Top five derby rivalries from around the world

Top five derby rivalries from around the world

What a weekend it was for derbies in the Premier League. A scintillating end-to-end North London derby with six goals, a bonkers last minute goal in Everton vs. Liverpool and then a typically amicable West London derby between Chelsea and Fulham. But, it got us thinking, what are the most intense, heated derby rivalries from around the world? Here are our top 5:

5. The Cairo derby: Al Ahly SC vs. Zamalek SC

Put two of the most successful club teams, not just in Egypt, but in the whole of Africa in the same bustling city and you have the perfect recipe for a heated derby. In terms of intensity this should really have been higher on our list, but the fact that there are often serious violent acts, including deaths reported in connection with this fixture meant we bumped it down to fifth place.

To put the level of rivalry into perspective referees from abroad are often flown in to officiate this match. They usually meet twice in the league, often in the Egypt Cup and occasionally in the CAF Champions League.

Head to head record:

Al Ahly: 66
Drawn: 58
Zamalek: 37

4. The Old Firm Derby: Celtic vs. Rangers

The highlight of the SPL season is the old firm derby when two of Scotland's most coveted teams meet in a fixture that evokes political, social and sectarian divides. Both teams are based in Glasgow and from the mid 80s until 2012 the two teams dominated the domestic league, with only one other team winning it during a seventeen year spell. 

In 2012 Rangers ran into financial difficulties and were demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football. Now, they are back in the SPL but Celtic have dominated for the past seven years.

Head to head record:

Rangers: 159 matches 

Celtic: 156 matches

Drawn: 99 matches

3. Derby of The Eternal Enemies: Olympiakos vs. Panathinaikos

The name kind of gives it away; these two teams hate each other. Both based in Athens they are the two most successful teams in Greek history, and like a lot of derbies are split along social and political divides.

Panathinaikos are based in central Athens and considered the team of the middle/upper classes. Olympiakos is based in Piraeus, a port city in the suburbs of Athens and are associated with a more working class fan base. This derby is not restricted to football spilling over into basketball and other sports.

Head to head record:

Olympiakos: 80 matches 

Drawn: 68 matches

Panathinaikos: 50 matches

2. Superclásico: Boca Juniors vs. River Plate

The Buenos Aires derby is really a derby for the whole of Argentina with some statistics suggesting that these two clubs have over 70% of Argentina's fans between them.

The rivalry stems from social divides with Boca Juniors originating from La Boca a working class dockland district. River Plate come from the more affluent Nuñez district. Of course, being football fans they've decided to be mature about the whole thing with Boca fans calling River Plate fans gallinas (chickens) referring to their apparent lack of guts, whilst River Plate fans refer to Boca fans as Los chanchitos (little pigs) as the poorer district they are based in is purported to smell.

River Plate fans refer to Boca fans as Los chanchitos (little pigs) as the poorer district they are based in is purported to smell.

Head to head record:

Boca Juniors: 88 
Draw: 78 
River Plate: 81

1. The Intercontinental Derby: Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray

This is the only derby to be played across two continents, hence it's name. It is a match between two Istanbul based teams that are also two of the most successful in Turkish history. This derby, like most others, is based on cultural and social rivalry as well as geographical.

To understand it you have to go back to their formation, with Galatasaray founded in 1905 by Galatasaray High School students. Fenerbahce was formed two years later on over in the Asian side of Istanbul in the working class district of Kadiköy. Since then Galatasaray have been associated with the high class in Istanbul whereas Fenerbahce is considered to be the team of blue collar workers. Of course, these lines have blurred in recent times but the rivalry and division is as alive as ever.

Head to head record:

Fenerbahçe SK: 146
Drawn: 119
Galatasaray SK: 123

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