Any football match is made just a little spicier by the presence of a good rivalry between the two sides. Every win matters to a team and their fans, but there’s no better feeling than getting one over on your mortal foes.
Both at club and international level, long-time football fans will know exactly how it feels heading into a game against a bitter enemy. Both in the stands and on the pitch, the atmosphere is stronger, the tension is more palpable, and the stakes are most definitely higher than they would be in any other match.
Whether due to their geographical location, cultural differences, footballing history, or something else altogether, plenty of nations and even individual players have established intense rivalries with one another over the years. And even if you don’t happen to be a fan of either side, these clashes can be highly enjoyable to watch for a variety of reasons.
Fortunately, we might catch a glimpse of some of these great rivalries at the World Cup, depending on how the tournament plays out. So if you want to see some of the most competitive games, keep an eye on these grudge matches.