The Biggest Derby in World Football

La Liga - The Biggest Derby in World Football

La Liga Derby.

There can be no doubt that this is very much one of the Spanish top flight's blockbuster bouts. Whilst El Clasico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is widely held as being the biggest game in world football, meetings between Los Blancos and Atletico Madrid certainly don't lag far behind.

The bitter rivalry between the capital city's big two is nothing new, but Los Rojiblancos' on-field rise under Diego Simeone's stewardship has served to add an extra dimension to these cross-city tussles.

La Liga Derbies

For a period stretching back more than five years now, these eternal enemies have contested an intriguing battle to claim LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League honours. Real Madrid are the league, Champions League and Club World Cup holders and have tasted glory in three of the last four editions of Europe's elite club competition, becoming the first-ever team to successfully retain their crown under its current guise.

As for Atleti, they have captured the 2013/14 LaLiga title, the 2012/13 Copa del Rey crown and the 2014 Spanish Super Cup, whilst falling at the final hurdle in the 2013/14 and 2015/16 Champions League showpieces, being edged out on both occasions by none other than their city foes.

These victories saw Los Merengues secure their 11th and 12th European Cup crowns, triumphs which reinforced their status as the most decorated club in European football, whilst leaving their arch-rivals to lick their wounds after a 93rd-minute Sergio Ramos header denied them glory and forced extra time first time around, before Juanfran saw his fateful spot-kick agonizingly cannon back off the upright in the 2015/16 final.

A few seasons earlier, in the 2012/13 Copa del Rey showpiece, Real Madrid it was who were left dreaming of what might have been when Los Colchoneros gatecrashed what was supposed to be a night of celebration at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joao Miranda clearly hadn't read the script when he glanced home from a corner in extra time to stun the home faithful with a winning goal that brought memories of the 1950 World Cup clash between Uruguay and Brazil flooding back.

This rivalry is one that dates right back to the clubs' earliest days.

Over the years, some of the finest players to have ever graced the game have represented the capital's top two: Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Paco Gento, Pirri, Amancio Amaro, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Luis Nazario, Raul, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo are just a few of the plethora of world-class stars to have turned out for the Chamartin-based outfit.

Meanwhile, the likes of Luis Aragones, Jose Garate, Adelardo Rodriguez, Larbi Ben Barek, Enrique Collar, Luis Pereira, Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao and Antoine Griezmann have all dazzled the red-and-white half of Madrid with their talents.

Encounters between the two teams see a clash of LaLiga heavyweights that can both lay claim to being major players on the world stage, a city divided into sets of supporters that cherish their own triumphs and bemoan those of their rivals in equal measure.

The clubs undoubtedly boast two of the best arenas in the game in the Santiago Bernabéu and the Wanda Metropolitano and they strive to win every competition they're involved in. Ultimately, however, there's one overriding aim that takes centre stage on derby day, when claiming the local bragging rights is all that matters.

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