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The Derby of the Eternal Enemies

The Derby of the Eternal Enemies

Article by: Bella Sewards

Fri, Nov 04.22

The Derby of the Eternal Enemies

When you think of classic football rivalries, you think of AC Milan vs. Inter, Manchester United vs. Liverpool, or Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. What you should be thinking about, though, is the "derby of eternal enemies”. Olympiacos and Panathinaikos will face battle in "Europe's maddest derby" on November 7 in one of Greece's most heated interstate rivalries. The Greek culture is clearly enthusiastic, especially when it comes to football. The Greek Super League division one is the greatest professional soccer league in Greece, and it brings an unmatched level of excitement to the field.

The Super League was formed and organised in Greece in July 2006, replacing the Alpha Ethniki, which was founded in 1959. From 1927 through 1958, the league was known as the Hellenic Football Federation Pan-Hellenic Championship. The current Super League division one, is comprised of 14 teams and operates from August to May, with each team playing 26 home and away series. Olympiacos are the current league champions, although they are still third in the standings, trailing their rivals, Panathinaikos, who are first. The Super League champion is determined by the team with the most points at the end of the season, with the worst two teams relegated to Super League 2. 

In 1928, Aris Thessaloniki were regarded as the inaugural champions, at a period when football matches were only played in Athens and Thessaloniki. The first national championship, open to teams from everywhere in the country, was held in 1959-1960. Panathinaikos were the inaugural champions, and they continued to dominate the 60s, in contrast to the 50s, which were controlled mostly by Olympiacos. Football became professional in Greece in 1979. AEK won three straight titles for the first time in their history in the early 1990s, playing outstanding football. Not long after, Olympiacos began to create and grow, clearly having the strongest squad on the field and the wealthiest owners of all. 

Since the Super League's inception in 1959, just three teams, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, and PAOK, have not missed a single season.



The most recent meeting between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos came in May 2022, when Panathinaikos won 2-1. Despite their defeat, Olympiacos was eventually rewarded with triumph, commemorating 47 league titles, and cementing their status as the most successful club in Greek football history.

The "King of Greek Football” was established at the Athens port of Piraeus in 1925. Olympiacos were formerly known as a working-class club. Nonetheless, they are the most successful club in Greece. Olympiacos just earned the Super League title in May 2022, their 47th league title, and they are the world's 9th most successful football team with 79 national titles. They are presently third in the table and looking to beat their primary rival, Panathinaikos. Their line-up features several talented players, including James Rodriguez and recent addition Marcelo Vieira, who is regarded as one of Real Madrid's most accomplished players. The squad, albeit behind Panathinaikos on the standings, is aware that it is still early days. They also understand how important it is to win a game like this. José Miguel González Martín del Campo (Míchel) was a football icon and Real Madrid captain who played in over 500 games. In 2015, he took over as Olympiacos manager, guiding the team to two titles, one cup, and noteworthy triumphs. Míchel is undoubtedly hoping to extend Olympiacos' winning streak and win the title at the end of May.

Panathinaikos on the other hand, being one of Greece's oldest clubs, are traditionally recognised for representing the upper-class. Although they have not been as successful as their cross-city rivals, it might be argued that Aitor Cantalapiedra, Spanish winger and crucial player, is presently driving Panathinaikos to their first league title in 13 years, claiming himself as Panathinaikos' top goal scorer, with 8 goals in 10 games. Panathinaikos has already won 10 games in a row, and the squad, often known as "Trifylli" or "The Greens," represents youth, optimism, and growth with its green colours and clover insignia. They are the most popular team in Greece's capital city, Athens, and the derbies of the perennial rivals draw the most attention in Greece each year. If Panathinaikos wins the derby, they will be well on their way to capturing the championship. It would not just provide them with a numerical edge in points, although also a psychological advantage over their main competitors.

Along with the Olympics, history, and gyros, Athens attracts some of Europe's most ardent football fans. Football is more than just a game between the red and whites and the greens. It's a centuries-old cultural rivalry. For days, the city of Athens and Greece grind to a standstill, and what happens on the pitch has a significant impact on what happens in both places. The match between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos will take place on Monday, November 7, 2022, at Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. Winning this game means everything to both the players and the audience. Winning this game might propel one club to the championship, while losing in one of the biggest rivalries in global football would be devastating for the other.

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