Which are the biggest grudge matches in German football’s top-tier? How did they come into being?
The Berlin Derby – Hertha Berlin V Union Berlin
A lot of capital cities in Europe have football teams that regularly top their domestic leagues, but the history of football in Berlin is weak in terms of success and trophies. These 2 teams, Hertha and Union, make up for it with their political history. Hertha used to be in West Berlin and featured in the Bundesliga when it was created in 1963. Union was in East Berlin and only won promotion to the top flight in season 2018/19.
They have met just 8 times in competitive matches. The first 4 games took place in the 2. Bundesliga, which is the German second division. The last meeting between the 2 sides took place at Stadion An der Alten Försterei, which is the home of Union. The score on April 4th, 2021 was 1-1 at full time. Robert Andrich for Union and Dodi Lukebakio for Hertha got on the scoresheet that day.
The Borussen Derby – Borussia Dortmund V Borussia Mönchengladbach
In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach are relatively close neighbours who go to war each year to decide who is the better ‘Borussia’. Both Dortmund and Mönchengladbach have well-established rivalries elsewhere in the Bundesliga, however, as they both have the same 1st name (Borussia means Prussia in Latin) and they both come from Ruhr valley, this fixture always has the potential for sparks to fly on the pitch. The last time these 2 teams met was in the quarter-finals of the German Cup on the 2nd of March 2021. Dortmund ran out 1-0 winners, away at the Borussia-Park stadium, courtesy of a 2nd half strike by Jadon Sancho who has since moved on to Manchester United.