The Biggest Historical Rivalries in Brazil Serie A
Although many class England as the historical home of football, there are those that see Brazil as the soul of the game. This is the country where the beautiful game really can be beautiful. This is the country where footballers often look like dancers. Passion for football and football betting runs right through its very heart.
As such, it comes as no surprise that some of the world’s most intense and fierce rivalries can be found in this league. On a derby day, the country’s biggest cities come to a standstill as they watch the top teams clash. Here are some of the biggest rivalries in Brazilian football…
Palmeiras v Sao Paulo: Choque-Rei
These are two of the biggest teams in Brazil – and as such, when these two face off, it can be pretty heated. Both teams have a massive fan base and they are normally fighting for championships, which makes the games even more intense.
The passion from both sets of supporters often spills out into madness. It isn’t just with the senior team, but also with the junior teams. Once, in 1995, such was the depth of feeling during the Junior Sao Paulo Supercopa clash that fans invaded the pitch and rioted, causing injury to 102 people and killing one person. This is always a hot-headed match and one of the biggest grudge matches in the country.
Palmeiras v Santos: Clássico do Saudade
This is another intense rivalry between two of Sao Paulo’s top four teams. Games between Palmeiras and Santos always manage to grab the headlines – and they have gone head to head many times – from State Championship games to the Copa Libertadores.
These two teams have met at every stage of competition and are incredibly equal in terms of skill – in fact, fewer than five wins are separating the two sides in head to head matches spanning the past 100 years. However, despite this, it isn’t a game that ends up spilling over into violence. The fierceness here luckily remains on the pitch.
Flamengo v Vasco da Gama: Clássico dos Milhões
The Derby of the Millions is always a tough match between two of Rio De Janeiro’s biggest teams. It started way back in the 19th Century and has grown as the success of the teams has grown.
Because Flamengo is now one of Brazil’s most successful teams, there is an added edge. The games are full of colour and passion – and never to be missed.
Atlético Mineiro v Cruzeiro: Clássico Mineiro
This rivalry has led the way in intensity for over 50 years now. Games between the two biggest teams in Belo Horizonte are always full of drama and have decided state championships and national titles.
One of note was the Copa Brasil final in 2014, the first time they had met in the final round of a major competition before. Atletico won 3-0 and since then, Cruzeiro was relegated to Serie B and they no longer face each other as often.
Gremio v Internacional: Grenal
This is one of the most historic rivalries in Brazilian football, stretching back to the early 1900s. This is more than a battle of football, it is a battle of class. Gremio represents the upper class, whilst Internacional represents the working-class immigrants.
Because of this, clashes are fierce both on and off the pitch – tensions always boiling over. However, matches usually pass with no major incidents and the rivalry remains contained… for now!
Flamengo v Fluminense: Fla-Flu
The name sounds endearing, but that does certainly not represent the intensity of this one. This is one of the fiercest rivalries in Brazilian football. These games pit two of Rio’s biggest teams against each other. They are often high octane events, with agitated fans throwing flares into the pitch as tension rises throughout the match.
However, this is to be expected given that the matches originated from a group of Fluminense players leaving the club to start Flamengo’s football club back in 1911. Ever since, these two teams have gone head to head in every South American competition – with Flamengo slightly ahead of their rivals in head to head stats.
Corinthians v Palmeiras: Paulista Derby
This is, without a doubt, the most heated rivalry in Brazilian football – between two of the biggest teams in Sao Paulo. These two sides have traded punches with each other for more than a hundred years – and such is the intensity, that it attracts interest from football fans across the world, especially when there’s a lot at stake on the outcome.
Success in this match is often pivotal in both teams’ seasons and this is the only pairing in the country that has clashed over trophies at every single level. As such, the pressure is immense and this leads to numerous incidents involving players and their fans. One example was the 218 Paulista Championship finals, where the match had to be suspended for 8 minutes because of fights on the pitch. This game stops the city whenever it happens.
So, as the intensity in Serie A continues to grow this year – there are always some matches that will attract more attention than others – and Brazilian football betting fans will certainly want to get in on the action. In a country where football is life, these games aren’t just about points, they are about pride and passion.