These games symbolize unimaginable passion and have given us many classic encounters over the years.
Since the beginning of the game, football has scripted many rivalries throughout the world. Be it between clubs or countries, the contention to be on top and to remain a step ahead of the arch-rivals has been a spectacular phenomenon to watch. The sense of rivalry fuels the fans worldwide to turn on the live broadcasts and be a part of history being made every day on the field.
According to a recent study made on television viewership, the Manchester Derby became the most watched football match, surpassing the El Clasico in terms of television coverage and viewership.
Khel Now brings you the top 10 most watched football matches in the world:
10. Derby d’Italia
The Derby d’Italia is also one of the most tightly-contested matches, which showcases two Italian giants, Inter Milan and Juventus facing off against each other. Like many other matches in the Serie A, this match remains entertaining in several unique ways. These derby fixtures are often difficult to critique and predict, as the players are rallied by the club’s prestige and honour, which keeps them fighting till the final whistle.
Watch: The Derby d’Italia is seen as the holy grail by fans from both sides
Juventus have managed to edge their opponents on the majority of occasions, but with Inter’s new presidency, only time will tell whether there will be a power shift. The match is very renowned in the world of football, which draws a huge audience all over the world.
9. The North London Derby
Played between Arsenal and Tottenham, the North London Derby remains one of the most watched games in world football. Known to be one of the fiercest rivalries in English football, this fixture always provides for an exciting contest played at a breakneck pace.
Watch: Tottenham has risen as a threat to reckon with in the recent years
This particular fixture is watched by millions every year. Arsenal has edged their opponents on many occasions, but the past couple of seasons have proven to be tight affairs. This is mainly due to Spurs strengthening their squad in a bid to challenge for the Premier League. More exciting times lie ahead for both sets of fans.
8. The Intercontinental Derby
Arguably, the fiercest and most violent match among all those mentioned in this list, the Intercontinental Derby is played between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. With Turkey being the only country to be part of both Asia and Europe, this sense of rivalry comes from the geographical position of the clubs.
Watch: The Turkish Derby is infamous for the fans of the two sides
Galatasaray being on the European side and Fenerbahce being the representatives of Asia, the matchday experience includes flares, smoke bombs among other things. The match is an absolute treat to experience live, however, not safe according to many.
7. The Old Firm Derby
The Old Firm Derby is contested between two of the most successful clubs in the history of Scottish football, Celtic and Rangers. This match is one of the oldest and fiercely contested derbies in the world.
The huge viewership of the game around the globe is also responsible for generating colossal revenues for the clubs.
Watch: The Old Firm Derby is one of the most watched games in the world
The game also has a history of violence with a number of fans being involved in pitch invasions as well as vandalism. Despite the commotion, there is no doubt that the match is a treat to watch, as both the sides add a unique flavour to the game.
6. The Madrid Derby
Watch: The Madrid Derby is one of the fiercest city derbies in the world
The Madrid Derby is also one of the most watched fixtures, where city rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid face-off against one another. Real have prevailed as the victors in the majority of the meetings, but Atlético have not let down with ease, gathering a few scalps of their own.
Real Madrid have dominated the fixture in the last decade, losing only one match recently. This may be a sign that it is Atlético’s time to shine now, to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.
5. Der Klassiker
Arguably, the biggest game i then Bundesliga. Played between two of the most successful clubs in Germany, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund never fail to amaze the fans around the globe. It provides for an enthralling contest, which has all that one can ask for in a game of football.
Watch: The Der Klassiker is the biggest fixture in German football
The game is the most watched fixture in German football, which often registers record attendances. The past few years have seen the importance of this match rise to a whole new level, with Dortmund edging Bayern to win two consecutive Bundesliga titles to rise to prominence. From rowdy crowds to some of the best footballing exhibition, one should not pass up the opportunity to witness this epic battle.
4. Derby di Milano
The Milan Derby is regarded as the biggest one of its kind in Italy. It is contested between city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan and is played at the San Siro, the common home ground for both sides.
Watch: The Milan Derby is one of the most eventful games in world football
With its rich and eventful history, the Milan Derby is often remembered for more fighting than football. Both Milan teams have enjoyed success, having amassed 18 trophies each. Even Though the Milan sides have been battered by many other league rivals in the past few years, this match still holds importance in the hearts of their fans worldwide.
3. Northwest Derby
Regarded as one of the greatest rivalries in English football, the Northwest Derby is one of the most famous events in football. Played between arch-rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, the fixture sees the two most successful English clubs fight it out against each other.
Watch: This derby symbolises the rivalry between two cities as well
The two sides have won 121 trophies between them, with United surpassing Liverpool with their UEFA Europa League win last year. This game has seen a lot of highlights with many players having publicly voiced controversial comments towards their opponents to fuel the rivalry. From last-gasp winners to verbal abuse and brawls, this fixture has seen it all and is the perfect representation of what English football is all about.
2. El Clasico
Arguably, one of the most exciting matches in world football. Contested between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, this game is considered as a title-decider in many seasons. Dating back more than a century, it is one of the oldest rivalries in world football.
Watch: The El Clasico is watched by millions of viewers worldwide
The game is seen by millions worldwide as well as those who flock to the stadiums in their thousands. Many legendary players have represented these clubs such as Ronaldinho and Raul as well as the two best players of the current generation, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
1. Manchester Derby
Played between city rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, this particular derby has emerged as the most watched football game in the world. The importance of the game has risen significantly in recent years, with City winning the Premier League several times.
Watch: The Manchester Derby is on top of the list of most watched football matches in the world
A study done in 2017 calculated the viewership of the game in terms of broadcasting and attendance on the field, put the Manchester Derby as the most-watched game in the world. This match was broadcasted in 1 billion homes in 189 countries (there are 193 registered UN countries).
This has added a certain boost to the rivalry with the younger generations being attracted to the fixture like never before.