Soccer rivals

Rita Faltas, staff reporter

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Every sport has great rivalries. In fact, they form the beating heart of sports. Without an enemy, how can you have heroes? So here are top soccer rivalries from around the world.

Let’s start with the most known rivalry, Real Madrid v. FC Barcelona. These are the most successful teams in Spain, and most popular around the world. On one side you have Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona, and on the other you have Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid. Both known as the best players and the most popular.

Religion is supposed to bring everyone together, but it still separates. Celtic v. Rangers, both teams from Glasgow, Scotland. One study shows the rivalry between both teams is religion. Celtic’s supporters are 74% identify as catholic, whereas only 10% identify as protestant. While for Rangers’ fans, the figures are 2% and 65%, respectively.

Hate is a strong word, but the next two teams are known to hate each other. Boca Juniors v. River Plate, Aires, Argentina. It started when two factions of the same team disagreed with each other and one of them left La Boca for Núñez and started another club. Back then, there was no professional league, both were actually neighborhood athletic clubs, with other sports, pools, tennis courts, etc., but the break-up was not pretty. This was late-19th century/early-20th century.

Al Ahly v. Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt. The first question an Egyptian might ask you after meeting you might be, “do you support Al Ahly or Zamalek?” Al Ahly sporting club, also translated as “The National sporting club”, was founded by the president of Cairo. It was a team consisting of high school students. Also established for political reasons and based on British forces. Four years later the Zamalek soccer club was formed, by a Belgian lawyer. There was always a tension between the two teams to know who is better. It split the fans in half, and created a rivalry.

Whether you like this team or that team, native or foreign, the most important thing to remember is that regardless of where you are from or where your loyalty lie, we are united underneath the enormous umbrella that we call soccer.

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