With a big Champions League Quarter Final match coming up between two Italian team, Napoli and AC Milan, I thought it would be fitting to see the top Italian rivalries, which are some of the most heated rivalries in the world due to the nature of the fans and players.
5. Torino vs Juventus- Derby della Mole
Record: 82 Juventus wins, 50 Torino wins, and 50 draws
Most Recent Scores: February 28th, 2023, Juventus 4-2 Torino (Serie A), and October 15th, Juventus 1-0 Torino (Serie A)
Importance: The derby between these two teams has come since the formation of Torino, who were formed when fans and players of Juventus went to make a new team in 1906. Apart from this, there are several other reasons that these teams are enemies, including geography, as both teams reside in Turin, another reason was that after World War 2, the games between these two teams came to represent a class divide in Turin, with the poorer residents supporting Torino and the upper class rooting for Juventus. This match has leaned towards Juventus recently, with Torino not having beat them since 2015, which will only make Torino more hungry for victory in the future of this game.
4. Napoli vs Roma- Derby del Sole
Record: 62 Roma wins, 56 Napoli wins, and 53 draws.
Most Recent Scores: January 29th 2023, Napoli 2-1 Roma (Serie A) and October 23rd 2022, Napoli 1-0 Roma (Serie A)
Importance: This rivalry is popular because it features the two most popular teams that don’t play in Northern Italy, because it features Napoli from the south and Roma from the center. These two teams have had some of the best players in the history of Serie A, which has resulted in several winning streaks for either team, including Napoli dominating with Maradona in the seventies and Roma controlling the rivalry in the nineties with Francesco Totti, this leaves both teams wondering who will be the next player to take this rivalry to the next level.
3. Inter Milan vs Juventus- Derby d'Italia
Record: 112 Juventus wins, 75 Inter wins, and 60 draws
Most Recent Scores: March 19th 2023, Juventus 1-0 Inter Milan (Serie A) and November 6th 2022, Juventus 2-0 Inter Milan (Serie A).
Importance: This match is contested between the two historically best Italian teams and is the most heated rivalry in Italy between two teams from different cities. These two teams, who combined have 55 trophies also have a history of controversy, which was at its most severe in 2006, when Juventus and other Italian clubs were caught picking referees that favored them and pressuring them to make calls that helped Juventus (Which the head of Juventus denied), this led to Juventus being stripped of their 2004-2005 Serie A title and a demotion to Serie B. What made this part of the rivalry was that the 2004-2005 title was given to the second place team, their biggest rivals, Inter Milan, which has made this rivalry very interesting in the years since. These two teams also have a Coppa Italia Semi Final match coming up on April 4th, so it will be interesting to see if Juventus can continue their 2 game winning streak against Inter, or if Inter will win this match for the first time in 2023.
2. Lazio vs Roma- Derby della Capitale
Record: 67 Roma wins, 50 Lazio wins, and 63 draws.
Most Recent Scores: March 19 2023, Lazio 1-0 Roma (Serie A) and November 6th 2022, Lazio 1-0 Roma.
Importance: The derby della Capitale, or derby of the capital is a match contested between two of the best teams in Italy, who both play in Rome, so this game is thought to show who is the best team in the capital city. The ultras (superfans) in this game are what make this rivalry big, but not always in a good way, because there has been violence between the ultras that has ended in many being injured, and even a Lazio fan being killed in 1979.
1. Inter Milan vs AC Milan- Derby di Milano
Record: 87 Inter wins, 79 AC Milan wins, and 59 draws.
Most Recent Scores: February 5th 2023, Inter Milan 1-0 AC Milan (Serie A) and January 18th 2023, Inter Milan 3-0 AC Milan.
Importance: Unlike some other rivalries on this list, the match is much more focused on the pitch, instead of the fans, and to make this game more enjoyable for everyone, the ultras of both teams agreed in 1983 to not have any violence between them, which is huge considering how much violence ultras cause in the world of Italian soccer. This rivalry is also one of the most competitive because these are some of the oldest teams in Italy, and not only do they both play in Milan, but they also have the same amount of Serie A trophies (19, the second most, only behind Juventus at 36) and the same amount of second place finishes (16), which is the tiebreaker, so it will be interesting to see which team will pull ahead next.