In Football, when two opposing teams go a rampage, the line is always drawn on the pitch and as a result, this has made football to be with so many feels and thrills but have you ever wondered why some matches look so different than an ordinary match between two clubs? The answer is not farfetched.
Many at times, some football lovers do not know the reason some matches get so hostile than other matches. It’s mainly because some of the clubs in Europe are actually from the same city by the virtue of Geography – Hence the crazy rivalry between some clubs.
These rivalries get exacerbated by major factors that bring about frenzy at every matchday of two rivals. The factors are most times religion, culture, and politics – these, as a result, makes the two teams want to win at all cost just to have a bragging right over each other.
Below are not just normal but hottest derbies in Europe. These teams do not only play on the pitch of play. Most times, Derby matches end in the streets in the city that houses the two teams. Also, fans of rival clubs are not always friendly with themselves which makes the fierceness derbies more interesting.
Red Star Belgrade vs Partizan Belgrade
This is one of the biggest football rivalries in Serbia. This rivalry has been around since the two clubs were formed in 1945. The fixture between these two teams is known as the ”Eternal Derby”. The fixture is so violent that it leaves policemen wounded and parts of the stadiums set on fire. The rivalry branches across other sports including basketball and handball, the derby is deemed to be the most violent derby on this list without any doubts.
Red Star has got the upper hand winning 60 games out of 147 and Partizan has won only 42 of them. ”The Eternal Derby’‘ was ranked the 4th Greatest rivalry of all time by the British Daily Mail in 2009.
Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs
The rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs dates back over a century, it originated in a controversial manner that Arsenal arrived in North London. Shortly after the first World War, Arsenal was voted into the English First Division, at the detriment of Tottenham.
This happens to be the beginning of the rivalry that has become a friendly one in one way or the other. Also, the hostility in this fixture is not as much as that of other derbies. Also, the story behind this rivalry may not be unknown to the new fans of these two English top clubs but it’s a match-up that throws England into a moment of ecstasy.
Fernabahçe vs Galatasaray
The Eternal Rivalry (as it been called) involves two most successful clubs in Turkey and has lasted more than a century in existence. Also, it has developed into one of the greatest, most intense and often bitter derbies in the world, traditionally attracting large attendances and nearly equal support for both teams throughout the country.
The rivalry started on Friday 23 February 1934 when unexpected riots happened at what supposed to be a friendly match between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray played at Taksim Stadium. Both teams wanted to win badly and therefore the match had to be stopped many times because of hard fouls. The high tension on the pitch caused high tension on the stands as well. The game ended with players fighting. The referee had no choice except to abandon the match. It was the end of friendly displays between both clubs.
The Intercontinental Derby has the loudest fans in the world. In a recent derby game between the two sides, it was reported that Galatasary fans became the loudest ever recorded at a sports event – In September 2009, British Daily Mail ranked the Fenerbahçe – Galatasaray derby second among the ten greatest football rivalries of all-time. No doubt, this is one derby game every fan would want to experience.
Olympiacos vs Panathinaikos
This Derby between the Greek heavyweights comes with a handful frenzy. The Derby of the eternal rivals also called Mother of all battles, is a football local derby in the Athens urban area between the most successful clubs of Greece.
The rivalry between the clubs and their fans is intense, thus this derby has always been a classic for the Greek capital, as well as the whole of Greece, the most prestigious in the country.
At every matchday of this fixture, violence is inevitable due to the “win at all cost” attitude of the players of the two teams on the pitch of play – thus making it a real competitive affair. This definitely is another top fiercest derby game that many fans will not want to miss.
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AC Milan vs Inter Milan
The Derby Della Madonnina, also known as the Derby di Milano has in possession what many other derbies do not have; which is that the two powerhouses in Italian football do not only share the same name, but also the same stadium (The San Siro) for home matches.
AC Milan and Inter Milan used to be together but split back in the very early 1900s. A separation that didn’t go well with many AC Milan members as that was the only avenue for Italian players to play for the club. Basically, the separation brought about the Derby amongst the two clubs.
Just some fifteen years ago (2005) the two Italian behemoths met in the UEFA Champions League, the match was abandoned due to the trouble from the supporters of the two rivals. This for sure is one of the oldest and fiercest derbies in Europe.
Lazio vs Roma
Here’s another hot and big Derby in Europe. It is called Derby della Capitale (Derby of the capital city). It is considered to be the fiercest intra-city derby in the country ahead of the other major local derbies, Derby Della Madonnina (Milan derby) and Derby Della Mole (Turin derby), and one of the greatest and hotly contested derbies in Europe.
The kind of battles fought on the field of play when these two take-ups on each other are synonymous with the battle fought by the Roman empire and that’s one sweet thing about the fixture.
A total of 190 matches has been played between the two clubs in all competition but the Gialorossi (AS Roma) are leading with 71 wins as opposed to Lazio’s 53 and 66 draws.
Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04
The Revierderby provides the German nation the best of Derbies in the league. It involves the two biggest teams in the Ruhr region of Western Germany.
It is a rivalry that began between these two juggernauts in the ’90s (Precisely 1925) with a 4–2 Schalke victory on 3 May 1925. That result ignited one of the oldest rivalries the football world has witnessed.
Apart from Revierderby, this fixture is also tagged as “Mother Of All Derbies” by some elite football lovers. As of October 2019, the two sides have played 95 times with Dortmund having the maximum numbers of wins (33) as to Schalke’s (32) and 30 draws in the Bundesliga.
They’ve both met in other competitions in Germany but in 139 matches played between the two clubs, Dortmund has garnered 51 wins as opposed to Schalke’s 46 and 42 draws. Their next meeting has been slated for the 14th of March 2020.
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Manchester City vs Manchester United
The Manchester derby is another matchup in Europe that comes between the most decorated English team (Manchester United) and one of the teams that have come as an evolution to give United and its fans a terrible headache by turning Manchester to blue due to their financial capability of ruffling shoulders with Europe’s elite teams in the transfer market.
The two teams first met in 1881 and up until mid-August of 2017 had squared off 181 times. As the fight for total domination continues on March 8, 2020, the two cross-town rivals face off for the 182nd time. As the Red Devils punished two goalkeeping errors from City’s shot-stopper Ederson to inflict a 2-0 derby win over Manchester City at Old Trafford, and the results have been relatively close with United winning 76 times, losing 54 and drawing the other 52.
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid
The Madrid Derby involves two Spanish giants with different records and antecedents. Real’s possession of talent has proven to be the edge of the Los Blancos over their Arch rival, Rojiblancos.
However, sometimes when these two teams come together, Atletico’s hard work does come out victorious over Real’s talent but the empirical fact is that, when talking about these two, Real Madrid will be talked about in a glorious manner and obviously, they have something to show for their dominance over Atletico on both domestic and European level.
Not to take anything away from the Rojiblancos, their fans duly appreciate the exploits of their club so far and also, would be looking forward to getting more wins from their rivals in Madrid.
Celtic Glasgow vs Rangers Athletic
Another fierce rivalry that can be found in Europe is The Old Firm. The name “The Old Firm” is the collective name for the Scottish football clubs Celtic and Rangers, which are both based in Glasgow, Scotland.
The two clubs are by far the most successful and popular in Scotland, and the rivalry between them has become deeply embedded in Scottish culture. It has reflected and contributed to, political, social, and religious division and sectarianism in Scotland. As a result, the fixture has had an enduring appeal around the world and one of the top fiercest derby in Europe.
Another unique thing about this rivalry is that the fans of the two clubs are practically born into this rivalry that’s churned out animosity and extreme hatred not on the pitch alone, but also the other aspects of life off the pitch – It was infused with series of complex oppugn, sometimes centered on religion (Catholic and Protestant).
At any Old Firm, it’s always crystal clear the difference between the two Scottish giants. The green of Celtic represents the Catholic half of the city, whilst the blue of Rangers is seen as Protestant. The winner of the Old Firm games is most times the eventual winner of the Premier League.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.