You’ve watched endless football matches of your local team, traveled across the country with your pals to cheer the team on your legendary away days and even watched your National Team – so what’s next?
Forget watching the biggest matches in the Champions League or even the international friendlies/qualifiers – experience real passion and atmosphere in the biggest derbies across the world. Push boundaries and discover new experiences in football – we’ve rounded up brilliant trips and bizarre experiences to inspire you for your next blood-pumping experience in 2019.
There’s no feeling quite like a victory in a derby match against your nearest and most-hated opponents. Sometimes it can help to win a league or cup, on other occasions it might seal your promotion or their relegation, but there’s no such thing as a meaningless derby. It’s time to tick some derbies off your bucket list. Here are the top 10 derbies you have to experience in 2019/2020.
The game of the games. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, becomes the focal point of global football at least twice a year when it hosts the Superclásico. The match is a phenomenon and the spectacle momentous.
As we wrote in our previous blog, this is the holy grail for any football fan. Especially after Copa Libertadores final, the ‘Superclásico’ will be on fire, the fans are very conscious after the continental final, so Boca fans will need to knock River to proof they rule South America and ‘Millonarios’ want to “bury” Boca forever.
Is this enough for you in order to book a flight and come over? Did you know both teams face each other again in the next Copa Libertadores semi-finals? This is an absolute must for your football bucket list. According to most, this is the derby you have to experience at least once in your lifetime.
THE ETERNAL DERBY
The Eternal Derby. A derby between Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade, one of the fiercest derbies in football. We have been fortunate to say that we’ve been in both stadiums and you would not regret experiencing that atmosphere, it is like hell.
The shows between Grobari (Partizan) and Delije (Red Star) fans are always on top of mind for any football fan. Authentic Eastern Europe football passion. Looks like they are still living the games back in the ’90s. Every season, both fan groups take these derbies to the next level with flares, pyro, and tifos. The Belgrade derby is definitely one to add or tick off your football bucket list.
Every season, Homefans experiences the derbies together with a local host in Belgrade, Serbia for small groups of like-minded travelers. One of the most popular trips of the season. Are you joining us?
The Casablanca derby is an eternal war of the classes and the atmosphere generated by both sets of supporters of Raja v Wydad is utterly mind-blowing. This is easily the biggest local rivalry in Moroccan football and the importance of a victory is palpable, which creates for an intense aura as an entire city is engulfed by the passion of these two great clubs.
The party starts at both ends of the ground long before kick-off and the noise doesn’t die down until long after the final whistle has blown. With thousands jumping on the terraces, dressed in club colours, the stadium’s south stand is one of the most vibrant in world football. On derby day, the atmosphere is cranked up another notch.
As club rivalries go, De Klassieker between Feyenoord Rotterdam v Ajax Amsterdam often lurks in the shadows of the international football calendar. Perhaps understandable given the climate of Dutch football, but that shouldn’t detract the appeal of a one-off fixture.
Despite a little over 70 kilometres separating Amsterdam and Rotterdam, theirs is a rivalry which transverses an ideological, political and regional divide, and, for a small country, and still one of the biggest rivalries in Europe. De Klassieker between Feyenoord Rotterdam v Ajax Amsterdam should be on your bucket list. You can experience the rivalry together with a local Feyenoord fan in March 2020.
THE HOLY WAR: WISLA KRAKOW v CRACOVIA
The atmosphere at in Polish football is hard to compare with anything. Wisla Krakow is one of the few clubs where you can see the whole stands jumping. The Cracovia vs Wisla Krakow game is where you will see a sea of hands in the air whenever the capo tells to raise them. This is the game when chants are thundering onto the pitch. This is simply one of the craziest derbies in Poland.
When you have an intense rivalry between two teams, usually they are two separate cities. Not in this case, as both resign in Krakow. The stadiums of Wisla Krakow and Cracovia are only 500 meters apart and the housing estates are nearby one another too. When they play against each other, it’s one of the most intense football matches in Europe.
The atmosphere at these derbies is hard to match. It’s simply THE match to experience in Poland and preparations are made months before. For the thrillseekers, add this derby to your list!
DERBY DELLA CAPITALE
Italy’s Derby Della Capitale, the eternal struggle between AS Roma v SS Lazio, is one of the world football’s most enduring rivalries. Every season the Italian Capital turns into an arena when these clubs face each other for the pride of the city.
Such has been the success of Italy’s other sides in recent seasons, winning the scudetto has been little more than a distant dream for these two. Instead, they have focused on their mutual disdain, and the long-term rivalry between these capital clubs has bubbled ferociously.
The Rome Derby is about ownership, ownership of a city. This derby should be on your bucket list in combination with a great city trip.
THE CLASH OF COPENHAGEN: BRØNDBY v COPENHAGEN
Brøndby v Copenhagen, also known as ”The New Firm, is a derby that goes to insane levels in terms of atmosphere and rivalry. The clashes between the clubs from the Danish capital always make the headlines every season on the pitch and off the pitch.
The Copenhagen Derby is one of Scandinavia’s biggest and most intense derbies and surely can’t be missed from this list of derbies to tick off in 2019.
Istanbul is a breathtaking city. Locals call it ‘the city that is older than time itself’. The ancient town, formerly known as Constantinople, is home to 14 million people and some of the greatest sights on earth, from the Hagia Sophia to the Topkapi Palace – the residence of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. However, one of its main attractions, to the wider European football audience at least, is its ferocious derby: Galatasaray v Fenerbahçe.
However, the rivalry between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray is the biggest rivalry in the city and the country. The derby is also known as the intercontinental derby because Galatasaray is in Europe and Fenerbahce a few miles away is in Asia. The rivalry grew manifold in 1996 because of then Galatasaray manager Graeme Souness. The two teams met in the final of the cup which Galatasaray won at the home of Fenerbahce. After the match, Souness picked up a Galatasaray flag and erected it in kickoff spot. The flag incident was the first in a long line of subsequent headline incidents in matches between the teams. The pyros, tifos and noisy stadium make it a fantastic spectacle. However, there are often fights on and off the pitch when the two teams meet.
CELTIC v RANGERS
To call this one a mere disagreement between two religious divides would be to massively under-sell the British’ biggest derby. Old Firm between Celtic v Rangers is still one of the biggest derbies in football. Every season we travel to Glasgow to experience the derby in collaboration with both clubs and locals, a unique experience.
Social, economic, political and sectarian tensions have combined to make this a unique fixture in world football, one which was almost banned in the 1930s in order to reduce the crime rate following the rise of Glasgow’s street gangs. While these tensions are not as prevalent as they were, it has done little to dampen the flames of this rivalry, the match between Celtic v Rangers is still one of the biggest derbies in football.
FLA – FLU
This match has become synonymous with a fully packed Maracanã, fans bouncing and brimming with excitement at the prospect of watching a great rivalry. The spiritual home of Brazilian football, the Maracanã is at its finest when it is awash with flags, banners, and fireworks celebrating the build-up to the Fla v Flu. Due to the huge numbers it attracts, it has been labeled The Derby of the Crowds. Like so many other rivalries in world football, it is a game driven by the fans and contested for them!
These are some of our favorite derbies and rivalries in no particular order you have to experience in 2019/2020. How many derbies have you visited so far? Fancy to add a new derby to your list? Homefans organizes small group trips for like-minded travelers and football fans to the most intense derbies in football around the world. See our trips or get in touch to create your own for you and your mates.
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