TOP 10 DERBIES IN 2019
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-bumping 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’s the top 10 derbies you have to experience in 2019/2020.
The game of the games. 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? This is an absolute must for your football bucket list.
THE ETERNAL DERBY
FK Partizan and FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade). You choose. I am fortunate to say that I’ve been in both ultra stands and you would not experience that atmosphere, it is like hell. The show between Grobari (Partizan) and Delije (Red Star) ultras are always on top of mind for any football fan. Authentic Balcan football passion. Looks like they are still living the games back in the ’90s. Every season, both fan groups take these derbies to a next level with flares, pyro and tifo’s. 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. Are you joining us?
CLÁSICO DE AVELLANEDA
A classic of the ‘clásicos’, a game that everyone should attend once in a life. Club Atlético Independiente and Racing Club are enhancing the biggest neighborhood rivalry in the world. Their two stadia are separated by less than 800 meters, ‘Cilindro’ for Racing and ‘Libertadores de América’ for Independiente. The ‘Academy’ of Argentinian football against the ‘Devil’ and the King of the Cups. A mental atmosphere, a cracking experience in your life.
‘Le Classique’ is the hottest game in France, a very buzzing atmosphere on the surroundings of the stadium, specially in Marseille. The rivalry between Olympique Marseille and Paris St. Germain has so many factors, including politics and territorials. The ‘Vieux Port’ city is one of my favourites in the world, I really love to visit it because has a scoundrel attitude. And is one of the most passionate football cities in the world, so the experience of attending to a game at the Stade Vélodrome is always incredible. The capital big rivals are always struggling when they come to Vélodrome, so for me is the game of the season.
CLÁSICO DE URUGUAY
Club Nacional de Football against Club Atlético Peñarol. Both from Montevideo, the country is completely split into two parts too. They are competing to be recognised as the best team in Uruguay, but always struggling because they are two giants in South American football. 3 Copa Libertadores for Nacional and 5 Copa Libertadores for Peñarol.
You can imagine the importance of this derby if we talk that this Clásico takes place in the first World Cup Final stadium in history, the Estadio Centenario from Montevideo. It hosted the World Cup 1930 final and still has the same structure.
DERBY DA CAPITAL
The Lisbon Derby has always a cracking atmosphere. Sporting Club against SL Benfica, doesn’t matter the stadium, the position on the table or the date. It matters how impressive are the fans before, during and after this game. I really like both stadia, Estádio José Alvalade and Estádio da Luz. Green against Red. The lion against the eagle. It is a mythological battle, isn’t it? The old capital enemies are always an awesome option for a weekend abroad!
O DERBY PAULISTA
Yes, you read it right. The derby from São Paulo, Brazil, between Corinthians and Palmeiras is just pure fire. We can’t imagine the passion expressed by both fans for that game, it is beyond a sport where people feel football as a religion.
Black & White against Green, two of the most historical and legendary teams in the world are struggling to rule the city and the Paulistan football. Every season, we travel to Brazil together with local host, Pedro, to experience football and the biggest derbies in his country. You can be there too. See the next trip here.
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 – 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.
The rivalry between Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb goes back to the 1920s, but it has been supercharged since 1992. That was the first Croatian league season after the country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Hajduk and Dinamo are Croatia’s biggest clubs and were once part of the Yugoslav Big Four with Serbian sides Red Star and Partizan Belgrade. Since the independence, Hajduk and Dinamo have won 25 of 27 Croatian league titles and 21 of 27 domestic cups between them.
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 labelled 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 favourite derbies 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 to the most intense derbies in football. See our trips or get in touch to create your own for you and your friends.