Most Intense Football Rivalries

Football Rivalries is one of the beauties of the soccer game, here we highlight the most intense Football Rivalries in the world. Rivalries that come with lots of history and involves cities and countries. These age-long rivalries have gradually become the center of attraction because of their intensity, quality of football and most importantly, passion.

10 Most Intense Football Rivalries

Right from the El Clásico in Spain to the Superclásico in Argentina, here are the most intense football rivalries in the world:

El Clásico

Most Intense Football Rivalries

El Clásico

It is regarded as one of the most intense rivalries in sports, and one of the biggest club football games in the world. The game is rivaled between the two biggest giants in Spanish football, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The El Clásico is watched by thousands of fans at the stadiums and millions all over the world on their TV screens. The game is always full of controversial incidents, one of such incidents occurred in 2011, the then Real Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho, during an altercation between both teams, poked Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova in the eye. These sorts of incidents come up very frequently in this high-stakes derby. Barcelona leads the tied results in competitive matches with 96 wins to Real Madrid’s 95.

The North West Derby

The North West Derby. - Independent

The northwest Derby. – Independent

The North London Derby is said to be the most famous fixture in English football. It is played between top rivals,  Manchester United and Liverpool, two of the most successful clubs in English football. The games between the two clubs have been considered to be their biggest rivalry, above even their own local competitions with Everton and Manchester City, respectively. The game captures what English football is all about, with its intensity and passion, which often goes along with verbal abuses and all-out brawls among both players and fans.

Derby Della Madonnina (Milan Derby)

Derby della Madonnina (Milan Derby). - Bleacher Report

Derby Della Madonnina (Milan Derby). – Bleacher Report

It is also called Derby di Milano (or the Milan Derby, in English)  is a derby football match between the two foremost Milan clubs;  Internazionale and Milan. The Milan derby is the biggest in Italian football, and some said the game was a political affair, especially because AC Milan and Inter were owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and prominent businessperson Massimo Moratti respectively. The Milan derby is usually remembered for more of the fighting than the football, although it has become less intense in recent years. Some prominent players to have played in Milan derby Include, Ronaldo Nazario, Gennaro Gattuso, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Andrea Pirlo, and others.

The Merseyside Derby

Most Intense Football Rivalries

The Merseyside Derby. – Ramblings – Most Intense Football Rivalries

Between Everton and Liverpool is one of the most passionate and intense football rivalries in the world. What began as a friendly game between two neighboring teams that has escalated into an all-out war. The derby has the highest number of matches in English football and has seen a record lot of red cards with 21 sending offs. Both teams fight tooth and nail in a bid to be the best in Liverpool.

The North London Derby

The North London Derby. - Georgetown

The North London Derby. – Georgetown

It is considered by many to be one of the most popular and fiercest derbies in the UK and Europe. The game is rivaled between two  London teams, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The derby is known for fast-paced and high scoring matches and violent encounters between opposing fans. Arsenal used to have the upper hand over their rivals, but in recent times, Spurs have begun to outdo themselves as a more than capable rival in London.

El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby)

El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby). - Getty Images

El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby). – Getty Images

The competition between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid started from the beginning of the twentieth century and has evolved over time into a full-blown must-win battle for supremacy. The Madrid derby is one of the most anticipated matches in the Spanish football calendar. For a while, Real Madrid dominated the fixture, but recently, Atlético has emerged from the shadows.

The Manchester Derby

The Manchester Derby. - Dailymail / Most Intense Football Rivalries

The Manchester Derby. – Dailymail / Most Intense Football Rivalries

The Manchester Derby is a serious rivalry in the Premier League between Manchester United and Manchester. The rivalry has become even more intense in recent years with City’s splurge, ending United’s dominance and raising the bar of the contest. The teams have played in all 178 matches in all competitions, United winning 73, City 53, and the remaining 52 having been drawn.

Derby d’Italia

Derby d’Italia. - Getty Images

Derby d’Italia. – Getty Images

The Derby d’Italia is an intense football rivalry between Internazionale of Milan and Juventus of Turin. The term was derived back in 1967 by Italian sports journalist Gianni Brera. Because the teams are from the two biggest cities in Northwest Italy, the derby also represents a regional rivalry, and the intensity on the pitch has also made its way into Italian politics. Juventus have managed to surpass their opponents on a majority of occasions with a 110 – 77 win margin.

The Old Firm Derby

The Old Firm Derby

The Old Firm Derby. – Getty Images

The Old Firm Derby is a rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, two of the most successful clubs in Scotland. The game is the fiercest and oldest in Scottish football, it is also known for its violence, vandalism and pitch invasion. The competition has reflected and contributed to political, social, and religious division in Scotland, although it also helps to generate a heavy revenue for Scotland’s economy.


Superclásico. - Sportsnet

Superclásico. – Sportsnet

The Superclásico is a derby between both Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate, two clubs that control more than 70% of all Argentine football fans between them. The Superclásico one of the most fierce and most important derbies in the world. The Superclásico ranked at the top of “50 sporting things you must do before you die” by English newspaper The Observer in April 2004.