Friday afternoon question: Which is the best derby?

September 26, 2008

A typical Milan derby

Families will be divided and bars will be filled with talk of nothing else this weekend when Everton host Liverpool on Saturday and the Milan derby takes place a day later.

Despite the plethora of foreign players on show at Goodison and the San Siro, as well as Spanish, Scottish and Portuguese managers, the two derbies will still sum up what is great about being a football fan.

Two packed stadiums will have fans singing their hearts out and every tackle will mean so much more.

Inter boss Jose Mourinho may have experienced Chelsea against Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham, but nothing will have prepared him for 80,000 fans inside the San Siro. There really is something special about the flares, giant flags and the sometimes worrying shake of the stadium as the fans bounce up and down.

Of course the Special One was once an assistant at Barcelona and lived through El Derby against Real Madrid. But can this really count as a derby with the cities so far apart?

The fact Milan and Inter share the same stadium and that Anfield and Goodison are so close together creates a special atmosphere.

What’s your favourite derby?

PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Marco Materazzi (L) and AC Milan’s Rui Costa wait as supporters throw flares onto the pitch during their Champions League quarter-final second leg at the San Siro. April 12, 2005. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

21 comments

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Best or nastiest?
Real Betis v Sevilla gets a bit tasty… And I agree, I don’t think Real v Barcelona is any more a derby than Man U v Chelsea.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

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It may lack the quality but the Old Firm has to be the best derby. There is always drama with red cards, penalties, a deafening noise from fans throughout and two teams that really do hate each other

Posted by Patrick Johnston | Report as abusive

Man City v Man Utd

Posted by Hans Moman | Report as abusive

Definitely the mother of all derbies, El Classico (Real Madrid and Barcelona). Sporting pride, political history and cultural clashes are at stake in these matches. Not far behind is the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Red Star Belgrade vs Partizan Belgrade by a mile. If you haven’t been to one you haven’t seen rivarly at its vicious best.
Also, we mustn’t forget Boca Juniors vs River Plate.

Spurs – Arsenal – easy.

Posted by Giz | Report as abusive

there’s only one game for me: Man Utd @ Anfield.

however, i also do remember Henke Larsson mentioning that even Champions League’s final is nothing if compared to Old Firm :).

Posted by dsjkvf | Report as abusive

To answer Mark’s other question: a city derby is one thing and I presume that’s what we are talking about here. Traditional intercity rivalries such as Barca v Real and United v Liverpool shouldn’t count because there are too many of those across the world.

[...] was alerted to Mark Meadow’s article, Friday afternoon question: Which is the best derby? this afternoon of course and it reminds of how wild things get at the San Siro when these clubs [...]

Boca Juniors v River Plate

Posted by Brian Homewood | Report as abusive

The best? Nacional vs Penarol of Uruguay! hehehe…. well the one I really like, despite the fact I am Uruguayan is Boca vs River. I also like the Real Madrid vs Barcelona. Lots of talented players and a lot of glory for those who play well the match prevents the mercenaries to prevail!

In terms of fans passion, Tyne and Wear ranks up there. Who is this [..] blogger, abit annoying. Merseyside one is close by but gameswise its gotta be Man U liverpool

Posted by njau | Report as abusive

Who are you guys kidding really.
Theres nothing like EL CLASICO .

Posted by johnny | Report as abusive

Best derbies:

Real Madrid-Barcelona
Sporting-Benfica
Man U.-Liverpool

http://startingeleven.blogspot.com/

I notice that most people don’t have a problem with calling Real Madrid v Barcelona a derby, despite the fact that the two clubs are based 600 kms apart.
I wonder if that’s a recent thing? When I were a lad, a dery was a match between two teams from the same city. Full stop.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

It does remind me of an old letter to Viz, though:
“What a con these so-called Liverpool derbies are. Derby don’t even play in them. No wonder Liverpool are always top of the League.”
That was clearly a few years ago…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

I think you can extend it to towns near each other. Im a Blackpool fan and we only have one team in the town but boy when we play Preston….600kms is taking it too far though.
Burnley-Blackburn is another nasty one that many people dont know about while Fiorentina v Bologna is a mightily friendly derby (because they are both glad they can call it a derby as they are one-team cities)

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

What about the toughest and most intense derby – Celtic v Rangers in Glasgow ? This is easily the best derby in the world.

Posted by Darren Ennis | Report as abusive

Why do these people not understand the term ‘Derby’
Same city football teams only please!

#1 Liverpool / Everton

though the violence filled Russian derbies to rank very high also. A quick youtube search brings dramatic results.

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive

I dont really understand alot of football supporters I personally support liverpool always have from when I was a kid and Im 40eeees now but to me if you aint got the derby game your missing a hell of a lot we had friends who supported man u but they couldnt give a dam when man city went down what is the game without the derby when the only chance of meeting them is in a cup qualifier (sorry or rounds too) i aint got much time for everton but i would not like to have no derby game because you loose alot not only the atmousphere soz about spelling

Posted by net | Report as abusive

Gor Mahia Vs AFC Leopards, The Nairobi Derby

Zamalek Vs Al Ahly

Its all relative, and yeah, derbies are same city or Next to each other cities, Cue Tyne n Wear

Posted by NJAU | Report as abusive

Old Firm is the best I’ve seen in terms of intensity. I’ve watched the London clubs play one another and hasn’t done it for me like watching the Hoops against the ‘gers. On the day, those players are going for each others throats.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive