10 Most Popular Football Derbies In World Football

“Derby” is a term used to describe the rivalry between two football clubs. It is a literal meaning of derby is a match between two clubs from the same city. However, over the years, the derby word has been used even for the rivalry between two clubs that are not in the same city. We take a look at the 10 most Popular Football Derbies/ rivalries in world football.

Before we get into some iconic and popular Football derbies, and rivalries. Here are some of the reasons that play an important role in setting up the rivalry required for a classic derby contest.

Factors that make the derby possible:

Location: The location of clubs plays a pivotal role in setting up a derby. We already said in the above statement that the meaning of the word derby is for the rivalry between two clubs from the same city. Hence clubs from the same city fall in derby. Fans of that respective city are divided into two clubs.

Example: Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Historical developments: Sometimes football clubs from the same city represent two different values. For Example in a family, one may support one team. however, the new one is like there another half of the city. The historic matches between the two teams might be cup finals or some controversial games and these kinds of things give birth to hate-rivalry between two local clubs.

Competitive nature: If one club is very successful and the other club from the same city is not, then whenever they play each other it will still be a derby game but won’t have that competitive edge and the bitterness that two equally matched sides usually do. That is why the competitive nature of derbies is one of the biggest factors in making a proper rivalry.

10 Most Popular Football Derbies

10. Derby Della Capitale – Roma vs Lazio


The history of the Roman derby goes back to the 100-year mark. In the early 19th century, Italian football was dominated by clubs from the northern part of the country. But in 1927, then Italian political leader Benito Mussolini decided to gather the best players from all over the country and created the Roma football club.

The only club that gave up on Mussolini’s idea was Lazio. Since then, a tough and irreconcilable rivalry has begun. During derby days, Rome is divided into 2 parts, and fans often get into fights. The most tragic episode happened in 1979 when a Lazio fan was killed in a riot by Roma fans.

9). Derby Della Madonnina – Inter vs Milan

  • City: Milan
  • Country: Italy
  • First-Ever Match: 1909
  • Head to head Record: AC Milan 82-77 Inter Milan

Inter and Milan play in the same stadium but have different names. In 1899, English workers founded the Milan football club, but after a few years, disagreements began at the club. Some of the leaders wanted to see Italian footballers on the team, while others supported the foreigners.

The conflict ended in 1908 when the Internationale football club was founded. Since then Milan and Inter have been competing with each other, the trophy race characterizes their confrontation. Unlike the Roman derby, Milan club fans are calm and rarely get into fights.

8). Derby of eternal enemies – Olympiacos vs Panathinaikos

Other Greek clubs want to become giants, but Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are still the best in the country. The rivalry between the “greens” and “red-whites” has a social character. Panathinaikos was founded in 1908 in Athens, and representatives of the elite were the whiteners of the clubs.

Olympiacos was founded 17 years later in the port city of Piraeus, so ordinary workers supported him. Teams hate each other and fans often fight each other.

7). Der Klassiker – Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund

  • City: Munich vs Dortmund
  • Country: Germany
  • First-Ever Match: 1965
  • Head to head Record: Bayern Munich 62-33 Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund has ignited a rivalry in the last three decades entirely because both sides are good at soccer and are more often than not competing against each other at the top of the Bundesliga. This one is maybe not as competitive as the others we mentioned.

However, Bayern Munich needs some competition in Bundesliga and Borussia Dortmund is the only team that is able to stand up to Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund is the last team to win Bundesliga ahead of Bayern Munich.

6). Folk classic – Flamengo vs Fluminense

Brazil is a football country, and the main confrontation is between Flamengo and Fluminense. In 1971, the stadium was attended by 194,000 people during the Flamengo vs Fluminense match, a world record.

Brazilian super classic also has a social character. Flamengo was rooted in the working class, and Fluminense was a favorite club for the elite.

5). Intercontinental Derby – Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce

  • City: Istanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • First-Ever Match: 1909
  • Head to head Record: Fenerbahce 147 wins in 394 matches

The confrontation “Between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce” is called the intercontinental derby. Galatasaray was founded in the European part of Istanbul. On the other side, the rival club Fenerbahce was found in the Asian one. T

he fans of the clubs are very supportive of their teams, and in 2011 the highest level of noise support was recorded at the Turk Telekom stadium.

4). The Old Firm Derby – Celtic vs- Rangers

  • City: Glasgow
  • Country: Scotland
  • First-Ever Match: 1888
  • Head to head Record: Rangers 167 wins in 426 matches.

Celtic and Rangers fans hated each other, and one of the reasons was religious views. Celtic was founded by representatives of the Catholic Church, the Rangers are people with Protestant views.

The first match between these teams took place in 1888, and since then, passions have only heated up. In 1927, a massive fight between fans took place, in which 2,000 people took part. In recent years, fans have calmed down but still dislike each other.

3). Superclassico – Boca Juniors vs River Plate

  • City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Country: Argentina
  • First-Ever Match: 1913
  • Head to head Record: Boca Juniors 89-84 River Plate

Boca Juniors and River Plate have sworn enemies and the atmosphere at these matches is one of the best. The relationship between fans is very tense, they are ready to kill each other. a colossal encounter that sees two clubs from Buenos Aires battle for bragging rights.

The match-up is world-renowned for its devoted capacity crowds who create an unforgettable atmosphere. Football fanatics travel far and wide to witness the meeting of Argentina’s two biggest sides. Riots have been plentiful, while police often have to battle violence. 

2). Northwest Derby – Liverpool vs Manchester United

  • City: Liverpool and Manchester
  • Country: England
  • First-Ever Match: 1894
  • Head to head Record: Manchester United 84-62 Liverpool

Northwest Derby is a fundamental confrontation between two different cities. Its hate towards each other put them 2nd on the list of Popular Football Derbies. In the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, Liverpool dominated England and regularly won in Europe.

Many English clubs dreamed of throwing Liverpool off the football Olympus, but only the great Sir Alex Ferguson managed to do this. After Manchester United became a strong club, the opposition Liverpool – Manchester United reached a new level. Teams are constantly competing with each other, and fans often get into fights.

Manchester United and Liverpool have other principal rivals in their cities (Man City and Everton), but the match between Manchester United vs Liverpool is the most bitter and prestigious in England.

1). El Clasico – Real Madrid vs Barcelona

  • City: Barcelona and Madrid
  • Country: Spain
  • First-Ever Match: 1902
  • Head to head Record: Barcelona 115-102 Real Madrid

El Clasico hands down lead the list of Popular Football Derbies. Among other derbies, this rivalry brought more revenue, and live stream than any other. El Clasico is very popular in the world. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most powerful clubs in the history of football.

Clubs have always competed with each other. In 2000, Luis Figo left Barcelona and moved to Real Madrid. Figo was hated by Barcelona fans and there have been no direct transfers between the teams since then.

In each transfer window, Real and Barcelona want to buy the best players in order to be more successful than their principal rivals at the end of the year.

Apart from these, the other few mentions are:

  • North London Derby – Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
  • Manchester Derby – Manchester City v Manchester United
  • Seville – Sevilla v Real Betis
  • Cairo – Al-Ahly v Zamalek
  • Benfica vs Porto
  • Benfica Vs Sporting Lisbon
  • PSG Vs Marseille
  • Ajax Vs Feyenoord