Biggest derbies in world football

As we prepare for a double derby day at Premier League, we take a look at the most keenly watched derbies across the world

Liverpool Vs Everton
It's derby week in the English Premier League where city rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, and Liverpool and Everton are set to go face-to-face with each other on Sunday.
Ahead of the high profile clashes, Sportstar takes a look at some of the most famous derbies from around the world of football.
Photo: Getty Images
Manchester Derby 2009 Michael Owen Carlos Tevez
Ever since the Abu Dhabi group's takeover of Manchester City, the blue half of Manchester has emerged from the shadows of its illustrious neighbour in red. In the last decade, Manchester United vs Manchester City has produced some memorable matches; Michael Owen's injury-time winner broke Citizens' hearts at Old Trafford while City humiliated Sir Alex Ferguson's men 6-1 in front of their fans in 2011. Now, the rivalry has climbed to a different dynamic with managerial arch-rivals Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho standings in the blue and red corners, respectively.
Previous encounter: City 0-0 United (Premier League)
Mersey side derby Steven Gerrard Luis Suarez Gareth Barry Leighton Baines
The river Mersey has split the city of Liverpool into red and blue and this fixture is considered to be the most ill-disciplined and explosive rivalry in English football, having seen more red cards than any other rivalry. It is said to have torn families apart and till this day, bragging rights are very much at stake when Liverpool takes on Everton. While the 80s saw both the teams on an equal footing, both teams have tapered off in both the domestic and European front in recent years. But Liverpool is comfortably the bigger club at present.
Previous encounter: Liverpool 3-1 Everton (Premier League)
Photo: Getty Images
Milan Derby Marco Materazzi Rui Costa Previous encounter: Inter 3-2 AC Milan (Serie A)" class="photostoryimg media-object lazy adaptive placeholder" />
Called the "Derby della Madonnina" in Italy, AC Milan and Internazionale contest this legendary fixture in their shared San Siro home. During Serie A's peak, in the 90s and early 2000s, this encounter was the marquee derby in European football with legends such as Javier Zanetti, Paolo Maldini, Andriy Shevchenko, Marco Materazzi, Kaka headlining the fixture. However, both clubs have fallen down the pecking order in the Italian Serie A recently, with neither clubs making a mark in Champions League football. The two teams are separated by a hair's width, with Inter winning 78 of the encounters, three more than AC Milan.
Previous encounter: Inter 3-2 AC Milan (Serie A)
Photo: Getty Images
Lionel messi vs Real Madrid
A game between the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid never fails to live up to its top billing. Household names like Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos take the field to make it the most exhilarating of contests. But it's not just the names, for the seeds of this rivalry are sown deeper. It draws fire from the political resentment between the Spanish ruling classes of Madrid against the fiercely independent gentry from the north-west Catalonia region. The upcoming El Clasico on December 23 could be the most significant to date on the back of the Catalonia referendum.
Previous encounter: Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona (LaLiga)
Photo: Getty Images
‘El Superclasico' Boca Juniors vs Rover Plate
Considered to be the most hotly contested football fixture in the world, the Superclasico never fails to entertain. Boca Juniors and River Plate are the two most successful and popular clubs in Argentina. From humble beginnings in the La Boca neighbourhood, River Plate detracted to the patrician suburb of Nunez, earning the moniker ‘Los Millonarios'. Boca Juniors, meanwhile, remained in the deprived suburb, still representing the masses. From Diego Maradona and Ariel Ortega to Hernan Crespo and Carlos Tevez, the Superclasico has been the battleground of some of Argentina's finest.
So infuriating and charged up is the occasion that The Guardian listed the fixture as one of the 50 sporting events to attend before you die. Previous encounter: River Plate 1-2 Boca Juniors (Argentine Primera División)
Photo: AFP
Jamie Carragher Gary Neville Manchester United Liverpool
While both teams have respective cross-town rivals Manchester United and Liverpool consider playing each other the standout fixture in both team's season. Heroes are made in this explosive fixture, with even flops such as Ryan Babel (Liverpool) and Diego Forlan (United) have their names sung on Anfield and Old Trafford terraces for their one-off exploits. Not only is this match-up important for either team, but Manchester United vs Liverpool is the biggest game in Premier League football.
Culturally, too, an industrial rivalry exists between the two beacons of England's north-west and often a win against the other is considered even more important than winning the League itself.
“I have always considered this (Liverpool v Manchester United) to be the game of the season in English football. It's never going to change. Both clubs need each other,” said United's legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011. This sentiment is true till today and doesn't look like changing any time soon.
Previous encounter: Liverpool 0-0 United (Premier League)
Photo: Getty Images
Kolkata derby Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal Previous encounter: Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal (I-League)" class="photostoryimg media-object lazy adaptive placeholder" />
One of the most iconic clash in Asian club football features two of India's most well known and oldest football clubs, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. This rivalry dates back to over a century and they have met more than 300 times with East Bengal holding the slight edge. Culturally, a majority of the Mohun Bagan supporters represent the 'nativist' population while a majority of the East Bengal fans represent the 'immigrant' population. More than 100,000 fans turn out every year for this Boro match ("Big match" in Bengali).
Previous encounter: Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal (I-League)
Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
Cristiano Ronaldo Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madird Real Madrid
While Real's rivalry with Barcelona transcends political boundaries, its rivalry with Atletico is based on city allegiances, with half of Madrid supporting Los Blancos while the other half swear by Los Rojiblancos. Of course Real is the bigger team, being the most decorated club in European and world football. However, Atletico under Diego Simeone has been a force to reckon with and has broken the duoply of Real and Barca in recent times. This fixture has been played more than 200 times and Los Blancos have won more than twice the amount of games their crosstown rivals have.
Previous encounter: Atletico 0-0 Real (LaLiga)
Photo: Getty Images