Biggest Football Derbies in Europe

Wed 17 March 2021 | 10:30

Football rivalry is a part of this competitive game but winning a grudge game against a rival makes the victory all the sweeter. In the following article, we will take a look at the biggest football derbies across Europe.

Some football fans do not know why some matches get hostile than other games. Some football clubs are actually from the same city, and there is a crazy rivalry between them.

These rivalries increase by some factors such as culture, politics, and religion. So two rivals want to win to have bragging right over one another.

Die-hard football fans have that one team they dare not to lose, and to them, defeat is a sin beyond forgiveness. Most of the time, these teams do not just play on the pitch, also these matches end in the streets. Something that makes derbies more interesting is that the fans of rival clubs do not always treat each other friendly. Stay tuned to review the hottest derbies in Europe. 

Biggest derbies in European football

We are going to take look at some of biggest football rivalries in Europe.

Red Star Belgrade vs Partizan Belgrade

Belgrade derby, which is between two of the biggest and most popular clubs in


, is one of the biggest football derbies in Europe. The rivalry between the two started immediately after the foundation of the two clubs in 1945. The competition between two teams is known as the Eternal derby or Derby of Southeast Europe.

The match between two teams is so violent that it leaves parts of the stadiums set on fire and policemen wounded. Undoubtedly the Eternal derby is the most violent derby in Europe. Also, rivalry is present in basketball and handball.

Red Star

is the most famous club in Serbia, and the second most popular is


. The two teams also have many fans in the Serbian diaspora and former Yugoslav republics.

Red Star has won 58 domestic trophies, while Partizan won 44 domestic cups. The highest attendance for Eternal derby was about 108,000 spectators. That game was held at the Red Star Stadium. In 2009, British Daily Mail ranked the Red Star–Partizan match 4th among best football derbies in Europe.

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs

The association football local rivalry in England between

Tottenham Hotspur

and Arsenal is known as the North London derby. The two clubs are based in North London, and their fans consider the other to be their main rivals. The North London derby is considered one of the fiercest and famous derbies in the world.

The rivalry between the two teams dates back over a century and began in 1913 when


moved their ground to north London. The first match between the two clubs was held on 19 November 1887, where Arsenal was located in Plumstead. Due to racial diversity in London, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal fans are multiethnic.

The two rivals have played 189 games since their first game in 1909 in the Football League with 78 wins for the Gunners, 60 wins for the Lilywhites, and 51 matches drawn.

Although the hostility in this competition is not as much as other derbies, Arsenal vs Tottenham match is one of the

biggest football derbies in Europe


Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray

Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are the two most successful clubs in Turkey, and their head-to-head match is called the Intercontinental Derby. The competition is also known as the Eternal Rivalry, which lasted more than a century in existence. The rivalry between the two clubs has developed into one of the greatest and bitter derbies in Europe. The Intercontinental Derby is regarded as the biggest football match in Turkey, which attracts large attendances.

On 23 February 1934, the rivalry between two teams began when riots in a friendly match between two clubs at Taksim Stadium. Both teams needed to win, and high tension on the pitch caused high pressure among the fans as well. The players fought, and the referee had to end the game.

 The Intercontinental Derby's fans are the loudest worldwide. The


vs Galatasaray derby was ranked the second all-time rivalry by the British Daily Mail in 2009. Undoubtedly every fan would want to experience Eternal Rivalry, which is one of the

biggest football derbies in Europe

.  Their rivalry also extends into other team sports including, volleyball, rowing, and basketball.

Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos 

Mother of all battles, one of the biggest football derbies in Europe, is a local derby in Athens between the two most successful clubs of Greece. This derby always is among the

biggest derbies in European football

. The Mother of all battles has always been a classic for Athens, so the competition between the clubs and their fans is fierce.



and Olympiacos fixture was ranked among the ten biggest football rivalries by CNN. In 1908 Panathinaikos was founded, and it comes from the center of Athens; while,


was founded in 1925 and comes from the port city just on Athens' outskirts. The two famous Greek clubs have lots of fans in Greece that follow them in international and domestic matches.

Among their spectators, Football hooliganism is a common phenomenon. In recent years, their fans have broken seats, fought, and started street riots in most of the matches between the two clubs.

The rivalry between the two clubs also extends into other team sports such as water polo, basketball, and volleyball. The most successful football club in Greece is Olympiacos, winning 79 major titles, on the other hand, Panathinaikos has won 43 titles.

AC Milan vs Inter Milan

One of the biggest football derbies in Europe is the fixture between Ac Milan and Inter Milan. The Derby Della Madonnina is a football match between the two famous Milanese clubs, A.C. Milan and Internazionale. This derby is a little different from other derbies in that both teams use the same stadium for their home games and is a tradition in Italian football.

Both clubs call San Siro home. In the past, Inter Milan was supported by the bourgeoisie, whereas A.C. Milan supporters were from the working class. Inter's fans were wealthy, but today, this difference has diminished. The two teams used to be together but separated in the early 1900s.

In 1908 the first derby game between the two Milanese clubs was held in the final of the Chiasso Cup. The Milanese clubs' fans gather outside San Siro and wave flags, supporting their teams hours before the kick-off of the Derby Della Madonnina.

In 2005 when two Italian clubs met in the Champions League, the derby was abandoned because of the trouble from the two teams' fans.

Many superstar footballers including, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldo Nazario, Christian Vieri, and Mario Balotelli turned out for both sides.

Lazio vs AS Roma

In the list of Sportmob's article of biggest football derbies in Europe, the Derby Della Capitale is next. The completion is also known as Derby Capitolino, Derby del Cupolone, and the Rome Derby. The Rome derby is the fiercest in Italy ahead of the Milan derby and Turin derby.

It is one of the

biggest football derbies across Europe

. The devout regionalism is one of the reasons that make the derby more fiercest. For the fans of the two clubs, the Rome derby is like a battle, especially because Italian football has mostly been dominated by


, Milan, and Internazionale, so they fight for the right to represent the city in the rest of the country.

This derby is affected by several actions related to the political views of the fan bases. In the 1998–99 season, Lazio's fans unfurled a banner that read, "Auschwitz is your town, the ovens are your houses." A total of 191 games have been played between


and Lazio, with Giallorossi has won 71 matches and Biancocelesti has won 54 games.

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04

Here is another famous and hot derby across Europe. Any association football match between

Borussia Dortmund

and Schalke 04 is called the Revierderby. The two teams are the two biggest teams in North Rhine-Westphalia.

On 3 May 1925, the rivalry between two clubs started with a 4–2 Schalke victory. It resulted in the formation of one of the

biggest football rivalries in Europe

. Some football lovers named the two clubs fixture as "Mother of All Derbies." 

In 1963, the foundation of Bundesliga started with Die Borussen continuing their winning by taking 8 of the first ten matches. On 20 April 1968, by Schalke's 1–0 victory, they returned, and Dortmund fell. On 5 November 1977, Die Borussen won their first victory over Schalke nearly ten years after their comeback to the Bundesliga.

The two German clubs have played 182 times in all competitions, with Dortmund has won 64 matches and 

Schalke 04

has won 71 games. 

Manchester City vs Manchester United

One of the Biggest football derbies in Europe is the fixture between Manchester's two big and wealthy clubs. The first Manchester derby dates back to 1881; on 12 November 1881, St. Mark's (its name was later changed to Manchester City) hosted Newton Heath LYR (its name was later changed to Manchester United).

The competition ended with the victory of Newton Heath LYR. United and City became the dominant sides in the Manchester area. Peter Schmeichel played for both United and City, having an unbeaten record in derby games. During his ten matches, Schmeichel kept a goal for United against City, and in his single-season, City beat United at Maine Road.


Manchester City

fans believe that the Red Devils is their main rivalry. Given that Manchester City has grown significantly in recent years, their battle became more bitter.

Both sides are considered among the best teams worldwide, and in recent years both clubs progressing to the latter stages of the Champions League. The two clubs' fans are not friendly with each other. Two Manchester clubs have played 185 times, with United has won 77 matches and City has won 55 times.

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid

In the list of Sportmob's article of biggest football derbies in Europe, El Derbi Madrileno is the next. For the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, the two sides met in Lisbon, becoming the first time two clubs from the same city played in the final.

Also, the two teams met in the 2018 UEFA Super Cup, again becoming the first time two clubs from the same city played in UEFA Super Cup.

At the very beginning of the twentieth century, the rivalry between Atletico and Madrid began. Real's policy of bringing football stars to the Santiago Bernabeu has always made Real a strong team. In recent years Atletico's hard work does come out victorious over the Whites superstar footballers.

On 27 July 2019, two Spanish clubs met in the United States in an off-season exhibition match at the 2019 International Champions Cup. It was the first time that the Madrid derby, one of the

best football derbies in Europe

, held outside their home country.

Atletico Madrid

and Real Madrid have played 227 times, with Real has won 112 matches and Atletico has won 56 times.

Celtic Glasgow vs Rangers Athletic

The old firm is one of the fierce rivalries across Europe.


and Ranger are both based in Glasgow, Scotland, and both are the most successful and famous in Scotland. The rivalry between the two teams is deeply rooted in Scottish culture, and it is more than just a simple sporting rivalry. As a result, the competition is one of the top fiercest derbies in Europe.

It was accompanied by a series of complex disputes such as religious disputes (Catholic and Protestant), national identity (Irish Scots or British). The teams have die-hard fans around Scotland and Glasgow.

Neil McGarvey, one of the Celtic fans, said: "When I was growing up, I went to a Catholic school, and there was not one Rangers fan in the entire school. It is much more mixed now – my boy goes to a Catholic school, and there are maybe 5 percent Rangers fans now."

There are always differences between these two clubs. The blue of Rangers represents Protestantism, and the green of Celtic is seen as Catholic. The two Scottish giants have played 422 times, with Celtic has won 159 matches and Rangers has won 164 games.

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source: SportMob