Football's great rivalries

Some of the greatest football rivalries in the world are in Europe. It's always an event, for example, when AC Milan and Inter Milan, or Barcelona FC and Real Madrid cross swords. They provide the stage for some great footballing drama but other European sides are worth following, too.

On the Ball With European Soccer!

In our passion for UK football clubs, sometimes European sides can be overlooked. Understandable, since supporting a British side can feel like a full-time job. But not only do top European teams play British sides, but following the football news from these clubs can also provide drama and excitement.

AC Milan, for example, has won 18 international titles, and four world titles. They have won the UEFA Champions League seven times; only Real Madrid has won it more. In Italy's Serie A, AC Milan has 17 league titles. Home games are played at San Siro, also called the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, shared with rivals Inter Milan, and seating over 80,000. Inter Milan, founded in 1908, are Italian champions, having retained their crown on last May.

Inter Milan has 17 Serie A titles to its name, and 26 Italian trophies. The club has enjoyed success in European and international tournaments, including European and UEFA Cups.

The football news so far this season has already seen AC Milan beat Siena, Real Madrid and Olympique Marseille in the last month alone, while France midfielder Patrick Vieira claims the current Inter Milan side is the best he has played with during four years with them.

Inter Milan is now aiming for a fourth successive Serie A title this season and, speaking after a recent 2-0 win over Parma, Veira explained: "There are strong sides, but we are the best".

Bayern Munich is Germany's most successful club, and has won 21 German titles and 14 cups. Next year sees Bayern Munich celebrates its centenary. In the 1970s, the side won the European Cup three times in a row, while in recent years they have been Germany's most successful club, winning seven of the last 10 championships. The club's football news so far this season is that Bayern Munich has already beat Israeli side Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in the Champions League, and, closer to home, beat Nurnberg.

Spanish football is also alive and kicking! The lastet football news is that Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini doesn't believe his team has fundamental defensive frailties following their 5-2 win over Zurich in the Champions League.

One of the most recognised teams in the world, and Spanish football's most successful, Real Madrid was voted by FIFA as the most successful club of the 20th century, having won a record thirty-one La Liga titles, 17 Spanish Cups, a record nine European Cups and two UEFA Cups.

Raúl González Blanco is Real Madrid's leading goal scorer, and has also scored more goals 44 - for the Spanish national side than any other player in history.

Meanwhile, arch rivals Barcelona FC is one of three clubs which have never been relegated from La Liga and is Spanish football's most successful side after Real Madrid, having won 19 La Liga titles, a record 25 Spanish cups, and two League Cups. They have also won 13 official major European trophies.

Major football news for Barcelona FC is that Lionel Messi has signed a new deal with them, extended until 2016. The Argentine becomes the best paid player at the club. The 22-year-old joined Barca's youth-team in 2001 and has won a host of trophies with the Catalan giants, including last season's unprecedented treble. With rivalries, passion and some stunning players in all five of these exciting teams, fans of the European game can look forward to loads more thrilling football news ahead!

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