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

Updated on February 16, 2017

Football has seen a lot of rivalries develop between clubs during its rich and long history, some of which can be traced back to 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 rivalry 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 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 to 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 of Spain. Many legendary players have represented these clubs such as Ronaldinho and Raul as well as the 2 best players of the current generation in 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 out 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 long time 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 look 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 which has all that one can ask for in a game of football. The game is the most watched fixture in German football which 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 most 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 is also one of the most highly anticipated matches which sees city rivals Real Madrid and Atlético face off against one another. 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 most 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 stated 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 most oldest and fiercely contested and is responsible in 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

© 2014 Muzzammil Maniar

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    • profile image

      Daniel 37 hours ago

      Hi everyone! I love football and I love betting,,,,, please I need some sure games to bet. Thank you ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,danielanyanime973@gmail.com

    • profile image

      DORTMUND 7 weeks 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 8 weeks ago

      SK Slavia Praha vs AC Sparta Praha (Czech)

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      2 months ago

      I look forward to Liverpool vs Arsenal

    • profile image

      enoch ezekiel 3 months ago

      revier derby- borussia dortmund vs schalke

    • profile image

      Fjackala 3 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 15 months ago

      FENERBAHÇE V GALATASARAY

    • profile image

      Rizzo 16 months 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 16 months ago

      Amazing

    • profile image

      Abuzi 17 months ago

      I see that you mostly ignoring persons who write Galatasaray vs Fenerbahçe and adding others . Two option for ignorance. You are a racist or you don't know anything about world football.

      I suggest that just check internet some more.

    • profile image

      Loyd 17 months 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

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      Rocka 18 months ago

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

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      Santanu Kundu 18 months 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.

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      João Emilio 19 months ago

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

    • profile image

      CRLK 20 months 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 20 months ago

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

    • profile image

      chrille 21 months ago

      Brøndby if vs Fc copenhagen

    • profile image

      JoAktham 22 months 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.

    • Antonio Martinez1 profile image

      Antonio Martinez 2 years ago from Kearny, New Jersey

      What about any of the Dutch derbies featuring Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV? Where would any of those derbies rank overall?

    • Hugo Pressman profile image

      Hugo Pressman 2 years ago from Brazil

      John Joseph is absolutely right

    • profile image

      John Joseph 2 years ago

      If you want to post a list of the greatest derbies in the world, then you need to put Celtic v Rangers at the top. Nothing else will suffice. If you choose not to do this, your list has no credibility.

      In second place you put Barca v Real.

      After that, things become subjective and there is no real order.

    • Hugo Pressman profile image

      Hugo Pressman 2 years ago from Brazil

      Very good hub, mate, but there's a little mistake over there. The greatest derby and rivalry in Germany isn't FC Bayern vs Borussia Dortmund, but Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund! They are from neighboring cities (Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund) and are the most popular teams in the whole country (after Bayern München, of course)!

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      ali 2 years ago

      galatasary vs fernabache is good

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Aleksa Zivkovic

      Noted and added.

    • muzzster profile image
      Author

      Muzzammil Maniar 2 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 image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 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 :-)

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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Ryan

      Added.

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 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!

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      Aleksa Zivkovic 2 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 2 years ago

      BOCA-river

    • profile image

      Tony P 2 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

      2 years ago

      Red Star v Partizan

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      bob 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      erj 2 years ago

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

    • Joe3santacoloma profile image

      Joseph Santacruz 2 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 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Ryan 2 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 image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @fhritp21

      Added. Thank you for your input.

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      Orhan 2 years ago

      Definitely Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray in the Turkish League..

    • profile image

      fhritp21 2 years ago

      how bout chivas and america in mexico?

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Juan

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

    • profile image

      Juan 2 years ago

      Steaua vs Dinamo (Roumania)

    • Harry Barker profile image

      Harry 2 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?

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      Greg Ingham 2 years ago

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

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @AntonioMartinez1

      Noted and added. Thank you for pointing it out.

    • Antonio Martinez1 profile image

      Antonio Martinez 2 years ago from Kearny, New Jersey

      Where is the love for the Reveriederby? Schalke and Dortmund is one of the best derbies outside of Bayern Munich.

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Gui

      Thank you for pointing it out. It has been added.

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      Gui 2 years ago

      Corinthians vs Palmeiras is the best Derby in Brasil, its equal to Roma vs Lazio in terms of the fans and violence, so i am surprised this is not even here

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @ Thabang

      I have never really heard of the SA derby maybe because it does not get that much coverage across the globe. Nonetheless, the teams you mention do ring a bell. To be frank, I think they just do not compare to the other teams in the top 10 to get in there (I mean no offence).

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      Thabang 2 years ago

      SA derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaiser Chiefs,one of the best derbies nd I think they deserve a spot in the top 10

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      Indeed and one of the most rowdiest too!!

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      didierdrogbaaa 3 years ago

      Galatasaray - Fenerbahçe derby is best.

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Tolovaj

      Thanks for the comment. I highlighted these derbies as the majority can relate to them and because history has been much more kinder to them. I'm sure the derbies you have mentioned would be as good as the rest. As for Turkey, they are one of the rowdiest and ill-mannered and so are those taking place in Brazil and Argentina. Hope to get the chance to witness them one day.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I think there is more than Italy, Spain, Germany and England in football, although some of the greatest clubs come from these countries. I remember derbies of 'the big four' from the ex-Yugoslavia league: Crvena Zvezda, Dinamo, Hajduk and Partizan, but this belongs to history. I have heard derby between best clubs in Turkey is very special too. I don't have any idea how this looks in Brasil or Argentina...

      All in all - thanks for reminding me of some great matches. Football is never just a football:)

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 3 years ago

      @Muzzster:)

      i made up the name Emperical derby:)

      When NYFC are finally playing in MLS I figure that rivalry could become great over time

    • muzzster profile image
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      Muzzammil Maniar 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      I mainly focused on Europe as they are the ones everyone can relate to more, even though the super clasico is intense and could have been in the top 10. The merseyside derby i agree should be ranked higher, will do that. The Emperical derby, hmm , will have to read up on that one. Thank you as always for the comment.

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      Richard-Murray 3 years ago

      you should have highlighted the super classico between boca and river plate. That is a pretty big one, that deserves top ten status, and definitely could have gotten the spot der klassiker. Borussia Dortmund arent the traditional opponents to bayern munich in the past 30 years that team was borussia monchengladbach. Jupp heynkes played for m'gladbach and brought that to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. I also think meyerside should have been placed higher. Meyerside is one of the most intense. It has calmed down in recent years but that was one of the most violent derby's.

      being proactive, I think the "Empirical Derby" (RedBulls/NYFC) has the money, the location, and media power to become the biggest derby in MLS. MLS would like CHivas to get stronger to be a strong derby.