With next seasons fixtures being released for each league, fans will be excitedly scanning through them to find out when they’ll be playing their rivals. A derby game is an incredibly exciting match to watch, especially if your team wins. Here we look at some of the craziest, flare laden and, sometimes, deadliest derbies across the globe. It certainly makes for some incredible photographs at least.
Al Ahly vs Zamalek – Egypt
Al Ahly and Zamalek were named the 1st and 2nd best African clubs of the 20th Century and both play in the capital city, Cairo. They are also the two most successful clubs in Egypt. However, there is most certainly no love lost between these two sides. The ‘Ultra’ movement is growing and more and more security officers are having to be deployed at each game. Neutral venues are now mandatory along with foreign referees being brought in to quell any doubts of corruption or favouritism. Some fights between fans have been so intense that people have sadly died because of it. Obviously this has no place in football but as far as the games go, you can’t beat a match between the countries top two teams being loudly encouraged by both sets of fans.
Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray – Turkey
Another long standing rivalry between a country’s top two clubs. Flying tackles, angry fans in the stand, players fighting each other on the pitch, and that was just a friendly match! One of the most famous incidents came when the two teams faced each other in the Turkish Cup final. Fenerbahce fans and members of the club thought Galatasaray shouldn’t even be in the final and that they weren’t worthy opponents. Galatasaray ran out winners and manager Graeme Souness ran onto the pitch with a Galatasaray flag and planted it in the centre of the pitch. Much to the losing teams fans annoyance. It comes as no surprise that Galatasaray haven’t let their rival fans forget it.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona – Spain
You can’t possibly write about football rivalries and not include El Clasico. Two of the best teams in the world, playing with some of the best players ever to have played, in huge stadiums with billions of people watching all over the world every year. The words ‘El Clasico’ will get any football fan excited. Luis Figo caused huge outrage when, having played for Barcelona and assuring Barcelona fans he would stay at the club, went on to sign for Real Madrid. On his return to Barcelona with Madrid he was taunted and had debris hurled at him including coins, knives, glass bottles and even a pigs head! El Clasico is one of the biggest games in the world and every year fans wait in anticipation to see some of the greatest players in the world battle it out against each other. Only two Barcelona players have ever received a standing ovation from the Real Madrid fans, Maradona and Ronaldinho. That’s some feat!
Celtic vs Rangers – Scotland
Celtic vs Rangers is more than just two teams from Glasgow. The fan bases have very strong ties to Northern Ireland and the Protestant (Rangers) & Catholic (Celtic) groups. This can lead to some offensive chants and banners which the Police and both clubs have been working hard to eradicate. It is estimated that the derby games bring in £120 million to the Scottish Economy. In recent years following Rangers struggle with administration and relegation down to the third tier, Celtic have been dominant in the results. The games have been rolling for 129 years though and will carry on for many more so nothing is constant with this derby.
River Plate vs Boca Juniors – Argentina
As derby games go, they don’t get much bigger than this one. The two most supported teams in the country battling it out in front of flares, fireworks & fans. If there’s one football game you need to see in your lifetime it’s surely got to be this one. So much passion from the fans and players alike light up La Bombonera or the Estadio Monumental. This game is known as one of the fiercest and most important in world football.
There’s no atmosphere in the world quite like a full stadium on derby day, especially if you beat your rival team. Every year fans all over the world wait eagerly for the dates of their derby games and look forward to planning the whole day. Football, you just can’t beat it.