Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

In Pictures: Football's greatest rivalries

Derby Della Madonnina: AC Milan v Inter Milan
AC Milan was founded in 1899 by English immigrants but when some members disagreed that only British players could be a member of the side they founded a new club with the obvious name, Internazionale. Inter have ever since been considered a club for the bourgeoisie middle-class (hence the nickname 'bauscia' which means 'nouveau riche') while AC had more working class members (nicknamed 'casciavit' meaning screwdrivers). The Milanese clubs have fought neck and neck for supremacy in Italian football ever since and the rivalry is as heated today as it was over 100 years ago.
Derby Della Madonnina: AC Milan v Inter Milan
AC Milan was founded in 1899 by English immigrants but when some members disagreed that only British players could be a member of the side they founded a new club with the obvious name, Internazionale. Inter have ever since been considered a club for the bourgeoisie middle-class (hence the nickname 'bauscia' which means 'nouveau riche') while AC had more working class members (nicknamed 'casciavit' meaning screwdrivers). The Milanese clubs have fought neck and neck for supremacy in Italian football ever since and the rivalry is as heated today as it was over 100 years ago.
O Derby: Palmeira v Corinthians
When the Italian clubs Torino and Pro Vercelli visited Brazil in 1914, a group of Italians who lived in Sao Paulo decided to found an Italian club to practice sports. This club was named Palestra Italia. These Italians used to be members of Corinthians but from that moment they became the "betrayers". Palestra (Palmeiras) and Corinthians divided the fans and the honours in Sao Paulo and that's how the match became "The Derby".
The north London derby: Arsenal v Tottenham
The capital city's biggest rivalry can be found in north London between Tottenham and Arsenal. The Gunners were originally based in Woolwich in south London but moved north of the river just prior to the outbreak of the First World War - much to the consternation of Spurs. The picture here of Tottenham fans was taken following Sol Campbell's transfer to Arsenal. The outrage displayed by the fans following the defender's decision to move to their biggest rivals gives a sense of the bitter feeling between the clubs and in turn, increased the heat between the sides that little bit more.
El Derby Espanyol: Barcelona v Madrid
The issue of independence for the Catalonia region of Spain is a highly political and divisive situation. So when the football teams that represent the capital cities of Spain and Catalonia come together tensions run high. That the two teams are also the most successful club sides in Spain only adds to the grandeur of the fixture as their meetings often have a huge bearing on where the honours end up come the end of the season. The picture here shows Barcelona fans burning an image of Luis Figo after their hero moved to Real in 2000.
The north-west derby: Manchester United v Liverpool
Although both clubs have adversaries in closer proximity, the two most successful teams in England have struck up possibly the greatest rivalry in English football. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated in the past that this game means more to him than any other.
El Superclasico: Boca Juniors v River Plate
Seven kilometres apart in Buenos Aires the rivalry between these two teams grips the nation of Argentina. Both clubs were founded in the poor district of La Boca. While Juniors remained in the district - River Plate moved to the smarter area of Nunez in the 1930s - providing a rivalry built up on social class and money divides. The all standing stadiums provide an avalanche of noise when the two teams meet.
The south Wales derby: Cardiff v Swansea
Scenes from their Carling Cup meeting in 2008 back up the argument that this is the most violent derby in Britain. Both clubs, especially Cardiff, have a reputation when it comes to hooliganism. The fact that Cardiff is the capital of Wales and that the second city of the country, Swansea, is sometimes forgotten feeds the bad feeling between the two.
The Istanbul derby: Fenerbahce v Galatasaray
Both teams hail from Istanbul, divided by the Bosphorus sea strait. On the European side lies Galatasaray, associated with rich and famous supporters, while Fenerbahce is situated on the Asian side of the strait and has a largely working class following.
The Eternal Enemies: Olympiakos v Panathinaikos
The classic match of Athens, the capital city of Greece. In the past Olympiakos used to represent the working class while Panathinaikos represented the upper class.
The Old Firm derby: Rangers v Celtic
The two dominant sides in Scottish football happen to be both based in Glasgow. One of the oldest derbies in the world, the two teams are split by more than just footballing rivalry. The largely Protestant following of Rangers and the Catholic support behind Celtic provide a fierce setting when the teams come head-to-head. Following their most recent meeting in the SPL, a questionable performance by Willie Collum led to the referee receiving death threats from Celtic fans.
Il Derby Capitolino: Roma v Lazio
A. S. Roma was formed in 1927 when three of the four major clubs in Rome were merged. The one that resisted was S. S. Lazio and a rivalry was born. The animosity between the two was elevated by the political differences between the supporters. The Laziali in general had right wing ideas while the Roma fans were more left-wing orientated. Flags and banners bearing swastikas remain a common site at the Stadio Olimpico when Lazio play while riots surrounding the league fixture between the two in 2004 led to 170 police officers being injured.
O Classico: Benfica v Sporting Lisbon
The Lisbon derby is the biggest match in Portugal. Both teams have a great history and have been very successful. The picture shows Sporting's Stadium of Light.
De Klassieker: Ajax v Feyenoord
In the Netherlands the greatest rivalry exists between Ajax and Feyenoord. Since their founding the pair have grown into two of the most successful clubs in Dutch history but their roots could not be more different. Ajax hail from the cultural and liberal socialist capital Amsterdam and are famed for their championing of the beautiful game. In contrast Feyenoord are based in Rotterdam, a rugged industrial city synonymous with the birthplace of Pum Fortuyn's anti-immigration party. The contrasting backgrounds have fuelled violent scenes between supporters of the two teams.

This weekend will see not one, but two local derbies in the Premier League. Aston Villa host Birmingham and Newcastle play Sunderland this Sunday.

The two fixtures are some of the most anticipated of the season, particularly among supporters of the clubs involved.

In anticipation of the games, we take a look at some of the most keenly contested domestic fixtures with our run-down of the greatest rivalries in world football.

>> Click on the image to launch our guide.

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