Derby della Mole (Juventus v Torino)
In Italy a mole is a building of enormous proportions and the Mole Antonelliana, envisaged as a synagogue, now houses a cinema museum and is the tallest museum in the world, dominating the Turin skyline. Appropriately enough, the derby matches played by the two clubs who have for nearly 110 years dominated the football landscape of the Piedmont region bear the name of the very familiar local landmark. It is the premier derby in Italian football and the oldest of such contests still being played.
Like many such splits, class tensions and identifications played a role in the local rivalry. Juventus, founded in 1897 by students from a prestigious high school in Turin, was seen as the club of the higher social classes whilst Torino was a breakaway from Juventus and supporters identified with it as more of a peoples’ club. Although these tensions and differences have eased over the years, Juventus has become one of those clubs that has become a “brand” with an international following whilst Torino enjoys a more localised support.
These factors ensured that whenever the two teams played, matches would be fiercely supported and played under great stress. Many incidents have stood out, some regrettably, over the years of contest. One such was in 1967 when Torino had a 4-0 victory and infuriated Juventus supporters vandalized the grave of former Torino player Gigi Meroni. This extreme behaviour has happened only rarely over a long period and usually any visitor can feel happy in concentrating on the excellent football that will be on offer.
Looking at the record of contests, Juventus have the upper hand on the head to head statistics. What is of most interest is the record since the 1929 founding of Serie A, Italy’s top tier football competition. Up to the end of the 2014-15 season, 140 derby matches had been played of which Juventus have won 64 to Torino’s 34 with a similar 210-146 discrepancy in goals between the two sides.
Torino and Juventus have had 16 encounters in the Coppa Italia and here the record is a little tighter with seven Juventus victories to four for Torino.
Generally there have been periods when one club has dominated: Juventus in the fifties, Torino in the seventies when Juventus remained without a win in the derby for nearly six years (December 1973 to March 1979) and Torino established a record of 4 wins in a row in a single championship (1975–76).
Two emphatic scores either way: Juventus winning 5-0 (December 1995) and Torino setting a record winning 8-0 in November 1912. Recently Juventus have had a period of dominance so that Torino’s 2-1 win in April 2015 was their first Derby win in twenty years.
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