Irrespective of the football league you follow, there are those fixtures of the league calendar which mean more than just a weekend game. As bitter rivals clash, football matches transcend to a state of war.
Adrenaline runs through the veins of players. Fans, in their anxious wait for the bragging rights, go through a series of emotions ranging from ecstasy to misery.
Here I talk about those rivalries that started somewhere beyond football and are re-ignited in the confinements of a football pitch every year. These are the clashes even a layman will look forward to, for a victory has implications bigger than three points.
Let us take a look at football rivalries that run deeper than football:
1) Manchester United vs Liverpool
The late 18th century marked the beginning of the industrial era in England. It also gave birth to a fascinating tale of rivalry between two cities separated by 30 miles.
Manchester and Liverpool, the heart of North West England, competed for industrial supremacy. Manchester was famous for its prowess in the manufacturing sector and Liverpool for its port.
The industrial revolution paved the way for a textile boom. Cotton mills of Manchester captured the trade and the city flourished. Liverpool, on the other hand, was the economic capital of north-west and had one of the best ports of the world. This created jobs for many.
So far so good.
However, the businessmen of Manchester grew frustrated by the charges placed on them by Liverpool's docks. The Mancunian merchants were forced to pay heavy duties for importing the raw materials required for their mills.
In 1894, Manchester built the ship canal that enabled them to directly bring the goods to the city without having to pay the import charges.This changed the entire dynamics of the economy in the north-west. Liverpool experienced a massive slump and people started losing jobs.
Merseysiders started hating the Mancunians.
As years passed, the rivalry only got bitter and bitter. It extended to several fields including music. Comparisons were inevitable. If it was the Liverpudlian Beatles that captured the imagination of the youth in the 60s, it was the Mancunian bands of The Stone Roses and Oasis that stole the show in 80s and 90s. But that one field which portrays the rivalry to the fullest is football. Every year the cities go to war mode as Manchester United F.C take on Liverpool F.C.
The cities of Liverpool and Manchester were, are and will continue to be the pride of North West England.These are the cities which give the North west a leverage over London. As far as the political scenario is concerned, the feelings have, in the view of mutual benefit, softened. But the football rivalry remains intense.