Chivas Guadalajara and Club America will do battle this weekend in the Mexican domestic league in the latest installment of their epic rivalry. And whilst there are plenty of rivalries in world football, this one must surely be listed as one of the best—if not the greatest of them all.
With differing contexts and backgrounds, both Chivas and America have grown to loathe the other and what they stand for as a football club. So much so, that winning this weekend's fixture—the rivalry game—will be more important than where they finish in the domestic league.
It's that big of a deal.
Liga MX: This weekend El Super Clasico! Sold out stadium at the Estadio Omnilife.— World Football UK (@WorldFootballUK) March 29, 2013
Where did the rivalry come from and why is it such a big deal? Let's take a look at the history of the two clubs, and what makes them oppose the other so much.
Considered the two most popular teams in Mexico, El Super Clasico first began in the 1950s when the two teams squared off in the Mexican League.
After Chivas won the first game 1-0, America spanked their highly fancied opponents 7-2 in the next game, and thus the rivalry was seemingly born.
However, due to the struggles that America faced throughout the 1960s and 1970s, there wasn't as much of a rivalry other than between fans. After all, if one of the teams involved isn't that competitive, it's hard to get all that excited about beating an opponent.
Yet, after Fernando Marcos took over America and made them into a strong team—which coincided with Chivas' domestic dominance—the rivalry was flourishing once more heading into the 1980s, which is when the Clasico rivalry really started to come into existence.
The classic 1983 brawl—known as “La Bronca de 83”—which came in the semifinals of the 1982-83 season, showed just how great the passion really was between the two sets of players, clubs and indeed, supporting groups as well.
Since that date, the rivalry has continued to flourish as both teams became stronger and stronger throughout the Mexican domestic competition. The closeness of the two teams in terms of talent now has made the rivalry one of the best in the world and will no doubt continue to do so.
Yet, whilst their success might be close, their fundamental differences in identity and style will surely allow their rivalry to continue for many years to come.
Province versus capital, all-Mexican power against a team infused with foreign talent and side known for promoting youth teamers versus one famous for its big-name, expensive stars. The traditional ingredients of Mexico’s clasico between Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America are well-known and the fundamentals of a fierce soccer rivalry.
And according to comments from players and managers on both teams heading into this one, the rivalry is definitely alive and healthy.
"For me, it’s a game that you can’t lose for anything in the world," said Chivas midfielder Jorge Enriquez. "I see it as a final. Results, the league position is forgotten, everything is forgotten."
Striker Miguel Sabah said "it’s a football war in which losing is banned."
America's Maza Rodriguez on the reception he will receive from Chivas fans: "I'm not playing against the public, I'm playing 11 rivals."— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) March 31, 2013
With a huge crowd expected and a potential playoff spot on the line, the emotion and passion will no doubt come to the fore once more when Chivas Guadalajara take on Club America, and the El Super Clasico rivalry writes its latest chapter in history.
Not that there was ever going to be another option.
Is Chivas Guadalajara and Club America the best rivalry in world football?
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