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World Football’s Biggest Club Derby Games Have Been Ranked

World Football’s Biggest Club Derby Games Have Been Ranked

World football's fiercest club rivalries have been ranked by The Athletic, creating a controversial countdown of the biggest derby games.

Taking into account history and proximity - but also social media followings, turnover and combined stadium size - the end result is Manchester City vs Manchester United being named the biggest club game in the world.

El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona finished second, while the North West Derby - Liverpool vs Manchester United - finished fourth, just behind the AC Milan vs Inter Milan derby.


Arsenal vs Tottenham makes the top five, while Everton vs Liverpool is sixth. Celtic vs Rangers is 11th and Boca Juniors vs River Plate is last of the assessed derbies in 14th.

The ranking is bound to cause feedback as Liverpool vs Manchester United is usually named the biggest game in English football - ahead of Man City vs Man United. While Celtic-Rangers and Boca-River are among the fiercest rivalries in football, yet don't make the top 10.

But it all depends on how you're measuring the two teams involved, of course. By including combined financial turnover and stadium size - plus proximity - City vs United is clearly a strong contender.

Real vs Barcelona actually leads on three categories: combined social following (472.6 million), combined turnover (£1,385.5) and combined stadium size (180,398).


However the close proximity of the Manchester derby - plus its long history, given the first match between the two sides was played in 1881 - apparently gave the game a narrow edge.

The Athletic's ranking is below - while you can read a detailed statistical breakdown via their website.

1. Man City vs Man United (Manchester Derby)


2. Barcelona vs Real Madrid (El Clasico)

3. AC Milan vs Inter Milan (Derby della Madonnina)

4. Liverpool vs Man United (North West Derby)

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6. Everton vs Liverpool (Merseyside Derby)

7. Flamengo vs Fluminense (Fla-Flu)

8. Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund (Der Klassiker)

9. Lazio vs Roma (Derby della Capitale)


10. Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke (Revierderby)

11. Celtic vs Rangers (Old Firm)

12. Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray (Intercontinental Derby)

13. PSG vs Marseille (Le Classique)

14. Boca Juniors vs River Plate (Superclasico)

Of course, there's also the debate about what counts as a derby: just an in-country rivalry or is it important the two clubs play in the same vicinity?

One notable omission from The Athletic's list is the so-called derby of Italy - Inter vs Juventus - which arguably should be included seeing as country-wide "derbies" such Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund and PSG vs Marseille are present.

Let us know what you think is world football's biggest derby in the comments.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Manchester City, Liverpool, El Classico, Football News, Football Lists, Football, Manchester United, Barcelona, Milan derby, Lists, Manchester derby, Old Firm, Real Madrid

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.