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10 Of The Fiercest Football Rivalries – Number 8 Will Stun You!

Which football teams enjoy the most bitter of antagonism? We take a look at the 10 fiercest football rivalries in world football.

What are the 10 Fiercest Football Rivalries in the game today?

Batman has the Joker, Superman’s nemesis is Lex Luthor and Cristiano Ronaldo has Lionel Messi. Having a direct rival makes things exciting and in terms of the fiercest football rivalries, it makes being a fan so much more exciting!

There are many teams that have several rivals, where fans are keen to get the win, but there are some that spill over beyond competitiveness and into, frankly, a loathing of the opponent to such an extent that games between them can be explosive in the extreme.

You can bet on all of the fiercest football rivalries at bet365 Sport when they are set to take place. Just remember to check the schedule for the games to ensure you know when they are set to be played.

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So let’s begin our look at these fiercest football rivalries and for this article, we are focusing on just club football only.

The Fiercest Football Rivalries in the World Today

10. Manchester United v Manchester City

The Manchester rivals have a rivalry with the teams from Liverpool, but they have a fierce rivalry with each other. Over the years, both teams have been in the ascendency, with Manchester City enjoying a period of dominance at the moment.

The most famous game came in the 1970s, when a Denis Law backheel saw his Man City team relegate  his former team Manchester United from the top flight of football. A moment that Law clearly regretted the moment he scored the goal.

9. Ajax v Feyenoord

With PSV Eindhoven being a more modern rival to both these teams, it is the rivalry between the cities of Amsterdam and Feyenoord that initially fuelled this rivalry, along with the fact the two have been perennially the best teams in the Netherlands for many years.

Recently, a match between the two was abandoned after Ajax fans threw flares onto the pitch after Feyenoord took a 3-0 lead over their favourites.  That kind of sums up this rivalry nicely.

8. AC Milan v Inter Milan

The two Milan clubs may well share a stadium, but that does not mean that their rivalry is any less intense than other clubs who have their own playing field.

The derby della Madonnina has seen many superstars compete in the game including several who have played for both teams such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who has also scored for both teams in the fixture), Giuseppe Meazza, Marco Sala, Clarence Seedorf and Aldo Cevenini.

7. Panathinaikos v Olympiakos

Greece is known for its drama, its myths and its tragedies and its two biggest football clubs are a modern embodiment of the cultural differences in the country.

Both based in Athens, the two clubs are the dominant forces in Greek football and as a result, one of the fiercest football rivalries in the world has developed.

6. Newcastle United v Sunderland

The Tyne & Wear derby game sums up everything great and not so great about these two fierce north east rivals. There’s few stadia that compare to either St James Park or the Stadium of Light when in full voice as these games tend to be played in.

While the fans rivalry stems from the local rivalry between cities, there is also the fact that neither team has a city opponent, so their rivalry has become even further stoked over time. It may not be played as much as other derbies, but the passion remains just as intense.

5. Liverpool v Everton

This used to be known as the friendly derby, but that’s probably not accurate at present. While there are times the two teams and fanbases are supportive of each other, it is a rarity. And for the remainder of the time it is one of the fiercest football rivalries in the game today.

Liverpool came into being only when Everton left Anfield to go to Goodison Park. From that fateful day, the rivalry was solidified into one that splits families and friends and the city into a red half and a blue half. The game below, I went to as a youngster, and I can remember Kevin Sheedy flicking the V sign at the Kop after his sublime free kick. And being around as many Everton fans as Liverpool.

4. Celtic v Rangers

At times beautifully passionate, other times brutally sectarian, there’s a long history of antagonism between the two Glasgow giants rooted in religious and societal divisions, but embodied within their football clubs.

Thankfully we seem to be coming out of this sectarian era now but there is no doubt that the rivalry is as fierce as ever. Games can be as brutal on the pitch as off it, with sending offs common and the crowd level at fever pitch.

The history between Celtic and Rangers hasn’t always been savoury, but it has always been intense.

3. Boca Juniors v River Plate

Many of the fiercest football rivals call each other crazy. In Argentina, these rivals call themselves Chickens (what Boca call River fans) and “Little Pigs” (River’s name for Boca fans). If that were it, then this would not be on the list, but it isn’t as games between these two invoke fierce passions that often spill over into more unsavoury scenes on and off the field.

They are the two most successful teams in Argentina, with around 70% of the country supporting one or the other. Matches are often played to a backdrop of flares, fires, fanaticism and more besides. It is not called the “Super Clasico” for no reason!

2. Liverpool v Manchester United

These two great north west rivals have gone toe to toe for over 100 years now. There’s as many similarities between the two clubs as there are differences, yet the rivalry between the two stems not just from football but from two cities that view themselves as rivals.

Both teams enjoy a rivalry with a team from the same city, but this clash of cultures is bigger than both and while Liverpool v Man City has become a rivalry with City’s emergence as a Premier League giant, it is still nowhere near as raw, unflinching and at times

1.Real Madrid v Barcelona

It’s probably no surprise that El Clasico is top of the list. Both sides wield immense power in Spain, have huge support across the country and there is the added Catalonia / Spain dynamic thrown into the mix.

With many of the games biggest superstars playing for one (or sometimes both) of these teams, it is a game that is arguably the biggest match up in world football each year and with it comes great rivalry.

Perhaps the most famous embodiment of this was Luis Figo’s return to Barcelona after he joined Real Madrid, which is best remembered as the Pig Head throwing game in 2002.

Ian John

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