Mohunbagan and Eastbengal

      • profile image

        Napoleon 

        16 months ago

        Bantu vs Lioli Lesotho not a derby but rivalry

      • profile image

        desalegn molla workneh 

        17 months ago

        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.

      • profile image

        wolfy 

        17 months ago

        Black country or pompey v scummers.

      • profile image

        vcotort 

        17 months ago

        Manchester United vs Arsenal

      • profile image

        Ward 

        18 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Prodyboy 

        18 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Mario Mantilla 

        19 months ago

        Colombian classic: Atlético Nacional (Medellín), Millonarios (Bogotá).

      • profile image

        Lajcsika 

        20 months ago

        Diósgyőr-Nyíregyháza

      • profile image

        Erfan 

        21 months ago

        Esteghlal vs Persepolis? Tehran Derby?

      • profile image

        21 months ago

        iran? Esteghlal vs Perpolis. Big game for 6 decade

      • profile image

        AEM 

        21 months ago

        Esteghlal vs Perpolis - Iran for almost 50 Years

      • profile image

        Dexy 

        21 months ago

        Boca Juniors - River Plate and Partizan Belgrade - Red Star Belgrade are the greatest derbies in the world. Celtic - Rangers is very close.

      • profile image

        masoud 

        22 months ago

        Perspolis fc , esteghlal fc iran, in azadi stadium with 100.000 capacity...

      • profile image

        Mansour Z 

        22 months ago

        please take a look at the first and most popular derby of the Asia which is Perspolis and Esteghlal from Tehran, Iran

      • profile image

        FARUK 

        22 months ago

        You need to watch Fenerbahce v Galatasaray Fantastic atmosphere

      • profile image

        Sharif 

        22 months ago

        Wrong Information..

        Al Ahly Cairo VS Zamalek "Egypt" is on top 5

        Fanarbahce VS Galatasaray "Turkey"

      • profile image

        Asim yadav 

        22 months ago

        Wrong information on Man City vs Man United. The highest scoring match between them is:

        Man United 1-6 Man City

      • profile image

        Les George 

        23 months ago

        The Black Country derby wba v wolves

      • profile image

        Gökhan 

        23 months ago

        Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce is one of the biggest 3 derbies of the world

      • profile image

        DORTMUND 

        2 years ago

        Dortmund vs Bayern isnt a Derby.

        German three biggest Derby are:

        1. Schalke vs Dortmund

        2. Köln vs Mönchengladbach

        3. Hamburg vs Bremen

      • profile image

        Bazzy 

        2 years ago

        SK Slavia Praha vs AC Sparta Praha (Czech)

      • profile image

        2 years ago

        I look forward to Liverpool vs Arsenal

      • profile image

        enoch ezekiel 

        2 years ago

        revier derby- borussia dortmund vs schalke

      • profile image

        Fjackala 

        2 years ago

        Before writing this article you have to learn the world football. Fenerbahçe vs Galatasaray is within -top 5 derbies- in the world.

      • profile image

        Debdut Bhaumik 

        2 years ago

        None of them listed above ever had more than 100K spectators at ground but Kolkata Derby has it. Maybe it's not about top-class football but the craze between fans and the rivalry is one of the best sports rivalry in the world.

      • profile image

        Masal 

        2 years ago

        Perspolis vs Esteghlal (Taj before the revelotion) is the most famous derby in Asia,attracting lots of fans allover the country.

      • profile image

        Oscar 

        3 years ago

        FENERBAHÇE V GALATASARAY

      • profile image

        Rizzo 

        3 years ago

        The Derby I look forward to the most,definitely the Soweto derby.I just cannot get enough of the matches.

      • Raphael Dipippo profile image

        Raphael Dipippo 

        3 years ago

        Amazing

      • profile image

        Loyd 

        3 years ago

        Soweto Derby is very big in South Africa. Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates enjoys the biggest support here. When they play we are sure that the 94 000 FNB/Soccer city stadium will be full.... Do your research

      • profile image

        Rocka 

        3 years ago

        I can't believe that Boca vs River super clasico isn't included in the list! C'mon best derby ever!

      • profile image

        Santanu Kundu 

        3 years ago

        The Calcutta Derby of India played between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan is regularly attended by 100,000 spectators. It splits the whole of Bengal and the Bengalis all over the world, down the middle on match day. This is the only match that can surpass the popularity of a cricket in India.

      • profile image

        João Emilio 

        3 years ago

        Vasco da Gama x Flamengo is Brazil's most famous derby. Both Clubs have together More Than 55 million fans

      • profile image

        CRLK 

        3 years ago

        One question though...does Bayern Munchen has a derby? I might've missed it in the article but still...does it?

      • profile image

        Iran 

        3 years ago

        Esteghlal vs. Perspolis in Iran is the biggest in Asia with 100 fans easily come at Azadi Stadium every time.

      • profile image

        chrille 

        3 years ago

        Brøndby if vs Fc copenhagen

      • profile image

        JoAktham 

        3 years ago

        Al Ahly v Zamalek: Famous for Violence on and off pitch

        When the Egyptian Premier League has had to cancel two of their past three seasons because of political unrest and fan violence, it is perhaps no mean feat to be known as the most fearsome derby in the league. A fixture that has had to be abandoned four times, this game divides Cairo down the middle between the red of Al Ahly and white of Zamalek, and even sees a foreign referee flown in because all the Egyptian officials are said to have a leaning towards one of the clubs.

      • profile image

        ali 

        4 years ago

        galatasary vs fernabache is good

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @Aleksa Zivkovic

        Noted and added.

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @Tony P

        Thank you for reminding me about that dreaded day. In actuality, both the matches can fall into the category of the highest scoring matches. Also, I felt it was a good opportunity to forget that score :-)

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @bob

        I choose according to the maximum number of goals scored, so both the scores are able to take that spot. I didn't want to embarrass the Rangers team too much :-)

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @Ryan

        Added.

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @Harry Barker

        The noise that is generated during the Liverpool vs Everton is just amazing. The reaction of the crowd towards every action, be it a foul, goal or chance is indescribable.

        Newcastle vs Sunderland is also a great game to watch but in my opinion, you can't compare it to the merseyside derby. That noise is just deafening!

      • profile image

        Aleksa Zivkovic 

        4 years ago

        Where is the Belgrade derby?

        Just becouse we are Serbian,and small doesn't mean that the people have rivarlies between 2 clubs...

      • profile image

        Prter 

        4 years ago

        BOCA-river

      • profile image

        Tony P 

        4 years ago

        You have stated that the highest scoring match in the City/United derby was the 4-3 win to United. As this article was written in November 2014 and you are a United fan, I'll assume that you want to forget the 6-1 drubbing at Old Trafford in 2012

      • profile image

        4 years ago

        Red Star v Partizan

      • profile image

        bob 

        4 years ago

        Celtic vs rangers is the best! And get you facts straight the highest score was Celtic 7 - rangers 1

      • profile image

        erj 

        4 years ago

        Galatasaray v fenerbache have you ever felt a stadium shake and tremble. I did absolutely amazing

      • Joe3santacoloma profile image

        Joseph Santacruz 

        4 years ago from Warsaw, Poland

        That's good stuff. Most football great derbies are in Europe undoubtedly !

        But a good one worth mentioning in South America is Boca vs River Plate ! By the way I'm not Argentinian ! ;)

      • profile image

        TheKangarooz13 

        4 years ago

        Sunderland - Newcastle? Actually, no point because Sunderland just keep on hammering them. FTM!

      • profile image

        Ryan 

        4 years ago

        Swansea v Cardiff is a bigger rivalry than most of these, police actually had to ban away fans for a number of years after 'Nasty Friday' in 1993.

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @fhritp21

        Added. Thank you for your input.

      • profile image

        Orhan 

        4 years ago

        Definitely Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray in the Turkish League..

      • profile image

        fhritp21 

        4 years ago

        how bout chivas and america in mexico?

      • muzzster profile imageAUTHOR

        Muzzammil Maniar 

        4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

        @Juan

        Noted and added. Good to have a Romanian supporter here too.

      • profile image

        Juan 

        4 years ago

        Steaua vs Dinamo (Roumania)

      • Harry Barker profile image

        Harry 

        4 years ago from Boston, MA

        Liverpool vs Everton is famous yes but ahead of Newcastle vs Sunderland? The pure hatred between those two is unrivalled in England apart from maybe Millwall vs West Ham which I feel is the most famous derby in the country. Liverpool/Everton fans sit together in the crowd at the games which just doesn't have the derby feel, or even the football feel for that matter, where is the rivalry?

      • profile image

        Greg Ingham 

        4 years ago

        The most intense (not better football quality), but yet impressive football derby in the world is the Super Clasico.

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