Kıtalararası Derbi – the Fenerbahçe–Galatasaray rivalry
Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray are two large Istanbul based football clubs, emanating from the Asian and European parts of that city respectively situated on different sides of the Bosporus. Their rivalry dates back almost to the start of the twentieth century and involves two clubs who have both enjoyed enormous success in Turkey’s Süper Lig. Support for both teams is both large and fierce and divides virtually the entire nation in partisanship.
The term Kıtalararası Derbi (Intercontinental Derby in English – referring to the Europe-Asia split) is applied to all the meetings between these two rivals. Strangely enough prior to the first World War, the two clubs nearly merged into one but the problems in the Balkans put paid to any talk of combination and the scene was set for the rivalry that we know today.
Fenerbahce’s home games are played in the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium which has a capacity of just under 54,000 while Galatasaray’s home turf is the Türk Telekom Arena which holds around 52,000 spectators.
Over the years the two clubs have fought each other hard, metaphorically at least! to gain superiority. The statistics tell an interesting tale. In their Super Lig rankings, Fenerbahce have finished higher 30 times and Galatasaray 27 times. In their head to head meetings, 380 games have been played between the two teams: Fenerbahce lead in matches won 144-122 and have also a higher goal tally – 528-480 a difference of 48 goals.
The early years saw some prodigiously high scoring: 7-0 and 6-0 wins for Galatasaray in 1911 and 1913, a margin in their favor that was not to be repeated until 2002. Fernerbahce’s biggest wins were 6-1 in 1936, a feat they repeated a mere forty years later.
Galatasaray won eight games on the trot from 17 January 1909 – 26 October 1913 whilst Fernerbahce’s best consecutive run in the Derbi was five wins from 30 June 1922 – 2 November 1923 and again from 16 August 1976 – 9 January 1977. Fenerbahce were also undefeated in no fewer than eighteen consecutive matches from 17 May 1942 – 1 December 1946 whilst Galatasaray managed a run of eleven undefeated games from 19 February 1950 – 30 November 1952.
Eleven players from the two clubs have chalked up more than forty appearances in the Kıtalararası Derbi of whom the leaders are Turgay Şeren (54 Galatasaray) and Cüneyt Tanman (53 Galatasaray) followed by Esat Kaner and Seref Has both on 49 Fenerbahçe appearances.
The 2014-15 season saw the two rivals firmly ensconced at the top of the Süper Lig – Galatasaray were champions and Fenerbahçe the runners up just three points behind. Both Derbi games went to the home teams, 2-1 to Galatasaray and 1-0 to Fenerbahçe in the return fixture.
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