What do you want from a derby? There is only one answer – atmosphere. Although there is much debate over which soccer league is the most entertaining, there are clear winners when discussing the rife atmospheres around Europe’s largest soccer-crazy cities. These derby matches are ridden with history alongside the cities themselves and there is no doubt this is the perfect way to travel around Europe for any fan. The varying and fascinating lives which ‘city-zens’ live is wonderful to see.
AC Milan vs. Internazionale
Milan is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities to visit in Italy, Europe and even in the world. Milan is widely regarded as the global capital for fashion and design. To say the top Italian soccer teams reflect this in their style of play would be an understatement. These two giants of Italian soccer are arguably the country’s most successful teams in recent times, making their rivalry so much vaster.
They produce work of the highest quality on a field which both teams share as their home, causing further confrontation between the two sets of fans. However, this certainly creates a shear cauldron of atmosphere when the two teams meet for the Derby della Madonnina.
Such spectacles have seen the two teams soar in regards to popularity and appreciation for the quality of play which they produce, so much so that they are attracting the best players and coaches in world football.
Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce
Istanbul is one of the busiest cities in the Europe and the largest in the Middle East. The dense population of the Turkish capital creates a real buzz around the city. This continues to exist when the two contrasting sides of Istanbul meet at their ‘home’ for a clash which they say is more important than winning the domestic Turkish league and one which the international betting markets will often tip as a dead heat.
The match is a heart-thumping encounter where once again there is heaps of history involved. Galatasaray are situated in European Istanbul while Fenerbahce are based in the Anatolian part of the city. Fenerbahce were seen as the ‘people’s club’ in the past and Galatasaray were abused for aristocracy. This continues today.
Olympiakos vs. Panathinaikos
*photo by Protonotarios
Athens is one of the most historic cities in Europe, and the Greek Gods will look down on Athens and see one of the most traditional soccer derbies in the modern game. These two teams are referred to as the ‘eternal enemies’ in Greece and they continue to entertain some of the most ferocious occasions in soccer history.
Athens is known for its cultural and tourist attractions. This derby is certainly part of the Greek culture. Greeks are known for their nationalism and a match of such high stakes and intensity is the perfect opportunity for such a release of passion. Once again, there are hidden agendas in such a rivalry, stemming from political forces and the hierarchy within the two clubs, encouraging the passionate following of the two clubs.