International football rivalries
Oh, boy. What would football be without rivalries between clubs or nations? A few rivalries in international football really tend to heat up things between people in the respective countries. Without further intro, let’s see what are the world’s most heated international rivalries.
Brazil vs Argentina
Good old Brazil and Argentina. The Battle of the South Americas is a very competitive rivalry which comes with a lot of incidents between the fans of the two neighbors. The hatred between the two nations and the quality of both teams’ squads makes this probably the best international football rivalry. Few notable incidents include the 1937 Copa America, when the Brazilian team quit the pitch before the final whistle, fearing for their safety amid the angry crowds, the 1946 game which ended in a fight between fans and players of both sides, the 1982 World Cup game in which Diego Maradona was sent off for booting João Batista and, the least but not the less important, the ‘Holy Water’ game at the 1990 World Cup, where the drinks of the Brazilian players were apparently spiked to hamper their performance. Although, in this case, it’s not really a matter of personal hatred between these two nations. It’s just, they can’t stand each other on the pitch.
Germany vs Netherlands
This is one of the few longstanding rivalries at international football level. It begun when Netherlands lost the 1974 World Cup to West Germany, although is deeply rooted in the Dutch resentiment towards the German occupation of the country during World War II and it shortly become one of the best known international football rivalries in the world. It is reciprocated by the German fans who highly regard Netherlands as their traditional rivals and have a strong dislike towards the Dutch. Among the incidents between the rivals, the most outrageous was probably during the 1990 World Cup, when Frank Rijkaard enthusiastically spat into Rudi Völler’s mullet. How original….
England vs Scotland
What’s funny about this rivalry is that, while both national team suck, Scotland are meat canon for Slovakia, while England just hit a World Cup semi-final last year. And yet this is one of the oldest international fixture in the world is spiced up by the demographic, social and cultural rivalry between English and Scots in the history of the British Isles: the centuries of antagonism and conflict between the two has contributed to the intense nature of the sporting contests. The Scottish media refers to England as the ‘Auld Enemy’ and there is a certain hype for the game from both sides, willing to defeat each other. Well, what can you say against tradition?
Serbia vs Croatia
In the most literal sense, Serbia vs Croatia is fire. No pun intended, this is the rivalry that started a war. The strong needle and rivalry between the people of these two main ex-Yugoslav countries would make them fight each other with the first occasion. That’s why the games between the two countries during the 2014 World Cup qualifying were played without attendence. Serbia still begrudgingly remember that fist Zvonimir Boban gave towards a Serb cop that was beating on a Dinamo Zagreb fan during their match with Red Star Belgrade. The fist that made Yugoslavia fall apart.
Romania vs Hungary
You know that moment when a rivalry is filled by a particular dark history between two people who are stupid enough to always aim for each other’s throats? Yeah, that’s one. The rivalry between those two countries dates back from centuries, with the Romanians having a strong anti-Hungarian sentiment for the centuries of Hungarian possesion over Transylvania, while the Hungarians consider the loss of the region following the Treaty of Trianon an injustice. As a result, there is a strong needle between the fans from both countries and they use football to fuel it. Due to the general tension of the matches between the two teams and the numerous fan incidents resulting from the mutual feeling of antipathy between the two countries, it can be considered one of the most bitter rivalries of the football world. Can’t see why…
Denmark vs Norway
We all know there’s love between Scandinavian teams, but the love between these two is really spicy. Yes, they’re not exactly the pair of countries that came to mind while thinking of a strong international rivalry, but, on a serious note, there is another strong needle between the fans of these two teams and when things will get spicy between them, they will start throwing each other insults and incidents. Imagine I said Romania vs Hungary because Transylvania is a region of importance for both cultures. Now imagine Norway as a whole was part of Denmark for, like, three centuries. And there you have it…
North Africa rivalries
Algeria vs Egypt, Egypt vs Morroco, Morroco vs Tunisia, Algeria vs Morroco, Algeria vs Tunisia; the hatred between the people of the North African countries would often reflect in the football fixtures between them, making a tense and hostile atmosphere whenever those teams meet. It’s nothing understandable, honestly, but then again, when were Middle East and North Africa ever understandable?…