THE GREATEST FOOTBALL RIVALRIES IN THE WORLD
Football, arguably the most played and watched sport on the planet has some prominent team rivalries. While it’s impossible to pen down all of them, since there are so many, following are the most famous and ferocious rivalries today.
FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid
More commonly known as ‘El Clasico’, which means ‘The Classic’, this rivalry is probably the most intense of all. The political history between both cities of Barcelona and Madrid intensifies this rivalry. Barcelona represents the Catalan community who has made many tries to gain independence from Spain, while Madrid represents Spain. Both these clubs were founded in 1899 an 1902 respectively. Since then numerous matches have been played between these teams, with Real Madrid winning 95 competitive matches and Barcelona winning 91. Barcelona leads in overall matches with 111 to Madrid’s 99. Real Madrid triumphed 2-0 in the most recent encounter between them. Both teams will face each other on 23rd December next.
Brazil vs Argentina
Brazil and Argentina are one of the countries with richest football history in the world. Both are neighboring countries in the continent South America. Two of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele and Maradona, played for Brazil and Argentina respectively. The rivalry is called ‘Battle of South Americans’. Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in their most recent encounter. Pele has most goals in these matches with 8 goals in 10 matches. Most of the matches have been tied with 37 matches being tied. FIFA described this rivalry as ‘essence of football rivalry’ while ESPN listed this rivalry on the top of their list.
Manchester United vs Manchester City
Both of these teams originate from the same city, Manchester. The matches are called the ‘Manchester Derby’. This rivalry is the one of the most watched in the world, with both sides having quality players and winning silverware every now and then. Although Manchester United has won 72 of 174 encounters while Manchester City managed to win 50, the derby has picked up attention in the recent years with Manchester City’s emergence as a top team. Most recent encounter resulted in a goalless draw, while both teams will be in action against each other next time in December. Wayne Rooney is the highest goal scorer of the derby with 11 goals, and his bicycle kick against City in 2011 was named Premier League goal of the season.