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The Great Derby
The Seville Derby – El Gran Derbi
There are many football derbies in the world. And some are very famous, like the Glasgow derby between Celtic and Rangers (The Old Firm), the Superclásico Boca Juniors against River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, El Clásico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona… All these games are very exciting but perhaps the most exciting derby of all is the Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla FC: The Sevillian Derby or The Great Derby. In Spanish it is El Gran Derbi.
Seville – where football is religion
The city of Seville is not that big, only around 750,000 inhabitants, but football in the city is huge. There are two big teams in the city, Real Betis Balompie and Sevilla FC. They almost always play in the First Division, La Liga Santander. And between these two clubs, they add up to more than 95,000 fans with season tickets to go to the respective stadiums!! In Seville, the people live and breathe football like nowhere else and there is a huge rivalry between the two teams of the city. It´s a very sensitive issue that cannot even be treated between friends.
Sevilla FC and Real Betis – two of the greats of the First Division
It should be noted that Real Betis and Sevilla FC are the only Andalusian teams that have won the oldest and most prestigious national competitions, such as the Copa del Rey and the League. In the same way, the two Seville teams are among the ten teams that have played the most times in the Spanish First Division. Therefore, they are considered as two of the historical clubs of Spanish football and of the current La Liga Santander. And The Great Derby is of course one of the biggest and most important games.
Real Betis Balompié
Real Betis is the fourth largest club in Spain, behind only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. It was founded in 1907 and plays its matches in the Benito Villamarín Stadium. The club´s colours are green and white, and it has a somewhat particular emblem, a triangle with a crown and thirteen bars. Traditionally it is said to be the workers’ club but nowadays that doesn’t make sense as they have fans from all social classes. Some of the most famous Betis players are Luis del Sol, Julio Cardeñosa, Rafa Gordillo, Alfonso and Joaquín.
Sevilla FC is the other big team from the Andalusian capital. The club was founded in 1905. Sevilla FC already counts as one of the great clubs in Spain, largely for having won the Uefa Cup / Europa League no more and no less than six times since 2006. Since the beginning of the 21st century the team has almost always been in the fight for Champions League spots in La Liga Santander. They play their home games at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan Stadium in the Seville neighbourhood of Nervión. It was considered the club of the upper class of the city but as with Betis, this with the classes is a thing of the past. Sevilla fans are from all social classes. Some of the historical players of Sevilla FC are Diego Maradona, Davor Suker, Dani Alvés, Rakitic, Reyes, Luis Fabiano, Kanouté and Jesús Navas.
Betic or Seville in The Great Derby
We doubt there will be a much bigger rivalry between two football clubs. The colours of the clubs are carried in the blood and the passion for one or another team is passed from father to son, or from mother to daughter… You are born a Betis fan or you are born Seville fan, and it is totally unthinkable to change clubs at some point in the life. The rivalry is absolutely brutal and when El Gran Derbi is played in the city, the temperature rises to a thousand degrees. Very ugly scenes have been produced before, during and after derbies. Luckily, in recent years El Gran Derbi has been somewhat calmer, without too many incidents. But you must be careful when criticizing one or another team when you are in Seville: The Great Derby is a more sensitive issue than politics…
The most important match of the season for both of them
The El Gran Derbi match is considered the most important match of the season for both teams. It does not matter what position Betis and Sevilla occupy at that time in the Santander League table. Because both consider themselves the biggest rival in the competition, the rival to beat.
Wins, draws and losses in the Great Derby
Throughout history, Real Betis Balompié and Sevilla FC have faced each other in 145 official matches (as of February 2022). The first confrontation took place in the 1919-20 season in the Andalusian Cup where Sevilla won 3-2. Since then, the Sevillian teams have faced each other 144 more times, in the First Division, in the Second Division, in the Copa del Rey, in the Andalusian Cup. And even in the Europa League, in the 2013-14 season! The statistics have a balance in favour of Sevilla FC, with 72 victories. Real Betis has won 42 times and have drawn 31 times.