Galatasaray v Fener­bahce

World Soccer - - Contents -

They may be sit­u­ated just a few miles apart, on ei­ther side of Is­tan­bul’s Bosporus strait, but Turk­ish football’s two big­gest and most suc­cess­ful clubs are ac­tu­ally in dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents.

Founded in 1905 by stu­dents of the 400-year-old Galatasaray High School, Gala are no­tion­ally the team of the Euro­pean elite, while Fener are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of an am­bi­tious, pros­per­ous Asian Turkey.

These days, how­ever, the in­tense ri­valry be­tween the pair has very lit­tle to do with cul­tural or re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tions and both clubs draw huge sup­port from all over the coun­try and far be­yond.

Only five sides have ever won the Turk­ish Su­per Lig, with Galatasaray cur­rently edg­ing Fener­bahce 21-19 – while Be­sik­tas (15), Trab­zon­spor (6) and Bur­sas­por (1) the only other sides to have been crowned cham­pi­ons. Gala are also very proud of be­ing the only Turk­ish team to have won a ma­jor Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion, lift­ing the UEFA Cup in 2000.

One of the fiercest der­bies in the world, it takes very lit­tle to fire up the pas­sions of ei­ther side on match day. Yet, in 1996, a Scots­man ac­tu­ally man­aged to in­crease the tem­per­a­ture a de­gree or two higher than usual, as Graeme Souness – then Galatasaray coach – ran onto the pitch at Fener­bahce’s Sukru Saracoglu Sta­dium and planted a huge Gala flag in the cen­tre circle at the end of the Turk­ish Cup Fi­nal. The provoca­tive ges­ture al­most caused a riot as home fans tried to get onto the pitch.

De­pend­ing on which side your loy­al­ties lie, to this day Souness is ei­ther a hero or the arch-vil­lain to football fans in the city.

Most re­cent...Fener­bahce’s Fer­nan­dao is de­nied by Gala keeper Fer­nando Muslera

Heated...it’s a pas­sion­ate af­fair

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