Derby day is when teams compete for the pride of their supporters. It is the day two rivals battle for the dominance of the city or country they share. It is also one of the best — or worst — days to be a football supporter.
The best derbies are fiery affairs and the best are looked forward to by fans all season long.
5. Tehran Derby – Estghlal vs. Persepolis
Although many football fans may not be familiar with the Tehran Derby, it doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the biggest in the world. It is the most important derby in Asian football and many fans outside the country have only just learned about it in recent years thanks to the BBC and Four Four Two. Iran’s difficult visa requirements mean it is difficult for many fans to travel to the city to watch it. The match still attracts large crowds.
4. Old Firm Derby – Celtic vs. Rangers
The Old Firm Derby has seen it all including Religious overtones, major football stars, and intense fan support. While it isn’t considered on the level of the top 3 on this list, it is only because many non-Scottish fans fail to watch it or know anything about it. If they did, the Old Firm Derby may well replace the No. 1 derby in the world.
3. Derby della Capitale – Roma vs. Lazio
Roma and Lazio played their first derby in 1929. It is a long-running and historic rivalry that has played out in some entertaining Serie A games. It has also featured some of Italy’s greatest players including Francesco Totti and Giorgio Chinaglia. It is a fixture that is circled on the calendar every year and it always lives up to the hype.
2. El Clasico – Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Modern El Clasico meetings can be labelled as overrated as the hype has not quite met the action. The days of pig heads being thrown on the pitch are a thing of the past, especially when the two clubs often meet four times a season due to cup matches. But the matches still showcase the two biggest clubs in the world and some of the best players on the planet.
1. Superclasico – River Plate vs. Boca Juniors
Superclasico is one of the fiercest derbies in all of world football. In 2018, the world got to see just how fiery the derby can be due to River Plate fans attacking Boca Juniors’ bus. The attack forced the postponement of the Copa Libertadores Final which River later won over their archrivals.