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Five of the biggest rivalries in club football

Football rivalries
  • Football rivalries create historic and long-lasting memories for the fans. The biggest rivalries are the ones where both teams share the same town. 
  • Fans turn out in large numbers and make the game more entertaining. However, rivalries get ugly sometimes when the fans begin to fight. 
  • Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona is the biggest football rivalry in the world. 

Football rivalries are what make any sports game fun. The hatred fans have towards opposing teams makes football more entertaining and passionate to watch. 

Rivalries in football create unique and historic football experiences. Most football rivalries are some of the best matches in their respective leagues. 

The most entertaining rivalries are the ones where the two teams come from the same city. The fans pile up in the stadiums during the derby matches and create a memorable experience as the game goes on. 

Football rivalries sometimes get ugly when the fans begin to fight. Without further ado, let’s look at five of the biggest rivalries in club football. 

1. FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are the most popular teams in the football world. Most footballers wish to play for either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona before hanging their boots. 

FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid is undoubtedly the biggest rivalry in football. A large number of football fans worldwide gather to watch the fixture. The match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is popularly known as El clasico.

El Clasico

El clasico is the biggest football rivalry. Photo/ Viet Times.

The fans of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona hate each other. The hatred between the two teams dates back to the 1930s when Spain was under dictatorship. Barcelona is known for its rebellious nature, while Real Madrid represents Spanish nationalism. 

Some of the best players in history have played in the El Clasico. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane are among the top footballers who have played in the world’s biggest derby. 

2. Manchester United vs Liverpool

Manchester United vs Liverpool is another big rivalry in club football. The rivalry is mainly because the two are the most successful teams in England. Manchester United and Liverpool have won more than 110 trophies combined. 

The North West Derby often leads to violence between the fans. Manchester United vs Liverpool used to be the most famous derby in Europe. However, things have recently changed due to the fact that Liverpool is currently stronger and plays better than Manchester United.

Football rivalries

Manchester United vs Liverpool is the biggest rivalry in England. Photo/ National Sports Link.

3. Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs is one of the biggest rivalries in club football. The London derby dates back to 1913 when Arsenal shifted location from Plumstead to Highbury. 

When the two teams face each other, Arsenal often emerges as the winner. However, the fans still fuel the enmity because they share the same geographical location. The fans take the fixture seriously, making the atmosphere terrific. 

4. Rangers vs Celtic

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is popularly known as “The Old Firm”. The rivalry in Scotland splits the nation when the two teams are playing against each other. 

Celtic and Rangers are the biggest and most successful teams in Scotland. The two teams have won more than 200 trophies combined. 

Rangers vs Celtic fixture often leads to violence and vandalism in Glasgow (the location of the two teams). The cosy relationship between the fans has been on for decades. The enmity will still be on as long as the two teams continue to dominate the Scotland League. 

5. AC Milan vs Inter Milan

Inter Milan vs AC Milan is one of the oldest and biggest rivalries in club football. The two Serie A clubs were at one point the best teams in European football.

Some of the best players in history, such as Ronaldinho Gaucho, Ronaldo Nazario, and Samuel Eto’o, have played in the derby. 

The AC Milan vs Inter Milan rivalry dates back to 1899, when AC Milan was formed. The players and the staff differed when the team made a rule not to sign any foreign player. The only solution that emerged was splitting the team into two, which gave birth to Inter Milan. 

Over the years, Inter Milan has won more trophies compared to AC Milan. However, the rivalry between the two teams remains intense because they share the same stadium, San Siro. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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