Ranking the fiercest rivalries in football being played on 24th October 2021

In this article, we will focus on the top four fiercest rivalries being played on 24th October 2021 and also rank them based on the number of fouls and bookings in the respective derbies. 

In England, Manchester United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford. Spain will see an El Clasico without Lionel Messi in the senior FC Barcelona squad for the first time since 2003. 

Leo Messi, meanwhile, is slated to feature in his first Le Classique as PSG travel to Stade Velodrome. 

The Serie A is expected to feature fireworks of its own as Internazionale play Juventus at the San Siro in the Derby D’Italia.

These football rivalries amongst teams are always highly anticipated with an intense atmosphere in the stadium being a perfect recipe for such derbies. 

1. Barcelona vs Real Madrid

One of the most-viewed and fiercest rivalries in football, the El Clasico. None other rivalries can beat this rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid. It has been said “the world stops for 90 minutes every time Barcelona and Real Madrid face each other”

When it comes to bookings, El Clasico is the game to watch. The battle between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid was defined by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring exploits but it also saw a high number of rough plays and rash decisions. 


The famous derby, from 2010/11 has featured 7 bookings per game (5.23 yellows and 0.36 reds) - the most out of the four derbies being played on Sunday. 

In terms of trophies, Real Madrid leads with 34 league titles compared to Barcelona’s 24 and 13 Champions League, while Barca has 5 UCL titles.  

2. PSG vs Marseille 

PSG and Marseille rivalry is popularly known as “Le Classique” before it was known as Le Classico, although PSG were newly founded in 1970. And for a long, there were no teams that could compete against Marseille. who were formed in 1899, 71 years before PSG. 

Their first rivalry commenced when PSG won their first-ever title in 1986 under the reigns of Gerard Houllier. Since then, there have been many intense games. 

In 1989, when both clubs clashed against each other and Marseille scored a last-minute winner to snatch the title from PSG, Marseille won their first-ever title since 1972. 

Paris Saint-Germain against Olympique de Marseille being the ‘dirtiest’ game of the lot (only counting fouls) was the most surprising outcome of this research. 

The battle between two of France’s most successful sides has also seen 5.14 cards being dished out per game. The tally for yellow cards given per game is 4.62 and for sending offs, it's 0.52 per game. 

That means that a player has been sent off in every alternate Le Classique in the league from 2010/11 onwards. Below are some key stats that showcase why this fixture is one of the gruesome and intense compared to the other three games.


In the 1992 game, PSG and Marseille played one of the dirtiest matches against each other, as five red cards were shown and a total of 55 mistakes were done by the referee which helped Marseille win the game, which added more fuel to the rivalry. 

3. Juventus vs Inter Milan 

One of the famous and fiercest rivalries in Italy. Juventus and Inter Milan were the only teams who never got relegated to Serie B. 

Their rivalry grew into stature after the game that sparked most of the fans in 1998 when Luiz Ronaldo was denied an obvious penalty, which later was given to Juventus on the other side of the pitch, as they won the game 1-0. 

This caused arguments in Italian parliament during a publicly broadcast "question time" session in April 1998. 

Eight years later Calciopoli scandal occurred where Juventus and other teams were charged for referee corruption and purchasing of matches, which led to punishment by relegation in Serie B. 

The two Serie A titles won by Juventus were given to Inter Milan, this led to a stronger and heated rivalry between Juventus and Inter Milan. 


In 2009, Mario Balotelli was the victim of racist chants by Juventus fans when Inter players arrived in Turin, their bus was pelted with eggs by Juventus fans. The game also saw seven bookings, a red card, and many on-pitch heated moments. 

4. Manchester United vs Liverpool 

For English football fans, Manchester United-Liverpool is arguably the biggest game of the season. The game tends to become cagey at times due to the high stakes and tackles flying from both ends. 

However, the ‘fierce’ English derby is not remotely fierce when compared to Le Classique, El Clasico and Derby d’Italia. Manchester United vs Liverpool is the ‘friendliest’ of the derbies being played on Sunday - least number of bookings, fouls and sending offs.


The clubs’ rivalry is all about on-field dominance, in terms of trophies and matches won. 

Both the North-west clubs have dominated Premier League and Europe with 20 and 19 league titles and three and six European titles, respectively. 

In their overall head-to-head games total of 193 cards have been shown, where 177 have been yellow and an incredible 19 red cards.  

Which of these fiercest rivalries are you most looking forward to see on the 24th October?

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