South America’s Biggest Football Rivalries

All the major football rivalries from South America:


Featured Derby: Superclasico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
River Plate vs Boca Juniors

The Superclasico is arguably the world’s biggest derby game. Pitting the most popular ( It’s commonly accepted that close to 70% of football fans in Argentina support either River or Boca) and successful clubs in Argentina against each other. There have been 320 Superclasicos. Boca Juniors currently hold a slight advantage, 116 wins to River’s 104 wins. 

The most noteworthy aspect of the Superclasico is the unbridled passion of the fans. Fireworks, flags, rolls of coloured paper and lively songs back and forth between supporters, bring the stands alive! The Observer in England listed attending the Superclasico as the top sporting event you must attend before you die.

Also read: Boca Juniors x River Plate: A Childhood Memory from a Classic Football Derby

Other Argentinian Derbies:

Independiente vs Racing Club
San Lorenzo vs Huracan
Rosario Central vs Newell’s Old Boys
Gimnasia vs Estudiantes
Ferro vs Velez Sarsfield
Colon vs Union


Featured Derby: Fla-Flu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Flamengo vs Fluminese

Prior to 1911, Flamengo was a rowing club with no Football section. This would change when 10 unhappy players left Fluminese and joined Flamengo. The first Fla-Flu derby was contested in July of the  following year in front of 800 supporters.  This humble crowd is in stark contrast to the 194,603 people who packed into the legendary Maracana in 1963. To this day that game still holds the world record attendance figure for a Club match. The name Fla-Flu was first used by journalist Mario Filho.

Other Brazilian Derbies:

Palmeiras vs Corinthians
Sao Paulo vs Palmeiras
Fluminese vs Botafogo
Vasco da Gama vs Flamengo
Bahia vs Victoria
Atletico vs Cruzeiro
Nacional vs Rio Negro
Botafogo vs Vasco da Gama
Corinthians vs Santos
Santos vs Sao Paulo

Rest of South America

Featured Derby: The old rivalry, Montevideo, Uruguay
Penarol vs Nacional 

The Montevideo derby is the oldest derby outside of the UK. Whilst the first game between these Uruguanian powerhouses was played on July 15th 1900, Penarol was playing as the football section of the Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club. It wasn’t until 1913, when the football section broke away from the Cricket club, that Penarol existed as we know today. Since that time Penarol and Nacional have faced each other on 432 occasions with 154 victories to Penarol and 137 to Nacional.

Other South American Derbies:

Barcelona SC vs Emelec (Ecuador)
LDU Quito vs Aucas (Ecuador)
Universidad de Chile vs Colo Colo (Chile)
Universidad Catolica vs Universidad de Chile (Chile)
Alianza Lima vs Universitario (Peru)
Olimpia vs Cerro Porteno (Paraguay)
Caracas FC vs Deportivo Tachira (Venezuela)
Caracas FC vs UA Maracaibo (Venezuela)
America de Cali vs Deportivo Cali (Columbia)
Atletico Nacional vs Independiente Medellin (Columbia)
Santa Fe vs Millonarios (Columbia)
Bolivar vs The Strongest (Bolivia)

Back to the main Football Rivalries page.

We encourage anyone who has personally experienced any of the above derby fixtures to write a feature article on their experiences and get it published on Soccerlens.

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