Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Soccer Rivalries

biggest soccer rivalries

Every sport has its great rivalries, and soccer is no exception. These rivalries form the beating heart of the sport, adding an extra layer of excitement and intensity to every match. As we head into the months of March and April, some of the biggest rivalries in club soccer across Europe and North America are set to take center stage. In this article, we’ll guide you through these upcoming clashes and give you a glimpse into the history and significance of each rivalry.

Tottenham vs. Arsenal: North London Derby

March 2, 7:30 a.m. ET

The North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal is one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in English football. The two teams have been battling it out since 1896, with Arsenal holding the edge in terms of overall head-to-head record. This rivalry is fueled by a deep sense of pride and local bragging rights. One of the defining moments of this rivalry was when the Arsenal captain, Sol Campbell, crossed the divide and joined Tottenham’s arch-rivals, Arsenal, in 2001. This move made him a hate figure among Spurs fans and intensified the animosity between the two clubs. Every season, the North London Derby is the biggest game in London, and this edition promises to be just as intense as ever.

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Lazio vs. AS Roma: Derby della Capitale

March 2, 2:30 p.m. ET

The Derby della Capitale between Lazio and AS Roma is a fiery clash between two of Rome’s biggest football clubs. This rivalry dates back to 1929 and is known for its passionate atmosphere and fierce competition. The all-time head-to-head record is relatively even, with Roma holding a slight advantage. One of the most iconic moments in this rivalry was when Lazio’s coach, Delio Rossi, promised to dive into the Gianicolo fountain if his team won the derby in 2006. This promise was fulfilled, and it has become a symbolic moment in the history of the rivalry. In this edition of the Derby della Capitale, both teams will be aiming to qualify for the Champions League, adding an extra level of significance to the clash.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: El Clasico

March 2, 2:45 p.m. ET

El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is arguably the biggest rivalry in world football. Dating back to 1902, these two Spanish giants have a storied history of intense battles and memorable moments. The head-to-head record is incredibly close, with Real Madrid holding a slight advantage. This rivalry is characterized by a clash of playing styles and a battle for supremacy in Spanish football. Over the years, there have been several standout players who have fueled this rivalry. Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in 2014, has been a thorn in Real Madrid’s side with his combative style of play. Sergio Ramos, the captain of Real Madrid, has often been the antagonist for Barcelona, with his aggressive approach to stopping Lionel Messi. El Clasico is always a spectacle, and this edition promises to be no different, with both teams vying for dominance in La Liga.

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Benfica vs. Porto: O Classico

March 2, 3:30 p.m. ET

O Classico between Benfica and Porto is the biggest rivalry in Portuguese football. This rivalry dates all the way back to 1912 and has seen both teams enjoy success over the years. Porto currently holds the advantage in terms of overall head-to-head record. One of the biggest villains in this rivalry is Jorge Nino Pinto da Costa, the long-serving president of Porto. He has been a controversial figure, constantly pushing to establish Porto as the dominant force in Portuguese football. Benfica’s biggest villain, on the other hand, is the legendary Jose Aguas, who scored an incredible 17 goals against Porto and was a key figure in Benfica’s success. This edition of O Classico is crucial, as both teams are battling it out for the Primeira Liga title.

Everton vs. Liverpool: The Merseyside Derby

March 3, 11:15 a.m. ET

The Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool is the longest-running top-flight derby in English football. Dating back to 1894, this rivalry is rooted in the historic city of Liverpool and is known for its passionate atmosphere. Liverpool currently holds the advantage in terms of overall head-to-head record. This rivalry runs deep, with former Everton manager David Moyes once causing controversy by proclaiming his team as the “People’s Club,” a statement that still irks Liverpool fans to this day. The Merseyside Derby is always a fiercely contested affair, and this edition promises to be no different, with Everton desperate to derail Liverpool’s title bid.

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Q: Which is the biggest rivalry in world football?

A: While it’s subjective, many consider the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, aka El Clasico, to be the biggest in world football due to its global popularity and the quality of the teams involved.

Q: When did the rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal begin?

A: The rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal, known as the North London Derby, began in 1896 and has been one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in English football ever since.


Soccer rivalries add an extra layer of excitement and intensity to the sport. From the North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal to the historic Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool, these clashes capture the passion and pride of their respective cities. Whether you’re a fan of English football, Spanish football, or Portuguese football, there’s always a thrilling rivalry to keep an eye on. So mark your calendar and get ready to witness the drama unfold as these teams battle it out for local bragging rights and glory on the football pitch.