Football’s 18 biggest LOCAL derbies ranked by passion and ferocity

first_img 18 18. Aris Saloniki v PAOK Saloniki: Famous for lots of fire and general chaos – click the right arrow above to see the biggest LOCAL rivalries – With Celtic and Rangers set to do battle again, talkSPORT looks at the biggest LOCAL derbies, beginning in northern Greece. Aris, formed in 1914 were the local’s side, with PAOK coming in 1926 born thanks to Greek refugees who were expelled from Istanbul. In recent years, PAOK have been the bigger team, with Aris in the second tier, however, they have three league titles to their rivals’ two. 18 1. Boca Juniors v River Plate: Famous for Atmosphere, intensity, resurgence – After a season in the lower leagues, River Plate returned to win the top tier in 2014, which was great news for River, but terrible news for the Buenos Aires police force. “Derby day in Buenos Aires makes the Old Firm game look like a primary school kick-about,” explains Scottish journalist Gavin Hamilton. With 70 per cent of the country said to have an allegiance one way or the other, you can see why. 8. Celtic v Rangers: Famous for Sectarianism, frequency (formerly) – World famous, ferocious, historic – but a match that has been lacking in frequency lately. Yet Rangers’ meltdown isn’t the only reason for an Old Firm being ‘just’ 13th. This was a derby fairly recently graced by Brian Laudrup, Paul Gascoigne and Henrik Larsson. In recent years, though, Bianca Gascoigne could get a game for either side. The fixture has been contested just once since Rangers were forced to play in Scottish football’s fourth tier in 2012, but will be eagerly anticipated ahead of the Gers’ playing in the Premiership from next season. 18 16. Nacional v Penarol: Famous for Success, social divides – The ‘Uruguayan Clasico’ is South America’s oldest derby played between these two Montevideo teams. Originally the Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club, Penarol was the team of the European immigrants, while Nacional formed in 1899 as a team for native Uruguayans. The rivalry burns as fiercely today, even if its profile remains low compared to, say, Argentine cousin Boca-River. 18 18 2. Fenerbahce v Galatasaray: Famous for Graeme’s flagpole – In 2014, Galatasaray fans chose to recreate – via a gigantic stadium flag – the moment in 1996 when their then boss/psychopath Graeme Souness ran on to the Fenerbahce pitch and planted a Galatasaray flag in the middle. Somehow, that insult delighted one half of Istanbul more even than the preceding victory. A rivalry fuelled by petty hatred and chaos: we love it. 14. Everton v Liverpool: Famous for Fire and friendliness – England’s oldest top-flight derby, which are fiery games full of red cards and goals. Loud and – at times – mutually respectful fans (witness the Hillsborough solidarity). To some, it may not be the most important derby in the north-west, but there is still plenty of bite in the Merseyside fixture. 15. West Ham v Millwall: Famous for their long-standing hatred and a heavy police presence – Millwall, formed of factory workers at JT Morton in the Isle of Dogs in 1885 and West Ham, of men at shipbuilding firm, Thames Ironworks 10 years later began playing each other in games that got pretty heated and the rivalry was born. The trade union strike in 1926 saw the dockers walk out, but it was allegedly not observed by those on the Millwall side – they had moved to south London by this time – and bitterness has grown since. Games involving the two are usually heavily policed, but meetings are infrequent with the Hammers a Premier League team and Millwall two divisions below in League One. 13. Manchester United v Manchester City: Famous for Noisy neighbours, Denis Law – A friendly camaraderie before the Second World War, then it turned ugly in the 1970s. It has been amped up since the blue half of Manchester won the Abu Dhabi lottery and notable moments from recent years include City’s 6-1 embarrassment of United at Old Trafford, Michael Owen scoring a stoppage time winner in a 4-3 classic, and Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick in 2011. 18 9. Lazio v Roma: Famous for flares and fascists – It’s slightly strange that Roma are associated with left-wing politics in the Derby della Capitale: they were founded when Mussolini merged three clubs in an attempt to create a counterpoint to the dominance of Juventus and the Milans. Lazio refused to join. Both sets of Ultras are a violent lot. Note 2004, and a riot that led to 13 arrests and 170 injured police. 18 18 18 11. Benfica v Sporting Lisbon: Famous for closeness – These Lisbon neighbours are too close for comfort, with just 3km separating the grounds. The problem for the Sportinguistas is that their dominance is a distant memory, so the current rivalry boils down to Benfica rubbing their success in their rivals’ faces every time they visit the Estadio Jose Alvalade – which their fans have dubbed ‘the toilet’ thanks to its tiled facade. When Sporting won a first Portuguese Cup for seven years in 2015, Benfica won successive league crowns. 7. Al Ahly v Zamalek: Famous for Violence on and off pitch – It is no mean feat to be known as the most fearsome derby in the league when you consider the Egyptian Premier League has had to cancel seasons in recent years because of political unrest and fan violence. This is a fixture that has had to be abandoned four times and is a game dividing 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. 10. AC Milan v Inter: Famous for See-sawing fortunes – Size: tick. Passion: tick. Global appeal: tick. Inter held sway in the distant past, while the Rossoneri ruled the roost in the 80s and 90s. The games themselves are goose-bump inducing, with flares, flags and foul language. Let down by a lack of games of trophy-deciding importance. 18 18 17. CSKA Moscow v Spartak Moscow: Famous for Political undertones – Spartak are the people’s club. CSKA were the team of the Soviet Army, count the Russian Ministry of Defence as a shareholder and were once owned by Roman Abramovich. A case of the haves and the have-nots, then, but Spartak’s best days are behind them. That means the feeling of injustice remains, but the rivalry has suffered. 18 6. Olympiakos v Panathinaikos: Famous for Ultraviolence – The derby of Athens’ eternal enemies is getting increasingly violent. In 2012 it was abandoned after petrol bombs were set off in the stands. In 2014, Panathinaikos boss Giannis Anastasiou was floored by an object thrown from the crowd and thousands of police were deployed in the following match to try to prevent trouble, but Anastasiou still got himself sent off. 18 3. Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade: Famous for violence disguised as passion – Both clubs were formed in the aftermath of World War II, with Partizan representing the army and Red Star the police. The latter’s European Cup success sets them apart, but to observers outside Serbia, football in the Eternal derby is secondary, with violence coming to define the fixture. In 2015 the game was delayed because of crowd trouble, which saw 35 police officers injured. 12. Arsenal v Tottenham: Famous for Goalfests – Emmanuel Adebayor and Sol Campbell’s respective departures played a part, but the resurgence of Tottenham is the major factor behind reigniting an age-old rivalry that previously saw Arsenal as much the better side. The Gunners used to be able to celebrate St Totteringham’s Day amid a lack of actual trophies – the day when Spurs can no longer mathematically finish above them – but even that appears to be dead. The season is not over, of course… 18 4. Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Famous for being ‘Mother of all derbies’ – Big on the terrace and big on the pitch. You just have to look at Dortmund players’ celebrations after beating Schalke last year to see what it means to everyone connected to the club, who are separated from their rivals by 20 miles on the Ruhr. Schalke are equally passionate as you can see by the thousands of ultras who turned up to watch training during in the lead up to the November derby loaded with flares and songs. 5. Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Famous for Underdogs finally biting back – Nine points. That’s what Atletico Madrid were worth to their famous neighbours each season: the six that Real Madrid would take from Atletico, plus the three that Atletico took from Barcelona. Hidden in the giant shadow of El Clasico, the Madrid derby was a joke. Except it wasn’t funny, because everyone knew the punchline. Real won. Until recently. A cathartic victory in the 2013 Copa del Rey final (Atletico’s first win over Real since 1999) gave Atletico a taste for it. They won on their next trip to the Bernabeu, then claimed La Liga but the big, blanco elephant in the room is that Atletico came up agonisingly short against Real in the Champions League final in 2014. At least now it’s no longer a mismatch. 18 18 It’s Celtic v Rangers on Sunday, as the Glasgow rivals go head-to-head at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi-final.The fixture has been contested just once since Rangers were forced to play in Scottish football’s fourth tier in 2012, but will be eagerly anticipated ahead of the Gers’ playing in the Premiership from next season.Here, talkSPORT looks at other fantastic rivalries, focusing solely on local rivalries – in each case, we asked, who are this club’s local rivals, hence in the case of Liverpool we selected Everton, not Manchester United, or for Real Madrid it was Atletico, not Barcelona.Count down the top 18, in the slideshow above. 18 18last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *