BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 3 star

WorldSoccer's Greatest Derbys

Scottish Premier Manchester United
comment on the article

Just because I'm bored, I'm listing the 50 greatest derbies as compiled by World Soccer magazine. They are in descending order.

50 Gremio v Internacional
49 Tenerife v Las Palmas
48 Mohun Bagan v East Bengal
47 Sarajevo v Zeljeznicar
46 Asec Abidjan v Africa Sports
45 Anderlecht v Club Brugge
44 FC Copenhagen v Brondby
43 Alianza Lima v Universitario
42 Arsenal v Tottenham
41 Beitar Jerusalem v Hapoel Tel Aviv
40 Hajduk Split v Dinamo Zagreb
39 Barcelona v Emelec
38 Rapid Wien v Austria Wien
37 Basle v Zurich
36 Raja Casablanca v Wydad Casablanca
35 America v Deportivo Cali
34 Genoa v Sampdoria
33 CSKA Sofia v Levski Sofia
32 AIK Stockholm v Djurgardens
31 Ferencvaros v Ujpest
30 Cerro Porteno v Olimpia
29 Rosario Central v Newell's Old Boys
28 Liverpool v Manchester United
27 Corinthians v Santos
26 Slavia Prague v Sparta Prague
25 Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates
24 Steau Bucharest v Dinamo Bucharest
23 Spartak Moscow v CSKA Moscow
22 Pirouzi v Esteghlal
21 Nacional v Penarol
20 America v Guadalajara
19 Racing Club v Independiente
18 Corinthians v Sao Paulo
17 Benfica v Porto
16 Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad
15 Milan v Internazionale
14 Olympiakos v Panathinaikos
13 Flamengo v Vasco Da Gama
12 Juventus v Fiorentina
11 Marseille v Paris Saint-Germain
10 Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade
09 Betis v Sevilla
08 Al Ahly v Zamalek
07 Schalke v Borussia Dortmund
06 Lazio v Roma
05 Ajax v Feyenoord
04 Galatasary v Fenerbahce
03 Celtic v Rangers
02 Boca Juniors v River Plate
01 Real Madrid v Barcelona

Since we're on the SPL boards, here's what they said about the OF:

Whether the OF of Rangers and Celtic like it or not, football rivalries in Glasgow remain inexorably linked to Northern Irish sectarian politics. Celtic, with their roots n the Irish immigrant community, remain a rallying point for Irish Catholicism; Rangers have strong ties to the Scottish Protestant community.
A Glasgow city council report in 2003 found that 74% of Celtic supporters identified themselves as Catholics, and only 4% as Protestants; 65% of Rangers fans regarded themselves as Protestants, with only 5% as Catholic.
The lines have been blurred on occasion. Celtic's most successful manager, Jock Stein, had Protestant roots, while Rangers' 1989 signing of Mo Johnston, a practising Catholic, was a significant milestone in the club's history. Recent Gers captain Lorenzo Amoruso is also a practising Catholic. However, in 2006 UEFA fined Rangers 13000 after their fans sang sectarian songs during a UEFA cup tie against Villareal. Rangers were also ordered to publicly warn their fans before every home game against such behaviour.

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Jul 10, 2008

Which game is watched by more people across the globe for example. Man City v Man Utd or Al Ahly v Zamalek. I know which one id put my money on. The Premier league is the best in the world with the best players. How can some African/Arabic team match that. They cant.

I stick by my assertion that this is a pathetic list. Madrid v Barcelona isn't even a derby and its number one. If the list was worlds greatest rivalries then maybe, but its not, so immediately the list is bona fide rot.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 10, 2008

Just because it's watched by a bigger television audience doesn't make it a bigger clash. At the end of the day, Man Utd vs Man City is watched by a global audience for one reason only - Man Utd. It has little to do with the fixture itself. I would wager that global television audiences were just as high for Man Utd vs West Ham, Man Utd vs Tottenham and Man Utd vs Newcastle.

Al Ahly v Zamalek means so much more. Not only does it have a massive captive audience as previously mentioned, but the contrasting social circumstances of the clubs make it an even more fiery encounter, with Al Ahly, meaning national sporting club, having its roots in the anti-colonial struggle with the British and a symbol of Arab nationalism and Zamalek seen as the team of the privileged.

I take your point about it not really being derbies, but the list itself, rebranded as 'The World's Greatest Clashes (including a significant number of derbies)' and the list stands well.

I'm still interested in your opinion of South American matches though...

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by U12535455

posted Jul 11, 2008

leeds united vs huddersfield town.

how could you leave out that one <erm>

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 11, 2008

Heres my top 5 for what its worth
Barcelona - Real Madrid
United - Liverpool
Celtic - Rangers
Boca- River
Milan - Inter

Out of interest who is Barcelona playing at no 39 - emelec

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 11, 2008

idtakeapoundforhimnow (U11617738)

That barcelona are from Ecuador

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 11, 2008

i am a huge Kaizer chiefs fan, so its nice to see the Soweto derby at number 25!!!!!!!!!

and i agree Zamalek - Al Alhay should be in it.


add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 11, 2008

That barcelona are from Ecuador
Cheers, I thought it had to be something like that but couldnt be arsed trying to find out on google

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by falgee (U10908288)

posted Jul 11, 2008

some cracking matches there... but what about the closest rivals in the world? dundee united and that other lot across the road?

anyway, i'm saddened to see that someone thinks that english football is more important than african, asian or south american football. it wouldna be so bad if english football actually had any englishmen involved, but it's played, managed and owned by foreigners

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 11, 2008


to be fair I dont know alot about South American matches apart from the fact that hooliganism between rival supporters is rife. On this basis Birmingham v Villa should at least be somewhere on this list.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 12, 2009

Yes im dismissing all of African football. Until one of their teams actually does something.

Big deal, biggest derby in Africa. Who follows African football outside Africa? People all over the world follow European and English football in particular. They are therefore the biggest and best.


And I'm dismissing English Football until the English team actually does something

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 25.00%
    1 votes
  • 4 25.00%
    1 votes
  • 3
    0 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1 50.00%
    2 votes

average rating:
2.75 from 4 votes