While football is undoubtedly the most entertaining sport humans ever invented, there are some football fixtures that will totally absorb you in passion. Be it rivalry, religious bitterness, political conflicts or geographical tensions, some football fixtures will always exceed your expectations. Players, who get lucky enough to grace the pitch, tend to give more than what they have. And why would they not? The passion, intensity and fans’ expectations are always touching the sky. You’d surely enjoy these 10 most entertaining football fixtures.
- Arsenal vs. Chelsea FC (England)
It’s safe to say no other derby has flourished this much in the Premier League era. Arsenal plays one of the most exciting attacking football and Chelsea are known for fielding some of the most talented individuals. Be it fans, players or even the coaches of these two London clubs – their hate for each other is visible on the pitch.
- AC Milan vs. Inter (Italy)
From stadium and fortunes to the city and history, Inter and AC Milan have a lot in common. Two historic clubs that shaped Italian football and helped it reach great heights. Legends like Ronaldo (Brazilian), Figo, Nesta, Maldini, etc. have been up for show in the magnificent San Siro from time to time.
- Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahçe (Turkey)
These two Turkish giants split the city with Fenerbahce being on the Asian side and Galatasary being on the European side. Turkish fans are well known for being, ahem, ‘passionate’ and on match day expect missiles, flares and the odd spot of violence. If you ever go, don’t pick a side and don’t wear one of the shirts. Stay neutral and soak it up.
- Flamengo vs. Fluminese (Brazil)
If you are a fan of Brazilian football this is the game for you. Each fixture is played at unofficially the biggest football stadium in the world, the iconic Maracana, where its record attendance was 200,000!! Banners and flares are rife, as unfortunately is violence but it’s a football spectacle, that’s for sure.
- Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
For past few years Bayern and Dortmund have dominated the German football. To be fair, Bayern is always at the top. But Dortmund seems to be their biggest domestic rival for now. Some might not rate Bayern vs. Dortmund match too high but it’s probably because they haven’t ever seen it! Surely one of the most underrated football fixtures.
- Rangers vs. Celtic (Scotland)
One of the oldest rivalries in the world, this one is explosive thanks to the religious connotations each side carries with Rangers a famous Protestant side and Celtic a famous Catholic team. It was only in the last 15 years or so that players of opposing religions would even get transferred for the other side! You wouldn’t want to wear blue or green in the stadium guys.
- Manchester United vs. Liverpool (England)
Nothing comes close to this in England, nothing ever will. These two are the most successful clubs in the country and they just simply hate each other. United captain, Gary Neville, once said “I can’t stand Liverpool, I can’t stand Liverpool people, I can’t stand anything to do with them.” The electric atmosphere inside the stadium will leave you mesmerized.
- Olympiakos vs. Panathinaikos (Greece)
The “Mother of All Battles” between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, Greece’s two most successful teams, began a century ago. Violence is quite common when the two teams meet. The fact that Olympiakos have won 16 of the past 18 domestic championship to Panathinaikos’ 2 has only made the rivalry fiercer. Things have been so much out of control that once the government had to order the next round of matches behind closed doors.
- Real Madrid vs. Barcelona – El Clasico (Spain)
Arguably, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two most successful, most powerful and biggest sports teams in the world. You will never find better football players elsewhere. Ronaldinho, Zidane, Figo, Puyol, Ramos, Cryuff, Di Stefano…list is endless. The biggest rivalry in elite European football may not have to deal with violence (thanks to small number of away fans allowed in stadiums) but in terms of quality, significance, identity and history, no other match comes close. With Messi and Ronaldo along with other world-class footballers on the pitch, 90 minutes of divine football is played.
- Boca Juniors vs. River Plate – Superclasico (Argentina)
Whether you have interest in football or not, you just cannot ignore Superclasico’s hype. One of the biggest sporting events, Boca Juniors vs. River Plate electrifies whole Argentina. Every meeting is played out in a febrile atmosphere of deafening noise, resentfulness, strident bravado and not infrequent violence. You can only truly feel the game if you’re in the stadium – probably why it is one of those sporting events you should see at least once in your life. This one is truly the best out of all football fixtures.