There’s nothing quite like getting a victory over your local rivals, which is why football fans often both love and hate derby games with equal emotion.
The joy of victory can be immense, but the feeling after a derby loss is worse than watching your side lose any regular league game.
Ahead of a weekend where we will see two major Premier Leauge derby clashes as Arsenal face Tottenham and Liverpool battle with Everton, we’ve taken a look at some of Europe’s biggest derby games.
The fight for bragging rights: European football's biggest derbies
Moscow: CSKA Moscow v Spartak Moscow
Despite there being plenty of teams in Moscow, this rivalry is huge. CSKA are seen at the team of the former Soviet army while Spartak are seen as the club of the working class people.
Merseyside: Everton v Liverpool
The Merseyside derby was once contested by the two best teams in the country. While that is no longer the case, that doesn’t make the game any less important for the fans of both teams. Despite being commonly known as the ‘friendly derby,’ Merseyside’s big rivalry has seen the highest total of cumulative red cards than any other reoccurring game in Premier League history.
Milan: AC Milan v Inter Milan
The Milan derby is made extra tasty by the fact that both teams share a stadium. It is known locally as the “Derby della Madonnina” in honour of the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the cathedral in Milan.
Tyne-Wear: Newcastle United v Sunderland
The Tyne-Wear derby, aka the North East derby, is contested by teams from two cities separated by just 12 miles. However, given the state of Sunderland at the moment, it might be a while before we see these two rivals face off again.
Rome: AS Roma v Lazio
The Rome derby, aka “The Derby della Capitale,” has been marred by crowd trouble in the past as the passion from the fans of both clubs has often overstepped the line.
Manchester: Manchester City v Manchester United
For years, the Manchester derby was seen as the haves (United) against the have nots (City). However, that all changed when City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour. The game was then given added significance with both sides battling at the top of the Premier League.
Istanbul: Fenerbahce v Galatasaray
Known locally as the Kitalararasi Derbi (Intercontinental Derby), this game attracts huge interest in Turkey as two of the country’s biggest clubs clash.
Glasgow: Celtic v Rangers
The “Old Firm” derby has huge political, social and religious significance in Glasgow and has, unfortunately, been used as a means to promote sectarianism by fans of both sides in the past, although work is being done to stamp that out of the game. Celtic have dominated the fixture in recent years, but Steven Gerrard is hoping to turn that around in his first managerial role at Rangers.
Athens: Olympiakos v Panathinaikos
The Athens derby is a fierce one and, unfortunately, is another game that has been marred by crowd trouble recently. The “Derby of the Eternal Enemies” is often given more significance as both sides battle for the Greek title.
North London: Arsenal v Tottenham
Games between Arsenal and Tottenham have always been spicy, both on and off the field. With the bragging rights of north London up for grabs, it’s always an intense encounter, especially now Spurs are back battling at the top of the table.
Lisbon: Benfica v Sporting
The “Derby de Lisboa” is always a great occasion as the two biggest clubs in Portugal’s capital go head-to-head for bragging rights.
Madrid: Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
Another derby that was often seen as the haves against the have nots, but that’s somewhat changed too. Despite the difference in finances between the two sides, Atletico have become a threat to Real and both sets of fans know it.
Ruhr: Schalke v Borussia Dortmund
Referred to as the “Revierderby,” games between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund are usually a festival of colour and sound.
Belgrade: Red Star Belgrade v Partizan Belgrade
The “Eternal Derby” is another game often marred by violence and that often spills over onto the pitch.
Prague: Sparta Prague v Slavia Prague
The derby in the Czech capital is always a keenly contested game, with fireworks often a feature, both on and off the pitch.
Turin: Juventus v Torino
The “Derby della Mole” is another game including two sides with vastly differing fortunes. Juventus have always been seen as a superpower, whilst their neighbours, Torino, have not.
Birmingham: Aston Villa v Birmingham City
The “Second City Derby” is now played in the Championship but that doesn’t take anything away from the game as the passion from both sets of supporters still shines through.
Bucharest: Dinamo Bucharest v Steaua Bucharest
The biggest game in Romania, the Bucharest derby is always a huge game as both sides are often competing for major honours.
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