The Intercontinental Derby, which is played between Fenerbahçe SK and Galatasaray SK, is arguably the most important one in the Eastern part of Europe.
The unique aspect of this rivalry is that it is one between two teams from different continents yet the same city. That in itself represents the essence of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey as well as the heart of its civilization.
The derby was first contested in 1909, yet the rivalry did not really heat up until 1934, when several riots began in what was supposed to be a simple, friendly match between both teams. The riots even got to the players themselves, who fought amongst each other, forcing the referees to stop the match.
Despite not having enjoyed much international success, both Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray are the two most successful clubs in the history of Turkish football.
Fenerbahçe boasts a total of 31 local titles, while Galatasaray holds 36. The difference between the two, however, is that while Fenerbahçe has never won an international trophy, Galatasaray holds two, a UEFA Europa League as well as an UEFA Super Cup.
When it comes to the head-to-head between the two teams, Fenerbahçe has a strong hold on the derby, having won 141 of 372 matches played, with Galatasaray having taken 118 to go along with 113 draws.
An aspect of the rivalry that makes it known all around the globe, though, is the passion and enthusiasm both teams’ supporters bring to the game, and the color it provides to the rivalry.