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This list of association football rivalries catalogues football rivalries around the world. This includes rivalries at the club and international level, including local derby and intercontinental competitions. It also lists rivalries between individual players, managers, and one another.

Individual rivalries


Between players

1st party 2nd party 3rd party Timespan Notes Source
Italy Lorenzo Buffon Italy Giorgio Ghezzi 1959–1965 Played for rival cross-city clubs (AC Milan and Inter Milan) throughout two different periods and also competed for the league title and a starting role with the Italy national football team during the 1950s and 1960s. They also had a relationship with the same woman at different times (Edy Campagnoli) and played for three of the same clubs throughout different spells in a three-way exchange (AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Genoa). [1]
Italy Gianni Rivera Italy Sandro Mazzola 1960–1977 Captained and played in similar offensive midfield positions for rival cross-city clubs (AC Milan and Inter Milan), and also competed for the league title, success in the European Cup, and for a starting role with the Italy national football team during the 1960s and 1970s (see 1970 FIFA World Cup). [2]
Italy Roberto Boninsegna Italy Francesco Morini 1969–1976 Both players initially played for rivals clubs (Inter Milan and Juventus) competing for the league title, with Morini (a defender) often tasked with marking Boninsegna (a forward) during their encounters. [3]
England Peter Shilton England Ray Clemence 1972–1984 Although they were friends off the pitch, both goalkeepers competed for a starting spot with England during the 1970s and 1980s, as well as for the First Division title with Nottingham Forest and Liverpool respectively. Both goalkeepers also had success in the European Cup with their clubs. [4][5][6]
Italy Giovanni Trapattoni Netherlands Johan Cruyff 1969–1971 Rivalry both as players and managers, with Trapattoni often tasked with man-marking Cruyff both at club (see 1969 European Cup Final) and international level during their playing career [7][8][9][10]
Germany Franz Beckenbauer 1974–1983 Competition for being the best player of the world in their era, Germany–Netherlands football rivalry, clashed in the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final, their teams won 3 UEFA European Cups each, Cruyff won 3 Ballon d'Or and Beckenbauer won 2 [4]
Argentina Diego Maradona England Peter Shilton 1986–2020 "Hand of God" goal controversy in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final (part of the Argentina–England football rivalry) [11]
France Michel Platini Brazil Zico 1984–1987 Competition for being the best player in the world and the top scorer of the Italian league during the 1980s [12][13]
Brazil Pelé 1997–2020 Since Maradona's retirement until his death, both players claimed being the greatest football player of all time and better than the other. [14]
Germany Lothar Matthäus 1986–1994 Maradona in his book Yo soy el Diego that "he is the best rival I've ever had. I guess that's enough to define him". Also joined Serie A in 1988 for Inter against Maradona's Napoli. See also: 1986 FIFA World Cup Final and 1990 FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and West Germany. [15]
Italy Pietro Vierchowod 1984–1990 In a 2008 interview with Argentine magazine El Gráfico, Maradona dubbed Vierchowod his toughest opponent. [16][15][17]
Spain Andoni Goikoetxea 1982–1984 On 24 September 1983, Goikoetxea achieved notoriety for a foul on Diego Maradona in a league match between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou, when he tackled the Argentine from behind and broke his ankle. When the two teams met in the 1984 Copa del Rey Final in May, a mass brawl erupted on the pitch, and Goikoetxea kicked Maradona's chest. (See Andoni Goikoetxea#Maradona foul) [18][19]
Italy Pasquale Bruno 1987–1991 Bruno was known for his aggressive challenges on several attacking opponents which resulted in clashes between them; some of his most famous rivals include Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten, Gianluca Vialli, and Roberto Baggio, among others. [20]
Netherlands Marco van Basten 1987–1993 Bruno was known for his aggressive challenges on several attacking opponents which resulted in clashes between them; some of his most famous rivals include Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten, Gianluca Vialli, and Roberto Baggio, among others. [20]
Italy Gianluca Vialli 1987–1994 Bruno was known for his aggressive challenges on several attacking opponents which resulted in clashes between them; some of his most famous rivals include Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten, Gianluca Vialli, and Roberto Baggio, among others. [20][21]
Italy Roberto Baggio 1987–1994 Bruno was known for his aggressive challenges on several attacking opponents which resulted in clashes between them; some of his most famous rivals include Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten, Gianluca Vialli, and Roberto Baggio, among others. One of the most infamous disputes between Bruno and Baggio occurred during the final weeks of the 1988–89 Serie A season, on 28 May 1989, when Bruno's club Juventus faced rivals Fiorentina in Turin. Bruno kicked Baggio down when he was away from the ball, and Baggio subsequently retaliated, resulting in both players being sent-off and receiving a two-match suspension. According to Bruno, Baggio later confronted him in the changing rooms due to his actions, whilst Bruno apparently threatened Baggio further and accused him of diving and being a prima donna. Baggio's transfer to Juventus in 1990 also coincided with Bruno's departure from the club to cross–city rivals Torino. [20][22]
Italy Walter Zenga Italy Stefano Tacconi 1983–1992 Played for rival clubs (Inter Milan and Juventus) and competed for the league title, as well as the position of starting goalkeeper with the Italy national football team during the late 1980s and early 1990s [23]
Netherlands Marco van Basten Germany Jürgen Kohler 1988–1993 Played for rival Italian clubs (AC Milan and Juventus) in Serie A during the early 90s, which directly competed for the league title, with Van Basten (a forward) frequently being marked by Kohler (a defender). The two players also competed against one another in major tournaments at international level with the Netherlands and West Germany/Germany respectively; they faced off at UEFA Euro 1988, the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 1992. [24]
England Andy Cole England Teddy Sheringham 1990–2019 The exact origins of the feud are unknown, but it has been speculated by pundits that it exacerbated when Sheringham did not shake Cole's hand upon being substituted in a England match against Uruguay in 1995, in which Cole made his senior international debut. The pair also had disagreements during their time together at Manchester United. [4][25][26][27]
Italy Gianluca Pagliuca Italy Angelo Peruzzi 1994–2007 Played for rival clubs (Inter Milan and Juventus) and competed for the league title, as well as the position of starting goalkeeper with the Italy national football team during the 1990s [28]
Republic of Ireland Roy Keane France Patrick Vieira 1996–2005 Both players played similar holding roles in midfield, which drew comparisons between them in the media, and were captains of the two dominating teams of the Premier League during their era. See Arsenal F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry [29][30][31]
Norway Alfie Haaland 1997–2003 In 1997, Keane injured himself while tackling Haaland in a match against Leeds, who accused Keane of diving. In 2001, Keane tackled Haaland again, who now played for Manchester City, in the Manchester derby, kicking his right knee. Keane was sent off, fined, and suspended. Haaland later retired from professional football due to an unrelated persistng injury to his left knee. In 2002 Keane revealed in his autobiography that the tackle had been premeditated, which led to Haaland pursuing legal action against him; however, the case was dropped when medical evidence demonstrated that the tackle did not exacerbate Haaland's left knee injury. [32][33][34][35][36][37]
Netherlands Edgar Davids Argentina Diego Simeone 1997–2004 Both players played similar holding roles in midfield, and faced each other often while playing for rival clubs competing for the league title (Davids with AC Milan and Juventus, and Simeone with Inter Milan and Lazio). [38]
Argentina Matías Almeyda 1997–2005 Both players played similar holding roles on opposite sides of midfield, and faced each other often while playing for rival clubs competing for the league title (Davids with Juventus, and Almeyda with Lazio, Parma, and Inter). Pundits also compared the two players due to their similar role and hard-tackling playing styles, while Almeyda even described Davids as his favourite opponent of his career in his autobiography, due to the fact that they had mutual respect for one another, and that neither of them would react whenever one of the them kicked the other during matches. [39][40][41]
England Paul Scholes England Frank Lampard England Steven Gerrard 2000–2014 Competition for the starting midfield position for England; see also: Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry between Gerrard and Scholes, with Lampard's Chelsea also competing against the former clubs for the Premier League title. See also: 2008 UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, and 2005 Ballon d'Or, with Lampard and Gerrard finishing second and third respectively behind Ronaldinho. [42][43][44][45][46][47][48]
Italy Gianluigi Buffon Spain Iker Casillas 2000–2017 Friendly rivalry. Both players were considered the best goalkeepers of their era, and among the greatest of all time, along with Lev Yashin. See also: Italy–Spain football rivalry [49]
Italy Francesco Toldo 1998–2004 Both goalkeepers played for rival clubs (Juventus and Inter Milan) and competed for the league title, the Champions League title, and the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award, as well as a starting spot with the Italy national football team (see 2002 FIFA World Cup), in particular after Toldo's excellent performances at UEFA Euro 2000, after Buffon had been ruled out of the tournament due to a hand injury. [50]
Brazil Nélson Dida 2002–2008 Both goalkeepers played for rival clubs (Juventus and AC Milan) and competed for the Serie A title as well as the UEFA Champions League (see 2003 UEFA Champions League final), as well as the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year and IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Awards. [51]
Brazil Júlio Cesar 2005–2012 Both goalkeepers played for rival clubs (Juventus and Inter Milan) and competed for the league title and the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award, as well as the unofficial title of best goalkeeper in the world. [52]
France Thierry Henry Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy 2001–2006 See: Arsenal F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry, Premier League Golden Boot rivalry; both strikers competed for the Premier League title and Golden Boot award [53]
Brazil Ronaldo 2002–2006 Competition for being "the best striker of the world". Individual trophies heavily contested between the two were the 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year and the 2004 European Golden Shoe. The rivalry peaked in 2006 with both players facing each other in the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup. [54][55][56][57]
France Zinedine Zidane 1996–2006 Competition for being the best player in Serie A, the world, and of their generation during the late 1990s and early 2000s, with both players competing regularly for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year (with both players sharing a record of winning the latter award three times). Both players played for rival teams (Juventus and Inter Milan respectively) during their time in Italy and competed for the 1997–98 Serie A title, with Zidane's Juventus beating out Ronaldo's Inter Milan. Both players also faced off in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final, with Zidane's France beating out Ronaldo's Brazil, culminating in Zidane winning the 1998 Ballon d'Or and the 1998 FIFA World Player of the Year ahead of Ronaldo; Ronaldo was instead named Serie A Footballer of the Year and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in 1998 (after winning the 1998 UEFA Cup Final), also winning the award for best UEFA club forward, while Zidane was named the best club midfielder by UEFA. Both players later became teammates at Real Madrid in 2002 until Zidane's retirement in 2006, after Ronaldo had claimed the 2002 Ballon d'Or and 2002 FIFA World Player of the Year awards ahead of Zidane following his 2002 FIFA World Cup victory; however they faced off again at international level in the quarter-final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, with France beating out Brazil once again. [55][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70]
Italy Alessandro Del Piero 1997–2002 Competition for being the best player in Serie A. Both players played for rival teams (Juventus and Inter Milan respectively) and competed for the 1997–98 Serie A and 2001–02 Serie A titles, with Del Piero's Juventus beating out Inter Milan on both occasions. Ronaldo was named Serie A Footballer of the Year in 1998 ahead of Del Piero, who was instead named Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year. Juventus fans also nicknamed Del Piero "Il Fenomeno Vero" ("The Real Phenomenon," in Italian), a reference to Ronaldo's nickname "Il Fenomeno." Both players also sufferred career–threataning injuries during their time in Italy. [62][63][65][71][72][73][74][75]
Italy Filippo Inzaghi 2000–2012 While the two had combined well together in their first season at Juventus, their relationship deteriorated during the 1999–2000 season. During a 4–0 win against Venezia in the league in 2000, Inzaghi scored a hat-trick, netting his second goal from a difficult position rather than passing to his Juventus temmate Del Piero who was open and well-positioned. This reportedly led to a feud between the players. Del Piero had also returned from injury and was struggling to replicate his previous performances. Inzaghi was eventually sold to rival club AC Milan in the summer of 2001. The two competed for the Serie A title during the 2000s and also faced off in the 2003 UEFA Champions League final. [76][77][78][79]
Italy Francesco Totti 2000–2012 A respectful rivalry. Both players played in similar creative attacking positions for Juventus and Roma respectively, and competed for the 2000–01 and 2001–02 Serie A titles (with Totti winning the former and Del Piero the latter), and for the capocannoniere title (with Totti winning the Serie A top-scorer award in 2006–07 and Del Piero in 2007–08). Both players also competed for a starting role with the Italy national football team, with Totti inheriting the number ten shirt from Del Piero in the lead-up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and are considered to be among the greatest Italian players ever in their position. [80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87][88]
England David Beckham Argentina Aldo Duscher 2002–2007 Hard fouls by Duscher in matches between Deportivo de La Coruña and Beckham's teams (Manchester United F.C. and Real Madrid CF) (also part of Argentina–England football rivalry) [89][90]
Brazil Ronaldinho 2003–2007 Both arrived to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF in the 2003 summer market. The two clubs were interested in both players, but could only sign one each. Part of FC Barcelona–Real Madrid CF rivalry. [91][92][93]
Sweden Olof Mellberg Sweden Freddie Ljungberg 2002–2006 The two players had a rivalry while playing in England, which developed during their time together with the Sweden national team. Mellberg made a hard tackle on Ljunberg in a trainings session in the lead-up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which led to an altercation between them. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ljungberg blamed Mellberg for his repetitive use of long balls from the back in Sweden's draw against Trinidad and Tobago. Ljunberg then replaced Mellberg as Sweden's captain later that year. [94][95][96][97]
Germany Jens Lehmann Germany Oliver Kahn 2002–2011 Competition for the starting goalkeeping position for Germany [98][99]
Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimović Netherlands Rafael van der Vaart 2004–2014 A rivalry that resulted in an injury and a transfer, the two settled their differences in 2014. [100]
Italy Marco Materazzi 2004–present Rivalry over Materazzi's aggressive playing style while playing for rival clubs (Ibrahimović played for Juventus between 2004 and 2006, and AC Milan between 2010 and 2012, while Materazzi played for Inter Milan during that time; the two were Inter Milan teammates between 2006 and 2009) competing for the Serie A title. During a 2010 Derby della Madonnina match in the 2010–11 season, Ibrahimović kicked Materazzi, which forced the defender off the pitch; the striker commented that he had been waiting to do so for "four years," following a bad challenge he suffered at the hands of Materazzi in a 2006 Derby d'Italia match. Milan went on to win the league title in 2011. Materazzi later mockingly thanked the Swede on Twitter for leaving Inter for Barcelona in 2009, as, in his absence, Materazzi went on to win the continental treble with Inter during the 2009–10 season. [101][102][103]
Norway John Carew 2002 When Carew questioned the need for Ibrahimović's excessive use of skills, flicks, and tricks in 2002, the latter retorted: "What Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange." [104]
Belgium Romelu Lukaku 2020–2021, 2022 Rivalry over supposed "King of Milan" title. Part of the Derby della Madonnina (Ibrahimović played for cross–city rivals AC Milan) until Lukaku's transfer from Inter Milan to Chelsea. [105][106]
England Steven Gerrard Senegal El Hadji Diouf 2002–2015 The pair often clashed during their time together at Liverpool. Gerrard later criticised Diouf in his autobiography; the latter responded by controversially accusing Gerrard of racism and jealousy. [107][108]
France Zinedine Zidane Italy Marco Materazzi 2006–2010 Zidane headbutted Materazzi after the latter insulted his sister in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, and was sent off. [109]
Spain Xavi Italy Andrea Pirlo 2006–2015 Both players competed at club and international level as two of the best midfielders of their generation. See also: Italy–Spain football rivalry and 2015 UEFA Champions League Final [110][111]
Argentina Lionel Messi Brazil Robinho 2005–2008 The press touted both players as the rising stars of Barcelona and Real Madrid (formerly part of El Clásico until Robinho was transferred to Manchester City) [112][113]
Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo 2007–present Messi–Ronaldo rivalry (formerly part of El Clásico from 2009–2018 until Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus) they were fighting for the pride of being the best player in the world [4]
Argentina Carlos Tevez 2011–2014 Both players are from Argentina, had similar qualitites, and were considered two of the best players in the national team at the time. While Messi was considered the best player and the main star, Tevez wanted to occuppy that role. However, Tevez was considered to be a fan favourite in the media, due to his humble origins, and as – unlike Messi – he had grown up playing football in the Primera División Argentina, starring for Boca Juniors, in a similar manner to Diego Maradona, to whom both players were often compared. In the 2011 Copa América on home soil, tension began to rise between them, in particular when announcers described Messi as "the best player in the world," while Tevez was dubbed "the player of the town." The situation exacerbated when they did not perform well together, which reportedly frustrated Messi further; moreover, Argentina suffered a quarter-final elimination to eventual champions Uruguay on penalties, with Tevez missing the decisive kick, which slightly diminished the latter's standing among the public. When Alejandro Sabella took charge of the national team, he excluded Tevez in favour of a more calm environment, citing his lack of playing time with Manchester City as the reason for his exclusion, with the latter missing out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad that went on to reach the final. In 2014, when Sabella left, Tevez was called up once again by the team's new manager Gerardo Martino, and the relationship got better, with both players being more mature, and participating at the 2015 Copa América; the two embraced following Tevez's decisive spot-kick in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia en–route to the final. Argentine journalist Andrés Garavaglia felt that the tension between the players and the public's perception of the two of them had been exaggerated, however, with Tevez also denying any rift between them in 2015, with Tevez praising Messi, and even stating that they had spoken before they faced off in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final. [114][115][116][117][118][119]
Croatia Luka Modrić 2006–2023 Frequently compared in the press due to former club rivalry (part of El Clásico from 2012–2022 until Messi's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain) and similar playing positions. [120]
England Joey Barton France Ousmane Dabo 2006–2007 Barton assaulted Dabo following a clash during a Manchester City training session in May 2007. Barton was charged by the police and sentenced. [121]
Cameroon Samuel Eto'o Brazil Ronaldinho Portugal Deco 2007–2008 After being accused of lack of professionality, Eto'o denounced a schism in the locker room of Barcelona. The team did not win any silverware until Ronaldinho and Deco left. [122]
Brazil Romário Brazil Edmundo 1998–present According to a 2015 article by Tom Beck of World Soccer magazine, the pair's friendship reportedly ended when Romário opened up a bar in Rio de Janeiro: "Café do Gol." A cartoon of Edmundo sitting on a deflated football was allegedly placed on one of the toilet doors, while another cartoon of the player's former lover was posted on the cubicle door next to it. Edmundo demanded that the drawings be removed, but Romário refused, insisting that it was a joke. [123]
Brazil Pelé 2007–2022 Still active at age 41, Romário claimed to had overtaken Pelé as the all-time top scorer in the history of the game. [124]
Spain Gerard Piqué Spain Sergio Ramos 2009–2021 Both players played for rival clubs – Barcelona and Real Madrid (see El Clásico) – competing directly for titles across all club competitions, and were involved in arguments, in addition to disagreeing about the Catalan independence debate [125]
Argentina Mauro Icardi Argentina Maxi López 2011–present The current and the former husband of Wanda Nara [126]
Uruguay Luis Suárez France Patrice Evra 2011–2015 Luis Suárez alleged racial abuse incident (part of the Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry at large) [126]
Italy Giorgio Chiellini 2014–2017 Luis Suárez–Giorgio Chiellini 2014 World Cup incident: Suárez allegedly bit Chiellini in Italy's final group match of the 2014 World Cup against Uruguay; the incident was not seen by the referee and Uruguay won a corner, from which they scored the winning goal, eliminating Italy from the tournament. Following the match, Suárez was subsequently banned from playing professional football for four months. [127][128]
Germany Manuel Neuer Germany Marc-André ter Stegen 2012–present Competition for the starting goalkeeping position for Germany, FC Barcelona 2–8 FC Bayern Munich [129]
Brazil Neymar Colombia Juan Camilo Zúñiga 2014–2015 Neymar–Zúñiga 2014 World Cup incident: Zúñiga kneed Neymar in the Vertebral column during the 2014 World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Colombia; the Brazilian playmaker was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament as a result of the injury and was unable to take part in the semi-final. [130]
England John Terry England Wayne Bridge 2009–present John Terry allegedly had an affair with the model Vanessa Perroncel shortly after she split from his former Chelsea teammate Bridge, who retired from the England national football team after this incident [131]
England Anton Ferdinand England Ashley Cole 2011–present See R v Terry: Anton Ferdinand accused Terry of racially abusing him in a match between QPR and Chelsea in October 2011, and legal action was taken against the latter. Terry denied abusing Ferdinand, stating that he had repeated words that Ferdinand had accused him of saying, and was later acquitted in court. When their teams faced each other again in 2012, Anton Ferdinand refused to shake Terry's hand, as well as that of the latter's Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole, who had spoken in defence of Terry during the trial. Anton's brother, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, was in turn accused of using racist language on Twitter when he criticised Cole's support of Terry. England manager Roy Hodgson later stated that he could not call-up both Terry and Rio Ferdinand for UEFA Euro 2012 due to the impact the feud had on the team, and ultimately only called up Terry. Terry ultimately received a four-game ban and a £220,000 fine from The Football Association in September 2012 following an independent investigation of their own, which found him guilty of misconduct. [132][133][134][135][136][137]
England Rio Ferdinand
Belgium Kevin De Bruyne Belgium Thibaut Courtois 2014–present In 2013, De Bruyne's girlfriend at the time cheated on him with Thibaut Courtois, his teammate with the Belgium national football team. [138]
Chile Arturo Vidal Chile Claudio Bravo 2018–2021 According to Vidal, Bravo's wife allegedly accused him and other Chile players of drinking and partying excessively during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and of not putting enough dedication into training. [139][140][141]
France Kylian Mbappé Norway Erling Haaland 2019–present Seen as the two biggest talents in the world of football, with comparisons already being made with the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. [142]

Between players and managers

Player Manager Timespan Notes Source
Netherlands Louis van Gaal Belgium Guy Thys 1973–1977 Van Gaal and his Royal Antwerp F.C. manager Thys came into conflict when Van Gaal was annoyed at his lack of playing time, with Thys criticising him for being too slow. Van Gaal was also disappointed with Thys's tactical approach and requested a transfer. [143][144]
Netherlands Marco van Basten Italy Arrigo Sacchi 1987–1991 The relationship between the two reportedly deteriorated during the 1990–91 season, when Van Basten complained about Sacchi's behaviour to AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi; Sacchi consequently requested that Van Basten be sold and ater did not renew his contract with the club, eventually leaving in 1991 to become manager of the Italy national football team. [145][146][147]
Italy Gianluca Vialli 1992–1996 It is rumoured that Vialli played a prank on Sacchi, which led to the manager dropping him from the Italy national football team, resulting in the striker being left out of Italy's squads for the 1994 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1996. [148][149][150][151]
Italy Roberto Baggio 1994–1997 Baggio believed that the two fell out after he missed the decisive spot kick in Italy's penalty shoot-out defeat to Brazil in the 1994 FIFA World Cup final; there had already been tension between the two, however, when Sacchi substituted Baggio in the first round of the tournament against Norway, following Gianluca Pagliuca's sending off, leading Baggio to describe the manager as "crazy." Tensions between rose them rose further during Italy's qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 1996, with Baggio asking for the manager's dismissal following a defeat to Croatia, and Baggio was later left out of the squad for the final tournament, with Sacchi citing fitness issues as the reason for his exclusion. Baggio later also experienced limited playing time when Sacchi was appointed as AC Milan's manager during the course of the 1996–97 season. [152][153][154][155][156][157][158][159]
Croatia Robert Prosinečki Croatia Miroslav Ćiro Blažević 1987–2002 According to a 2001 article in The Guardian, upon seeing Prosinečki play as a youngester, Blažević stated: "If this boy becomes a professional footballer, I'll eat my coaching certificate," which ignited their feud. During the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Blažević, the Croatia national football team's coach at the time, dropped Prosinečki from the starting XI ahead of the semi-final against hosts France; Prosinečki temporarily retired from international football after the tournament. [160]
France David Ginola France Gérard Houllier 1994–2020 Missed Cross [161]
Mexico Cuauhtémoc Blanco Argentina Ricardo La Volpe 1996–2016 According to former teammate Germán Villa, La Volpe blamed Blanco for Club América's 5–0 defeat to Chivas Guadalajara in a Súper Clásico in the winter of 1996, and had even argued with him when he came on in the second half. La Volpe caused further controversy when he left Blanco out of Mexico's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when he was regarded as one of his nation's best players at the time. The manager later revealed that while he respected the latter as a great player, the reason behind the exclusion was that he believed that Blanco's style would not fit into his system and game plan, and that for him the system was more important than the individual. [162][163][164][165]
Brazil Marcelinho Carioca Brazil Vanderlei Luxemburgo 1998–present The two got into a physical altercation in 1998 during their time at Corinthians; they later argued again in 2007 on the show "Por Dentro da Bola" over Luxemburgo's role as a manager. [166][167]
Brazil Rivaldo Netherlands Louis van Gaal 1997–2002 Barcelona manager Van Gaal refused to deploy Rivaldo in his preferred position as an attacking midfielder behind the forwards, and instead used him out of position as a left winger and later relegated him to the bench. [143][168][169]
Italy Roberto Baggio Italy Marcello Lippi 1999–2000 In his 2001 autobiography Una Porta nel Cielo, Baggio accused Lippi of leaving him out of the Inter Milan first-team squad during the 1999–2000 season after Baggio had refused a request from Lippi, who allegedly asked him to report to him which Inter players who had expressed negative opinions about the manager. [170]
Italy Christian Panucci 1999–2006 The pair argued during their time together at Inter Milan, culminating in Panucci insulting the manager; as a result of the row, Panucci believed that Lippi later left him out of Italy's 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning squad. [171]
Italy Antonio Cassano 2004–2010 Lippi left Cassano out of the Italy national football team, including Italy's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, due to his lack of discipline. [172][173]
Brazil Ronaldo Argentina Héctor Cúper 2001–2002 Ronaldo stated that his poor relationship with Inter Milan manager Héctor Cúper led him to depart for Real Madrid in the summer of 2002; Cúper denied this and accused the striker of telling "lies." [174][175]
Italy Fabio Capello 2006–2007 Capello was critical of Ronaldo's weight and fitness during their time together at Real Madrid and left him out of the first-team squad, culminating in Ronaldo's departure from the club. [176]
Montenegro Dejan Savićević 1992–1998 Capello and Savićević often clashed during their time together at AC Milan due to their strong characters, and as Capello often criticised the playmaker for his lack of discipline in training, his inconsistency, and his poor defensive work-rate on the pitch, while the club's president, Silvio Berlusconi, instead admired the player for his skill. [177]
Italy Roberto Baggio 1995–1997 Capello and Baggio often clashed during their time together at AC Milan, as Capello often substituted Baggio throughout the 1995–96 season, believing that he was not fit enough to play a full match. Upon his return to the club in 1997, he left Baggio out of the squad, resulting in the latter's departure from the club. [152][178]
Italy Antonio Cassano 2001–2007 Capello and Cassano often clashed during their time together at Roma and Real Madrid due to the latter's poor behaviour, diet, and work-rate. [125]
Italy Alessandro Del Piero 2005–2006 The pair often clashed during their time together at Juventus as Del Piero was increasingly used as a substitute during Capello's stint as the club's manager. [125][179]
England David Beckham Scotland Alex Ferguson 2000–2003 Beckham and his Manchester United manager Ferguson started having problems during the 2000–01 season, in part due to the former's fame off the pitch, as well as his highly publicised relationship and marriage with Victoria, which Ferguson believed was impacting the winger's performances. Their relationship deteriorated further during the 2002–03 season, with Beckham facing competition for a starting role from Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Moreover, following a defeat to rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup in February 2003, in the dressing room, Ferguson threw or kicked a football boot that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches. Beckham subsequently left the club for Real Madrid that summer. [180][181][182][183][184][185]
Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy 2006–2007 Their relationship fell apart during the second half of the 2005–06 season. In February 2006, Van Nistelrooy was left out of the starting line-up for the 2006 Football League Cup final against Wigan Athletic, although he had been promised that he would be brought on during the match. With United in the lead, Ferguson asked Van Nistelrooy to warm-up, but did not bring him on, and the latter later returned to the bench refusing to come on and verbally clashing with the manager; the match ended in a 4–0 victory. Van Nistelrooy was later benched for six consecutive matches, but returned to the starting line-up, scoring several decisive goals, and had a prolfiic season. In the final match of the 2005–06 FA Premier League season against Charlton Athletic, however, which United needed to win in order to be guaranteed a place in the next season's Champions League, Van Nistelrooy was once again left on the bench, with Ferguson believing that his behaviour was having a negative impact on the team's morale; the striker left the stadium three hours before kick-off, and in his absence, United won the match 4–0. The Dutch striker subsequently departed for Spanish side Real Madrid during the summer of 2006. A year later, however, he called Ferguson and apologised for his behaviour. [186][187][188][189]
Republic of Ireland Roy Keane 2005–present MUTV interview incident [190]
Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy 2002–2007 Saipan incident [191]
Argentina Juan Román Riquelme Netherlands Louis van Gaal 2002–2003 Van Gaal reportedly did not approve of Barcelona acquiring Riquelme, insisting that his arrival was a "political signing" made by the club without his knowledge. He often omitted the Argentine from his starting line-ups and also deployed him out of position on the wing, in a similar manner to Rivaldo during the manager's first spell with the club. Van Gaal also reportedly told Riquelme upon his arrival at the club: "You're the best player when you have the ball, but when you don´t we play with one less." [168][169][192]
Argentina Diego Maradona 2008–2020 The feud between the two began when Maradona was manager of the Argentina national football team and left Riquelme out of the squad. Riquelme stated "As long as Maradona is coach I will not return to the national side. We are not on the same wavelength. We don't agree much. My codes are not his and it is clear that we cannot work together." [193]
Russia Aleksandr Mostovoi Russia Georgi Yartsev 2004 Mostovoi's criticism of Yartsev [194]
France Robert Pires France Raymond Domenech 2004–2010 Domenech allegedly did not call up players with the zodiac sign of scorpio [195]
France Nicolas Anelka 2010–present Anelka World Cup incident [196]
Serbia Ivica Dragutinović Brazil Luiz Felipe Scolari 2007–present Following a 1–1 draw between Portugal and Serbia in Lisbon in a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier, Portuguese winger confronted Ivica Dragutinović; Portugal's coach, Scolari, subsequently intervened. When Dragutinović slapped away the manager's arm, Scolari punched him in retaliation. [197]
Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimović Spain Pep Guardiola 2009–present Ibrahimović controversies [198]
Cameroon Samuel Eto'o 2008–2019 In 2014, Eto'o crticised Guardiola for his lack of "respect" towards him during their time together at Barcelona during the 2008–09 treble–winning season, adding that his manager barely spoke to him and "never had the courage to say things to [his] face." Although Eto'o had a prolific and successful season, he had several disagreements with his manager: Eto'o – along with Ronalidnho and Deco – was initially not part of Guardiola's plans, and was encouraged to accept a transfer offer from another club, but was ultimately allowed to remain with the team. The pair also clashed over Eto'os role within the team in comparison to Lionel Messi's, with the striker demanding an apology from his coach, stating: "I said to Guardiola [that] you'll have to apologise to me because it's me that will make Barcelona win, not Messi." Eto'o also accused Guardiola of lying to the press, and was critical of the manager's player–management skills given his lack of coaching experience at professional level. He also reportedly did not approve of Guardiola's suggestions regarding his playing style as a striker, telling him that he was "not normal." In the summer of 2009, Eto'o was informed by his lawyer that he had been transfer listed by Barcelona; he eventually left the club in an exchange deal with Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, going on to win another treble with the Italian club the following season. Upon his retirement in 2019, when asked about the best coach of his career, Eto'o stated: "I love [Guardiola] as a coach, but not as a person," also admitting that his former manager had apologised to him, however. In 2022, Eto'o also contrasted Guardiola's style with that of his subsequent manager at Inter, José Mourinho, whom he praised for being "upfront." [199][200][201][202][203][204][205][206][207]
Ivory Coast Yaya Touré 2008–present Touré began to be left out of the starting midfield in favour of Barcelona youth product Sergio Busquets, and was increasingly deployed in defence by Guardiola during the 2008–09 season. His playing time was more limited the following season, leading to his departure to Manchester City in 2010. Touré commented that after receiving an offer from the English club, his manager no longer spoke to him, which cemented his decision to leave Barcelona. Upon Guardiola's appointment as Manchester City's manager for the 2016–17 season, Touré further clashed with the coach when he began to be left out of the first team, accusing him of favouring players who were deferential towards him, and of being jealous of Touré and of wanting revenge against him. He also criticised him for being too rigid, which made it difficult for the two of them to reconcile following arguments. Tensions between the two culminated following Touré's departure from the club in 2018, when the midfielder accused Guardiola of having problems with African players in an interview with France Football; Guardiola denied any allegations of racism however, and Touré later stated in a 2021 interview with The Athletic that he regretted his comments and had made a mistake, and retracted this statement, even sending a letter of apology to Guardiola, but had not yet received a response. [208][209][210][211][212]
Italy Luca Toni Netherlands Louis van Gaal 2009–2017 During Van Gaal's spell as Bayern Munich manager, his relationship with striker Luca Toni deteriorated when he pulled the Italian's ear in front of the squad because he objected to his slouched body position at the lunch table. He later left the striker out of the first team, relegating him to the amateur team in order to regain his fitness when Toni left the Allianz Arena at half-time upon being substituted against Schalke. Toni was fined by the club and refused to apologise to the manager, and began looking for a new club. [143][213]
Netherlands Mark van Bommel During Van Gaal's spell as Bayern Munich manager, he relieved Van Bommel of the captaincy, and also informed the defensive midfielder that he would face competition for a starting role from younger players, as he wanted to bring more youth into the side. This led to a conflict between the two of them, which resulted in Van Bommel's departure to AC Milan in 2011. [143]
Morocco Mounir El Hamdaoui Netherlands Frank de Boer 2010–2011 During the 2010–11 season, Ajax manager Frank de Boer substituted El Hamdaoui at half-time in the semi-final of KNVB Cup against RKC Waalwijk, as he was displeased with his performance, despite scoring a goal. The two subsequently fell out of following a dispute, and El Hamdaoui was demoted to the reserve team. [214][215]
Spain Iker Casillas Portugal José Mourinho 2010–2013 Their relationship declined when Mourinho dropped Casillas as the Real Madrid's starting goalkeeper for Diego López during the 2012–13 season, following the former's hand injury; as a result they no longer spoke to one another. Mourinho was also critical of Casillas's limitations with the ball at his feet, and accused him of being a snitch, which resulted in divisions among the club's fans, players, and staff. Casillas believed that Mourinho disapporoved of him going to speak with Carles Puyol, the captain of the club's rivals, Barcelona, in order to ease tensions between the players in the Spanish national team. Real Madrid later accused Mourinho of showing a lack of respect towards Casillas, and the manager left the club at the end of the season. [216][217][218][219][220][221]
Italy Mario Balotelli 2008–2010 The two frequntly clashed during their time at Inter Milan. Balotelli revealed that Mourinho once kicked him off the team bus on the way to the airport for a match in Catania over an argument between the two of them. [222]
Italy Marcello Lippi 2008–2010 Despite calls from pundits and fans for Balotelli's inclusion in Italy's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, the manager at the time, Lippi, did not call him up, believing that he was not yet ready to play for Italy and that he needed to mature. [173]
Northern Ireland Brendan Rodgers 2014–present Balotelli fell out of form at Liverpool and the two often clashed; Balotelli later called Rodgers the "worst" coach of his career in terms of their personal relationship. [223][224][225]
Italy Roberto Mancini 2007–2013 The two frequently clashed, in particular during their time at Manchester City; one incident in training in January 2013, concerning a bad tackle, led to the two of them to be involved in a physical altercation. Later that month, Balotelli left for AC Milan on loan. [226][227][228]
Argentina Carlos Tevez 2010–2012 Tevez had initially contemplated leaving Manchester City in 2010, before reversing his decision, which did not please Mancini, but the forward insisted that he had a good relationship with his manager at the time. Tensions rose between them during the 2011–12 season when Tevez was upset about being left on the bench during a match early on in the season. Their relationship hit the breaking point when Mancini accused Tevez of refusing to come on in a Champions League group match against Bayern Munich in September 2011. Tevez denied this (he later stated that it was due to a misunderstanding, which was lost in translation; he had been warming-up for over half an hour, but had not been brought on, with Manchester City trailing 2–0, so he refused to warm-up further, despite still being willing to come on), but was fined and suspended by the club for two weeks; this propmted him to return to his homecountry Argentina, and he did not play for his club for six months, and was seen playing golf instead. He later stated that he almost retired due to the row and the fact that he was excluded from the Argentina national football team during this period. The two later reconciled and Tevez, returned to the team in February 2012, helping Manchester City come from behind to claim the 2011–12 Premier League title. [116][117][229][230][231][232][233]
Brazil Alex de Souza Turkey Aykut Kocaman 2010–2013 During Alex's final season with Fenerbahçe, his manager Kocaman began to use him less frequently due to his age and poor work-rate, despite his positive form. Alex criticised his manager on Twitter, questioning his decisions and accusing him of being jealous; consequently, many of the club's fans called for the manager's dismissal. In a 2–0 loss to Kasımpaşa on 29 September 2012, Alex was substituted and did not go sit with his manager on the bench, but in the stands; the following month, he was demoted to training with the reserve team, which led to him terminating his contract with the club. [234]
Poland Artur Boruc Poland Franciszek Smuda 2010–present In 2010 Boruc fell out with Poland national football team manager Smuda due to disciplinary reasons; tensions between them rose further when the goalkeeper called the manager "Dyzma" in an interview.[235] Consequently, Boruc was dropped from the squad and did not take part at UEFA Euro 2012, which was held on home soil. [236][237]
Serbia Adem Ljajić Italy Delio Rossi 2012–present Manager Delio Rossi Rossi was fired by Fiorentina for slapping Ljajić after the Serbian forward complained about his first-half substitution during a 2–2 draw with Novara. [238]
Romania Adrian Mutu Romania Victor Pițurcă 2013–present Mutu international career [239]
United States Landon Donovan Germany Jürgen Klinsmann 2014–present Donovan international career [240]
Turkey Arda Turan Turkey Fatih Terim 2016–2019 During his time as manager of the Turkey national football team, Terim dropped Turan after he physically attacked a journalist for allegedly criticising him on a team plane. [241][242]
Morocco Hakim Ziyech France Hervé Renard 2017 In January 2017, Renard surprisingly left Ziyech out of Morocco's preliminary and final squads for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Ziyech then rejected a last-minute call-up as replacement for the injured Younès Belhanda. Ziyech stated that he would accept any further call-ups as long as Renard was still the team's manager. In June, he once again rejected call-ups for some friendlies and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Renard later apologised for the incident. Ziyech returned to the national side on 1 September, scoring in a 6–0 win over Mali in a qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. [243][244][245][246]
Brazil Felipe Melo Brazil Cuca 2017–present Melo argued with Cuca, as well as other members of the Palmeiras staff, during a training session in-front of members of the press. [247]
France Karim Benzema France Didier Deschamps 2016–2021 Benzema was not called up to the France national football team by Deschamps between 2015 and 2021, who was the manager at the time, following his alleged involvement a blackmailing scandal involving fellow French team player Mathieu Valbuena (see Karim Benzema§Controversies and legal issues). Benzema accused Deschamps of folding due to pressure from France's racist element. [248]
France Paul Pogba Portugal José Mourinho 2018–present Following a 2–2 draw with Southampton in December 2018, Mourinho criticised Pogba's performance in the dressing room in front of his teammates, allegedly labelling him a "virus"; Pogba then accused Mourinho of hindering Manchester United's play with his tactics. [249][250][251][252]
Brazil Diego Alves Brazil Dorival Júnior 2018–2022 Alves got into a heated argument with his Flamengo manager Dorival as he was not pleased that he had been dropped by the coach. In response, the club communicated that they would not tolerate indiscipline. [253][254]
Argentina Papu Gómez Italy Gian Piero Gasperini 2020–2024 During half time of Atalanta's Champions League group stage match against FC Midtjylland on 1 December 2020, there was a heated exchange between Gómez and manager Gian Piero Gasperini over his positioning on the pitch. Gómez did not re-enter the pitch at the start of the second half, and the relationship between Gómez and Gasperini "completely broke down". Gómez handed in a transfer request and left for Sevilla in January 2021. [255][256][257]
Morocco Hakim Ziyech Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić 2022–present In September 2021, Ziyech was omitted by manager Halilhodžić from the Morocco national football team squad due to his perceived "poor attitude," after the winger refused to play in the team's summer friendlies due to injury, which his manager accused him of feigning. Ziyech was later left out of Morocco's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations squad. As a result of their feud, in February 2022, Ziyech announced his retirement from international football. In March, he rejected a call-up for a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against DR Congo. Halilhodžić was later sacked in August, and Ziyech consequently came out of retirement to return to play for the Moroccan national side. [258][259][260][261]
England Jadon Sancho Netherlands Erik ten Hag 2022–present Sancho was banished from the Manchester United first-team squad and barred from the training facilities after he made a social media post accusing the club's manager Ten Hag of lying about his training performances. [262]
Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo In a controversial interview with journalist Piers Morgan in November 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo stated that he felt "betrayed" by his club Manchester United, and that he had "no respect" for his manager Ten Hag. Conflict between the two reportedly arose when Ronaldo left the squad during the 2022–23 pre–season due to his daughter's illness, which was allegedly described by the manager as "not acceptable." In October, Ten Hag then left the Portuguese striker on the bench following a 6–3 away defeat to cross–city rivals Manchester City out of "respect" for his career. Later that month, Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute in a 2–0 home win against Tottenham, and left the pitch before full-time, resulting in his suspension from the club. The following month, after returning from his suspension, Ten Hag declared that Ronaldo was ill and did not include him in the squad for Manchester United's 4–2 win over Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, or in Manchester United's 2–1 away win over Fulham. Following Ronaldo's interview, his contract with Manchester United was terminated; he subsequently joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr the following month. [263][264][265][266][267]
Cameroon André Onana Cameroon Rigobert Song 2022–2023 Following a dispute with Cameroon manager Song over the team's tactics, Onana was dropped and later temporarily suspended and sent home from the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to disciplinary. Onana subsequently retired from international football. However, Just over eight months later, on 29 August 2023, Onana was recalled into the Cameroon squad and he reversed his earlier retirement from international football. [268][269][270]
United States Giovanni Reyna United States Gregg Berhalter 2022–2023 Reyna World Cup incident [271]
Serbia Dušan Tadić Serbia Dragan Stojković 2024–present

Between managers

1st party Team(s) 2nd party Team(s) Timespan Notes Source
Argentina Helenio Herrera Inter Milan, Roma Italy Nereo Rocco AC Milan, Torino, Fiorentina 1961–1974 Both managers were pioneers of the defensive–minded catenaccio tactical system, and coached cross-city rival clubs (Inter Milan and AC Milan), competing for the Serie A title during the 1960s; both clubs also won multiple European Cups throughout the same decade, being the first two Italian clubs to win the title. [272]
Scotland Matt Busby Manchester United England Don Revie Leeds United 1964–1971 See Leeds United F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry: Busby's exciting attacking style was often contrasted with Revie's more physical and pragmatic approach. Busby was initially the more established and successful manager, having win the 1963–64 Football League title with Manchester United. After winning promotion with Leeds United in 1964, Revie's Leeds faced Busby's Manchester United in the 1964–65 FA Cup semi-final, which ignited their rivalry. The goalless first-leg was played with great intensity, and Leeds subsequently won the replay by a single goal; however, they would go on to lose the final to Liverpool, also missing out on the league title to Manchester United, who would later go on to claim the 1967–68 European Cup. Revie's Leeds won the league title during the 1968–69 season, however, and following Busby's retirement, also won the title during the 1973–74 season (during which Manchester United were relegated), and also reached the 1975 European Cup Final. [273]
Scotland Bill Shankly Liverpool 1964–1974 Revie's Leeds United and Shankly's Liverpool shared an intense rivalry during the 1960s and 1970s. The rivalry began Liverpool defeated Leeds 2–1 in the 1965 FA Cup Final. The following season, Liverpool won the league title ahead of Leeds. Leeds then beat out Liverpool to the league title during the 1968–69 and 1973–74 seasons. [274]
England Brian Clough Derby County 1968–1974 The Damned Utd [275]
England Alan Mullery Brighton & Hove Albion England Terry Venables Crystal Palace 1976–1980 Mullery's Brighton & Hove Albion and Venables's Crystal Palace faced off on five occasions across all competitions during the 1976–77 season, twice in the league and three times in the FA Cup, with Brighton failing to win any of their matches against their rivals, losing twice and drawing three times. In the third FA Cup tie between the two sides, at Stamford Bridge, Mullery ignited the rivalry when he threw approximately £5 of change onto the floor in front of the Crystal Palace fans, exclaiming "You’re not worth that, Palace." He was subsequently escorted away by the police. Mullery claimed that he said this in response to having boiling hot coffee thrown over him by a Crystal Palace supporter as he was walking through the tunnel. [276]
Mexico Hugo Sánchez Atlante, Pumas, Mexico Argentina Ricardo La Volpe Atlas, Toluca, Mexico 1979–present When Sánchez scored a bicycle kick against La Volpe in 1979, who was Atlante's goalkeeper at the time, La Volpe jibed that the former would never score another goal in that manner in 100 years. Sánchez was later coached by La Volpe at Atlante during the final years of his career; the two did not get along and Sánchez ultimately departed for Austrian club Linz. The rivalry reached its peak during the qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when La Volpe beat out Sánchez to the head coach role of the Mexico national football team; Sánchez was critical of La Volpe during this time. Sánchez later coached Mexico himself. [277]
Argentina César Luis Menotti Argentina Argentina Carlos Bilardo Argentina 1983–2024 Bilardo was Menotti's successor with the Argentina national football team; both managers had contrasting styles, with Bilardo's being more pragmatic, while Menotti's was based on possession. Moreover, both coaches won FIFA World Cup titles for their country; consequently their styles and achievements have often been compared in the media. Furthermore, Menotti was critical of the style of Bilardo's mentor, Luis Zubeldía, which ignited a rivalry between the two managers. Although the two reconciled for a time, and agreed to keep their opinions about one another secret, the two managers began making jabs about one another. [278]
Romania Mircea Lucescu Dinamo Bucuresti Romania Anghel Iordanescu Steaua Bucuresti 1986–2016 Eternal Derby [279]
Italy Giovanni Trapattoni Juventus, Inter Milan Sweden Nils Liedholm AC Milan, Roma 1977–1989 Both managers were competing for the league title and had contrasting tactical philosophies [280]
Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich Netherlands Johan Cruyff Ajax, Barcelona 1985–1996 Rivalry both as players and as managers, with Trapattoni's more defensive-minded zona mista coaching system contrasting with Cruyff's more offensive-minded tactical philosophy inspired by Dutch total football [7][8][9][10]
Inter Milan Italy Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan 1986–1991 Coached cross-city rival Serie A teams (Inter Milan and AC Milan) competing for the league title, and both had contrasting tactical philosophies [281]
Italy Fabio Capello AC Milan 1991–present Capello was Sacchi's successor at AC Milan; both managers had successful spells at the club across all competitions, but had contrasting tactical philosophies and clashed verbally [147]
AC Milan, Roma, Juventus, Real Madrid Italy Carlo Ancelotti Parma, Juventus, AC Milan 1992–present Their feud originated when Ancelotti played under Capello at Milan in 1992 and was used increasingly sparingly, in contrast to his time under Sacchi, which eventually led to his retirement. Ancelotti later criticised Capello as a coach in his autobiography due to his perceived inability to discuss issues with his players. They later coached rival Serie A teams competing for the league title during the 1990s and 2000s. [282][283][284][285][286][287]
Netherlands Louis van Gaal Ajax, Barcelona Netherlands Johan Cruyff Ajax, Barcelona 1989–2016 The two managers became estranged following a misunderstanding at a Christmas dinner in 1989. [288][289]
Ajax, Barcelona, Manchester United Netherlands Ronald Koeman Ajax, Barcelona, Southampton 2004–2016 The pair previously worked together at Barcelona, where Van Gaal was coach and Koeman his assistant. In 2004, they worked together again at Ajax: Koeman was manager and Van Gaal was director of football. However, a feud between the two arose when Van Gaal began to interfere with Koeman's duties as the club's manager. [290]
United States Bruce Arena LA Galaxy United States Germany Sigi Schmid Seattle Sounders FC 1996–2016 Arena and Schmid were two of the most influential coaches in the history of the MLSm, and also had contrasting personal coaching styles. [291]
Italy Marcello Lippi Juventus Scotland Alex Ferguson Manchester United 1994–2004 Both managers competed for success in the UEFA Champions League during the 90s and early 2000s and were perceived as rivals in the media, with their styles often being compared. [292]
England Kevin Keegan Newcastle 1995–1996 See 1995–96 Premier League: In April 1996, Keegan's Newcastle side won 1–0 at Leeds to bring them within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester United, with two matches left to play. Before the game, Ferguson had stated that Leeds and Nottingham Forest, two of Newcastle opponents in their last three league matches of the season, might not put in as much effort against Newcastle as they did against Manchester United. Following the match, Keegan responded in an interview: "You can tell him now, if you’re watching it, we’re still fighting for this title and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something. And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it." However, Newcastle drew their remaining matches and Manchester United won the league title. [293][294][295]
Spain Rafael Benítez Liverpool, Chelsea 2004–2013 Both managers managed rival clubs and competed for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles. In January 2009 the rivalry became more tense on a personal level when Benítez made accusatory statements regardng Ferguson's conduct with referees, stating: "I want to talk about facts. He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things. All managers need to know is that only Mr Ferguson can talk about the fixtures, can talk about referees - and nothing happens." In response, Ferguson called him an "angry man," commenting that his allegations were "absolutely ridiculous." The two managers exchanged jabs throughout the remainder of the season, and in May Benítez ultimately refused an invitation to congratulate Ferguson on winning the 2008–09 Premier League title, with Liverpool finishing in second place in the league; he congratulated Manchester United on their victory instead. The feud was re-ignited when Benítez joined Chelsea in 2012, with Ferguson claiming he was "lucky" to get the job. The managers continued to exchange jabs, and in March 2013, Benítez accused Ferguson of refusing to shake his hand ahead of their FA Cup quarter-final match-up. [296]
France Arsène Wenger Arsenal 1996–2013 Ferguson and Wenger [297]
Portugal José Mourinho Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur 2004–2018 Arsenal F.C.–Chelsea F.C. rivalry, Arsenal F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry, North London Derby [298]
Scotland Alex Ferguson Manchester United Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid 2004–2013 Both managers competed for success in the Premier League and in the UEFA Champions League [299]
Spain Rafael Benítez Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Newcastle United Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United 2004–2018 Both managers competed for success in the Premier League and in the UEFA Champions League and Benítez was also compared to Mourinho for his spells at clubs Mourinho had previously also coached (Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid). The feud between the managers peaked in 2015, when Benítez's wife Maria de Montserrat said "we tidy up his messes," prompting Mourinho to criticise Benítez's work at his former clubs. [300]
Italy Carlo Ancelotti AC Milan, Chelsea Inter Milan 2008–2010 See 2008–09 Serie A: Ancelotti and Mourinho coached cross–city rival Italian clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan during the 2008–09 season, with both clubs competing for the league title; throughout the season, both managers took jabs at one another, with Ancelotti being critical of Inter's results in the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League, while Mourinho mocked Milan for being so far behind Inter in the scudetto race. Ancelotti also criticised Mourinho for his attitude in his autobiography, despite also praising his ability as a manager. Mourinho later commented that Ancelotti was not a "friend" of his. The two also faced each other in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League round-of-16, with Mourinho's Inter beating out Ancelotti's Chelsea (Mourinho's former club) en route to winning the title. The two managers reportedly ended their feud in 2010 after a meeting in Geneva, with Ancelotti later describing Mourinho as his "friend." [301][302][303][304][305][306][307]
Italy Claudio Ranieri Juventus, Roma Inter Milan 2008–2010 See 2008–09 Serie A, 2009–10 Serie A, 2009–10 Coppa Italia: During Mourinho's time at Inter Milan, he mocked manager Ranieri, who coached the team's main domestic rivals, Roma, for his coaching methods and lack of success in comparison to his own. [308]
Italy Massimiliano Allegri Cagliari, AC Milan, Juventus Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Roma 2009–present During his first season in Italy, Mourinho was reportedly bothered that Allegri won a coach of the year award with Cagliari even, though Mourinho had won the 2008–09 Serie A title with Inter Milan. During his time with AC Milan and Juventus, Allegri also criticised Mourinho as "pathetic" and "lacking respect" when Mourinho made provocative hand gestures aimed at the fans of Allegri’s clubs. [309]
Chile Manuel Pellegrini Málaga, Manchester City, West Ham United, Real Betis Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma 2010–present Pellegrini was Mourinho's predecessor at Real Madrid and was sacked after failing to win the 2009–10 La Liga title, finishing second behind rivals Barcelona; he was subsequently appointed as head coach of Málaga. When Mourinho was asked what he would do if he were fired Perez, he retorted: "If Madrid get rid of me I won't be going to coach Malaga, I'll be at a top level side in Italy or England." Mourinho defeated Pellegrini's Málaga on several occasions, and also managed to win the 2011–12 La Liga title. In England, the two managers faced off again; in 2014, Pellegrini refused to shake his rival's hand after his new club, Manchester City, suffered a 2–1 defeat to Mourinhbo's Chelsea; however, he ultimately won the 2013–14 Premier League title. [310][311]
Italy Antonio Conte Chelsea Manchester United 2016–2018 The rivalry began when Conte's Chelsea defeated Mourinho's Manchester United side 4–0 at Stamford Bridge in October 2016; Conte encourage the home fans to raise the volume of their support for their team in the final minutes by waving his arms, which angered Mourinho. [312]
Spain Pep Guardiola Barcelona, Manchester City, Bayern Munich Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur 2010–present El Clásico, 2013 UEFA Super Cup, Manchester derby [313]
Bayern Munich, Manchester City Germany Jürgen Klopp Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool 2013–present Der Klassiker, Liverpool F.C.–Manchester City F.C. rivalry [314]
Germany Thomas Tuchel Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool 2009– present Chelsea F.C.–Liverpool F.C. rivalry [315]
Italy Antonio Conte Juventus Italy Walter Mazzarri Napoli 2011–2013 Both managers competed for the 2012–13 Serie A title, the 2011–12 Coppa Italia, and the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, and used similar formations (3–5–2). [316]
Italy Massimiliano Allegri AC Milan, Juventus 2011–2019 Both managers competed for the 2011–12 Serie A title, with Conte's Juventus ultimately beating out Allegri's defending champions AC Milan; Allegri later also replaced Conte at Juventus in 2014. Both managers had successful spells with the club and their achievements and contrasting styles were often compared. [317][318][319]
Italy Maurizio Sarri Napoli, Juventus Juventus 2017–2020 Both managers competed for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 Serie A titles, with Allegri's Juventus beating out Sarri's Napoli on both occasions; both managers also use contrasting tactical approaches, with Sarri adopting a more offensive–minded system, while Allegri's style was instead more conservative. Sarri later also replaced Allegri at Juventus in 2019, going on to win the 2019–20 Serie A title himself. [320][321][322]
Australia Graham Arnold Central Coast Mariners Australia Ange Postecoglou Brisbane Roar 2010–2013 Friendly rivalry; both managers had contrasting styles and were two of the best coaches in the A-League and competed for the league title. They were also candidates for position as head coach with the Australia men's national soccer team; the post initially went to Postecoglou in 2013, but Arnold later coached the side in 2018. [323][324]
Sydney FC Australia Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory 2013–2018 The Big Blue (A-League) [325]
Australia Steve Corica Australia Tony Popovic 2021– present [326]



This list uses the geographic confederation classifications issues by International Association Football Federation (FIFA): CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia and Australia), UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (North & Central America and the Caribbean), OFC (Oceania) and CONMEBOL (South America).


Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Argentina  England Argentina–England 5 (2018) [327]
 Germany Argentina–Germany 7 (2022) [328]
 Mexico Argentina–Mexico 4 (2022) [329]
 Netherlands Argentina–Netherlands 6 (2022) [330]
 Nigeria Argentina–Nigeria 5 (2018) [327][331]
 Australia  England Australia–England [332]
 New Zealand Australia–New Zealand [333]
 Uruguay Australia–Uruguay
 Brazil  Germany Brazil–Germany 2 (2022) [334]
 Italy Brazil–Italy 5 (2022) [327]
 Croatia Brazil–Croatia 5 (2022)
 France  Algeria Algeria–France [335][336]
 Kazakhstan  Tajikistan Kazakhstan–Tajikistan
 Turkmenistan Kazakhstan–Turkmenistan
 Kyrgyzstan Kazakhstan–Kyrgyzstan
 Uzbekistan Kazakhstan–Uzbekistan
 Morocco  Spain MoroccoSpain 2 (2022) [337]
 Saudi Arabia  Algeria Saudi ArabiaAlgeria
 Egypt Saudi Arabia–Egypt 1 (2018)
 Morocco Saudi ArabiaMorocco 1 (1994)
 Tunisia Saudi ArabiaTunisia 1 (2006)
 United States  Ghana United States–Ghana 3 (2014)
 Iran United States–Iran 2 (2022) [338]
 Uruguay  Ghana Uruguay–Ghana 2 (2022) [339]

Asia and Australia (AFC)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Afghanistan  Pakistan Afghanistan–Pakistan [340][341]
 Tajikistan Afghanistan vs. Tajikistan
 Australia  China Australia vs. China
 Japan Australia–Japan 1 [327]
 Saudi Arabia Australia vs. Saudi Arabia [342]
 South Korea Australia–South Korea [327]
 Bahrain  Qatar Bahrain vs. Qatar
 Bangladesh  India Bangladesh vs. India [343][344][345]
 Macau  Hong Kong Hong Kong–Macau
 China China–Hong Kong [346]
 India China vs. India [347]
 Japan China–Japan
 South Korea China–South Korea
 Uzbekistan China vs. Uzbekistan
 Vietnam China vs. Vietnam
 Indonesia  Malaysia Indonesia–Malaysia [346][348]
 Singapore Indonesia vs. Singapore
 Thailand Indonesia vs. Thailand
 Philippines Indonesia vs. Philippines
 Vietnam Indonesia vs. Vietnam
 Iran  Iraq Iran–Iraq [349][350]
 Japan Iran vs. Japan
 Qatar Iran vs. Qatar
 Saudi Arabia Iran–Saudi Arabia [351]
 South Korea Iran vs. South Korea [349][352]
 United Arab Emirates Iran vs. UAE
 Iraq  Jordan Iraq vs. Jordan
 Kuwait Iraq–Kuwait [353]
 Saudi Arabia Iraq–Saudi Arabia
 Japan  Qatar Japan vs. Qatar
 Saudi Arabia Japan vs. Saudi Arabia [354]
 South Korea Japan–South Korea [355]
 Jordan  Syria Jordan vs. Syria [356]
 Lebanon Lebanon vs. Syria
 Kuwait  Saudi Arabia Kuwait vs. Saudi Arabia [357][358]
 Kyrgyzstan  Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan vs. Tajikistan
 Malaysia  Philippines Malaysia vs. Philippines [359]
 Singapore Malaysia vs. Singapore
 Thailand Malaysia vs. Thailand
 Vietnam Malaysia vs. Vietnam
 Myanmar  Thailand Myanmar–Thailand
 Vietnam Myanmar vs. Vietnam
 North Korea  Japan North Korea vs. Japan [360][361]
 South Korea North Korea–South Korea
 Oman  United Arab Emirates Oman vs. UAE
 Qatar Qatar–UAE [362][363][364]
 Saudi Arabia Qatar vs. Saudi Arabia
 Saudi Arabia  South Korea Saudi Arabia vs. South Korea
 Singapore  Thailand Singapore vs. Thailand
 Vietnam Singapore vs. Vietnam
 Thailand  Cambodia Thailand vs. Cambodia
 Vietnam Thailand–Vietnam [346][359]
 Uzbekistan  Tajikistan Uzbekistan vs. Tajikistan
 Turkmenistan Uzbekistan vs. Turkmenistan
 Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan vs. Kyrgyzstan

Africa (CAF)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Algeria  Egypt Algeria–Egypt [355][365][366]
 Mali Algeria vs. Mali
 Nigeria AlgeriaNigeria [355][365]
 Senegal Algeria vs. Senegal
 Tunisia Algeria–Tunisia
 Morocco AlgeriaMorocco
 Benin  Nigeria Benin-Nigeria
 Burkina Faso  Ivory Coast Burkina FasoIvory Coast [367]
 Cameroon  Egypt CameroonEgypt [368]
 Nigeria CameroonNigeria [366][369]
 DR Congo  Ghana DR CongoGhana [370]
 Rwanda DR CongoRwanda [371]
 Egypt  Ghana Egypt vs. Ghana
 Morocco Egypt vs. Morocco
 Senegal Egypt vs. Senegal [372][373][374][375][376]
 Tunisia Egypt–Tunisia
 Equatorial Guinea  Gabon Equatorial GuineaGabon [377][378]
 Tunisia Equatorial Guinea–Tunisia
 Ghana  Ivory Coast Ghana vs. Ivory Coast
 Nigeria Ghana–Nigeria [366][375][379][380][381]
 Libya  Algeria Libya vs Algeria
 Egypt Libya vs Egypt
 Morocco Libya vs Morocco
 Tunisia Libya vs Tunisia
 Morocco Morocco vs. Tunisia [382]
 Nigeria  South Africa Nigeria vs. South Africa [383]
 Ivory Coast  Senegal Ivory Coast vs. Senegal [366]
 South Africa  Zambia South AfricaZambia [357][358]

Europe (UEFA)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
UEFA Euro games
(as of 2024)
 Albania  Kosovo Albania–Kosovo [384][385]
 Serbia Albania–Serbia [355]
 Austria  Hungary Austria–Hungary 1
  Switzerland Austria vs. Switzerland 1
 Belgium  France Belgium–France 3
 Netherlands Belgium–Netherlands 2
 Bulgaria  North Macedonia Bulgaria vs North Macedonia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Greece Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Greece [386]
 Russia Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Russia
 Serbia Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Serbia
 Croatia  England Croatia vs. England 3 [387][388][389]
 France Croatia–France 3 [390][391][392]
 Italy Croatia–Italy 1 [393][394][391]
 Serbia Croatia–Serbia 2 [395][396][397]
 Turkey Croatia–Turkey
 Czech Republic  Slovakia Czech Republic–Slovakia
 Denmark  Norway Denmark vs. Norway [355]
 Sweden Denmark–Sweden [398]
 England  France England–France 3 [399]
 Germany England–Germany 5 [398]
 Italy England–Italy 2 [400][401][402][403]
 Netherlands England–Netherlands
 Spain England–Spain 2
 Republic of Ireland England–Republic of Ireland 1 [404]
 Scotland England–Scotland [398]
 Wales England vs. Wales 1
 France  Germany France–Germany 4
 Italy France–Italy 5 [405]
 Netherlands France–Netherlands
 Portugal France–Portugal 1
 Spain France–Spain 1
 Germany Germany–Spain 5
 Netherlands Germany–Netherlands 4
 Italy Germany–Italy 5
 Poland Germany vs. Poland 3
 Greece  Turkey Greece–Turkey [406]
 Romania Greece–Romania
 Hungary Hungary–Romania [407][408]
 Israel  Turkey Israel vs. Turkey [409]
 Italy  Spain Italy–Spain 3
 Netherlands Italy–Netherlands 1
 Moldova  Romania Moldova vs Romania
 Netherlands  Portugal Netherlands–Portugal
 Spain Spain–Netherlands 2
 Northern Ireland  Republic of Ireland Irish derby
 Norway  Sweden Norway vs. Sweden
 Portugal  Spain Portugal–Spain 2
 Russia  Finland Finland vs. Russia
 Poland Poland vs. Russia 1 [410][411]
 Turkey Russia vs. Turkey [412]
 Ukraine Russia–Ukraine [413]
 Scotland  Wales Scotland vs. Wales
 Serbia   Switzerland Serbia vs. Switzerland 2 [414][415][416][417]

North & Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Aruba  Bonaire Aruba vs. Bonaire [418]
 British Virgin Islands  U.S. Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands vs. U.S. Virgin Islands [419]
 Costa Rica  Honduras Clásico centroamericano [420]
 Mexico Costa Rica vs. Mexico
 United States Costa Rica vs. United States [421][422][423][424][425]
 Canada  Mexico Canada vs. Mexico
 United States Canada–United States [368]
 Honduras Canada vs. Honduras [426]
 Curaçao  Suriname Curaçao vs. Suriname [427]
 Honduras  Mexico Honduras vs. Mexico [428][429][430]
 El Salvador  Honduras El Salvador–Honduras [431][432]
 Haiti  Jamaica Haiti vs. Jamaica [433][434]
 Jamaica  Trinidad and Tobago Jamaica vs. Trinidad and Tobago [435]
 Mexico  United States Mexico–United States 1 [355]
 Panama  United States Panama vs. United States

South America (CONMEBOL)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Argentina  Brazil Argentina–Brazil 4 [436]
 Chile Argentina vs. Chile 1 [437][438]
 Uruguay Argentina–Uruguay 2 [439]
 Brazil Brazil–Uruguay 2 [440][441][442][443][444]
 Chile  Peru Chile–Peru [445][446]
 Colombia  Venezuela Colombia vs. Venezuela [447]
 Ecuador  Peru Ecuador–Peru

Oceania (OFC)

Country 1 Country 2 Article World Cup games
(as of 2022)
 Fiji  New Zealand Fiji–New Zealand
 Samoa  Tonga Samoa vs. Tonga
 Solomon Islands  Vanuatu Solomon Islands vs. Vanuatu [448]



Africa (CAF)


Asia and Oceania (AFC) and (OFC)


Europe (UEFA)


North, Central America and the Caribbean and South America (CONCACAF) and (CONMEBOL)


See also



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