Serie A rivalry ranked: Roma vs. Lazio in the Derby della Capitale top the list, then Inter vs. Juventus

Two of Serie A’s most iconic matches will take place on Sunday. The Derby della Capitale between AS Roma and Lazio and the Derby d’Italia between Inter and Juventus close out the last day before the international break (don’t forget you can watch Serie A action all season long, only on Paramount+) and that’s a perfect chance to place in the top ten Italian rivalries of all time. Italian football is full of grudge matches and great stories about some of the most iconic clashes that usually happen every season. Let’s cross the country to see which games made the list.

10. Fiorentina vs. Juventus

This rivalry became particularly tense in the 1990s when former Fiorentina player Roberto Baggio joined the Bianconeri in the summer of 1990. The Italian football icon was one of the club’s best-loved players and his move to Juventus fueled the rivalry between the two sides. . Baggio’s move was a major scandal at the time, but more Fiorentina players have joined Juventus in recent years, such as Federico Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa and finally Dusan Vlahovic.

9. Inter vs. Naples

The rivalry between Inter and Napoli dates back to the 1980s, when the two teams were regarded as one of the best and competed to win the Scudetto when Diego Maradona played in Serie A. However, the two fan bases have a history because of the historical tensions between the North and South of the country. Inter hails from Milan and embraces the power and wealth of the north, while Naples is the most populous southern city and has always been considered the great rivals of the northern cities, Milan in particular. The Inter and Napoli ultragroups had some major clashes in recent years that have less to do with this history and more to do with ultrarivalry, especially after 2018 when a member of the Nerazzurri group was killed by a Napoli ultra. After this episode, Napoli fans living near Naples are still unable to attend away games, such as the one on January 6 this year, to avoid new confrontations.

8. Genoa vs. Sampdoria

One of the most iconic Italian city derbies: Genoa vs. Sampdoria is also called Derby della Lanterna after the lighthouse that is one of the symbols of the city. The rivalry doesn’t need much explanation as the two clubs are from the same city and it is by far one of the best atmospheres you can experience in Italy. Unfortunately this match is off this year as the two teams play in different leagues as Genoa are in Serie B after being relegated last year and chances are it won’t take place next season either as Sampdoria is. currently at the bottom of Serie A, while city rivals are well positioned to be promoted back to the first division.

7. Atalanta against Brescia

One of the most tense rivalries between fanbases is the one between Atalanta and Brescia. The two cities, Bergamo and Brescia, are historically hostile to football, but as always, sport is a good (or bad) place to cement a rivalry. Tensions escalated in 1993, when the Atalanta fans invaded the pitch and started fighting on the pitch with the home fans. Another episode is in 2001, when former Brescia coach Carlo Mazzone became famous for his run on the Atalanta fans in the Brescia-Atalanta derby. After insulting him throughout the game, Mazzone “promised” the rival fans that he would have walked under their away section if Brescia managed to equalize (they were 3–1 down at half time). After Roberto Baggio’s two goals for Brescia, Mazzone kept his word.

6. Palermo v Catania

The Sicilian derby is one of the most iconic matches in Italian football. The two clubs also represent the region’s two largest cities, and their rivalry escalated in the 1980s for some violent episodes between the two fan bases. The game is unfortunately also remembered for the death of police officer Filippo Raciti in 2007 during clashes between the Catania ultras group and the police. After this episode, the entire Serie A tournament was halted for a week and Catania could not play in their home stadium for the rest of the season.

5. Inter vs. AC Milan

Let’s enter the top five rivalries with the Derby della Madonnina, one of Italian football’s most iconic matches. Despite the fact that every year we talk about the most anticipated Serie A game of the season, the rivalry between the fans is very different from the others. Both Inter and AC Milan are used to winning trophies and they have shared the biggest podium in their entire history to date, with few exceptions. As a result, their rivalry is much more focused on the pitch and is mainly about winning trophies, like what happened last season when the Rossoneri won the Scudetto against city rivals on the last matchday of the season. Also, from 1983, the two most influential ultragroups of the two teams agreed not to have violent periods between the two sides. This certainly helped to calm the whole atmosphere just before the 1980s and 1990s, when the ultras groups started to become a critical problem for the security of the games all over Europe, not just in Italy.

4. Napoli against AS Roma

This rivalry stems from a friendship between the two fanbases that escalated into one of Italian football’s most intense rivalries. In the 1970s and 1980s, this game was called the Derby of the Sun because of the good relations between the fans, but after a contentious match in 1987, everything changed. The rivalry heated up and was mostly between the fans off the pitch until it all escalated badly for the 2014 Coppa Italia final when the Napoli ultra Ciro Esposito was shot and killed by a Roma ultra, Daniele De Santis. The incident led to a long delay and negotiation between the police and the Napoli ultras group, led by a person wearing a t-shirt in support of the Catania’s ultra who killed police officer Filippo Raciti in 2007. Then, in January this year, 180 people were identified in connection with possible involvement in violent clashes that took place on the Italian highway A1 between fans of AS Roma and Napoli, and after this episode, the Italian government banned the fan bases of the two clubs from to attend away games in the next two months.

3. Napoli v Juventus

This rivalry has multiple stories and meanings. First of all, like the one between Napoli and Inter, Juventus represents the values ​​of Northern Italy and that makes Napoli and Juventus the opposite of each other, creating a rivalry that is also exacerbated by the story of the two cities. In recent years it has become even stronger since Napoli started to fight for the title, as in 2018, when the Azzurri scored 91 points, but it was not enough to beat Juventus, despite winning the key game in Turin thanks to the goal scored by Kalidou Koulibaly. Also, the transfer of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus became one of the symbols of this rivalry as the Bianconeri paid the release clause of 90 million to sign the Argentine striker in the summer of 2016.

2. Inter vs. Juventus

Here comes the Derby d’Italia (broadcast on Paramount+ on Sundays) one of the most important matches in Italian football. Inter and Juventus have a long list of extraordinary matches that have made Serie A history. The rivalry reached its peak in the 1990s as the two sides battled for the title race, especially during the 1997-98 season when Ronaldo (the original, not the Cristiano version who would later play for Juventus) was denied a penalty at a critical moment for Inter, which caused a major scandal among the Inter fans. Then, in 2002, Inter lost the Scudetto on the last match day after defeat to Lazio, and the Bianconeri won the title. The rivalry intensified in 2006, when Juventus became involved in Calciopoli, the major refereeing scandal that saw them relegated to Serie B the following season. In the meantime, Inter were awarded the 2005-06 title, although Juventus fans still regard that title consider them their property, at least unofficially. More recently, the rivalry resurfaced when Antonio Conte joined Inter after the former Juventus captain restored the Bianconeri to the top of Serie A, ushering in a ten-year period of dominance. In fact, it wasn’t until Conte ended it at the helm of Inter.

1. AS Roma against Lazio

By far the most heated rivalry in Italian football. AS Roma and Lazio fans live for this match and the whole city literally comes to a standstill when the match takes place. There is a saying about the Derby della Capitale: “In Milan you talk about the Derby for a week, in Rome a year”. And this is absolutely true. However, there have also been some serious acts of violence between the two clubs’ ultra groups over the years. The most remarkable thing happened in 1979 when Lazio supporter Vincenzo Paparelli was murdered. Roma fans in the Curva Sud launched two nautical flares at the Lazio fans on the other side. Nor hit their intended targets. The third traversed the entire field from end to end, hitting Paparelli directly in the left eye. In 2004, the Derby della Capitale was suspended after the supporter groups of both Roma and Lazio reacted to the news that a boy had been killed by a police car before the match and demanded that the match be abandoned. It later turned out to be actually untrue, but the two ultra groups forced the game anyway and then clashed outside the stadium.

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