Register Login Scores

World News

The 10 Biggest Derbies In World Football

The Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates is the biggest fixture in South Africa, and sits in position 31 of FourFourTwo's biggest derbies in the game. Here are the top 10, including one other African derby.

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery to see the 10 biggest derbies in world football, according to FourFourTwo.

FourFourTwo journalists collated a list of the 50 biggest derbies in world football, and the Soweto Derby appears in 31st position.

While it's not explained how FFT came up with their ranking, they do explain the popularity of the biggest South African derby as follows: "Soweto's population is around 1.2m, but something like 30m follow its two biggest clubs.

"The first derby was in 1970 and the clubs have been close rivals ever since, fighting not just for local superiority but national supremacy.

"Since the 1996 founding of the Premier Soccer League they have won four titles each, and although billionaire-backed Pretorian club Mamelodi Sundowns – known as the Chelsea of South African football – have won six, the two Soweto teams are easily the most popular clubs in southern Africa.

"Such is their pull that derbies have been staged in packed stadiums as far away as Durban and Port Elizabeth.

"Sadly, this popularity has proved disastrous. During a 1991 friendly at an overcrowded Oppenheimer Stadium, violent reaction to a controversial goal caused a stampede which killed 42 people.

"A decade later, up to 120 000 people were admitted to the 60 000-capacity Ellis Park, and the ensuing crush killed 43."

The Egyptian derby between African giants Al Ahly and Zamalek was listed in 10th position, while clashes such as Schalke vs Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool vs Manchester United, the Rome derby and El Clasico also appear in the top 10.

However, the clash between Argentina superclubs Boca Juniors and River Plate has been named the biggest rivalry of them all.

Opposing fans call each other gallinas (chickens) and chanchitos (little pigs), and both sides have dominated Argentine football, with River having won 36 league titles and Boca 31.

"A hundred years ago it was about working class vs aristocracy. Today it's just about hate," Martin Mazur, an Argentine expert, describes the biggest, baddest derby of them all.

"The on-pitch atmosphere reflects the 2 000 policemen that patrol the stadium: bust-ups, red cards (two per game is common) and controversy are part of the derby.

"Attending a Boca-River game, especially at La Bombonera, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In the stands you can expect anything – from chicken feathers to flying pigs."

Read: 10 Stars Who Believe Messi Is Better Than Ronaldo

Which do you think is the biggest derby in world football, and how does the Soweto Derby compare to football's biggest clashes? Have your say in the comments section below.

Ronaldo Beats Messi To Another Impressive Record

10 Candidates Who Could Replace Enrique

Reports: Mourinho Calls Barca Superstar Ahead Of R2.8bn Move

48 comments

Top 5

Breaking: CAS Release Chiefs FIFA Ban Verdict

210 Oct 27, 2020 06:10 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Messi Sends Message To Ronaldo

16 Oct 25, 2020 08:30 AM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Confirmed: Pirates Coach To Return Home After Soweto Derby

30 Oct 31, 2020 03:17 PM in Orlando Pirates

14 Footballers Who Have Degrees

27 Sep 16, 2020 08:30 PM in World News

Why Chiefs Can Register New Players – This Season!

34 Oct 28, 2020 06:33 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Downs Set Record Straight On Mido!

32 Oct 27, 2020 01:15 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Furious Ronaldo Breaks Silence After Latest Positive COVID-19 Test

10 Oct 28, 2020 03:30 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Mabunda Shows Support For ‘Father’ Bushiri

29 Oct 30, 2020 01:40 PM in The Best Of The Rest

Breaking: CAS Release Chiefs FIFA Ban Verdict

210 Oct 27, 2020 06:10 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Downs Set Record Straight On Mido!

32 Oct 27, 2020 01:15 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

11 Footballers Who Went Broke

33 Jun 10, 2020 07:15 PM in World News

NPA's Latest Update On Lorch’s Court Case!   

18 Oct 27, 2020 05:33 PM in Orlando Pirates

The World's 10 Highest-Paid Football Stars Today

3 Sep 14, 2020 08:30 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Maritzburg Confirm Coaching Exit

5 Oct 27, 2020 03:31 PM in PSL