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Poll: Which derby is the fiercest in world football?

| 14.04.2015

With the Manchester derby living up to expectations last weekend the Premier League still lays claim to some of the bitterest and biggest rivalries in the football world.

There is little between the derbies of Merseyside, Manchester and north London but with the Champions League offering up an El Derbi quarter final we’re asking: What is the biggest derby outside of English football?

Read on for the six local rivalries we think are the stand out matches and have your say in the voting box below.

 El Derbi – Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid

The divide in Madrid is a good old fashioned story of rich versus poor with Real the favoured club of Franco’s government and Atletico assuming the role of the rebellion.

Los Blancos have been the dominant side in this derby, winning 85 and losing just 38 of the 156 league matches between the pair but after doing the double over their rivals this term Atleti could be poised to gain revenge for their 2014 Champions league final defeat to their wealthy neighbours.

Derby della Capitale – Lazio v Roma

Again this divide lies in the political history of the city with Lazio the only side from Rome to resist a merger initiated at the behest of Benito Mussolini, who wanted to create a Roman super club to challenge the dominance of sides from the north.

The off-field problems that sometimes surround Serie A are well documented and in 1979 the Rome derby saw one fan die after being hit by a flare. A crowd riot brought a 2004 edition of this match to an early close and resulted in 13 arrests and over 100 injuries to police attending the game.

Old Firm – Celtic v Rangers

Where to begin? You could write a book about the war between Rangers and Celtic – and many people have – but in a nutshell it boils down again to politics and religion. Catholics v Protestants and Loyalists v Republicans.

The majority of fans are able to enjoy Old Firm clashes but the minority that boil over have done so with such ferocity in the past that actual laws have been written in a bid to eradicate Sectarian acts at football matches.

Superclásico – Boca Juniors v River Plate

While both clubs started life in the working class La Boca district of Buenos Aires, River moved to the posh northern suburb of Nunez in 1925 leaving Juniors to be known thereafter as the people’s club.

There is a long list of players who have turned out for both clubs but the move is not made without hesitation. While at Argentinos Juniors Diego Maradona spurned the chance to join River, stating it could harm his dream of turning out for Boca.

Fighting between the rival fans is common place but what sets this derby apart is the claim that both stadiums, La Bombonera and El Monumental actually bounce on game day due to the raucous jumping of the fans.

Kıtalararası Derbi – Fenerbahce v Galatasaray

Any fan of Manchester United, Liverpool or Leeds will tell you Turkey is home to one of the most hostile football environments ion the planet and nowhere is that more obvious than when Fenerbahce and Galatasaray meet.

But for the Balkan Wars in 1912 it is thought the two clubs would have merged but the vision of a Turkish super club to rival the English, Greek and Armenian sides never materialised and the rest is history.

Broken seats, fighting, fireworks and street riots are all part of the tapestry of this derby but perhaps the most memorable moment came in 1995-96 when then the Gala boss Graeme Souness planted a huge flag in the centre circle of Fenerbahce’s stadium after his side’s surprise cup final win.

Eternal Derby – Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade

While football is the highest profile rivalry between these two clubs the hatred runs deep with basketball and handball also hotly contested between these two multi-sport outfits.

The rivalry was instant when both clubs were created in 1945 and with nicknames like Delije (Heroes) and Grobari (Gravediggers) it is clear the fans see this as a battle between good and evil.

Like their Turkish counterparts the Serbs are partial to some pyrotechnics and raging fires in the stands on derby day are nothing out of the ordinary.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.