In all countries across the world we have leagues containing big rivalries. This includes Greece, where this Saturday the Greek Classico between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos takes place.
The two clubs are facing each other for the tenth fixture of Greece’s Superleague.
The rivalry between the clubs is enormous and dates way back. Panathinaikos were considered to be the richest club in Greece, while Olympiacos was the club of the masses.
Olympiacos is close to the biggest port of the country, Piraeus, thus is more connected to wide mass of the people.
Panathinaikos, on the other hand, is near downtown so the club is connected to wealthier people.
The rivalry is more than a sports one. Of course as the years went by the clubs have switched roles. They have fans of all the social classes and during the last 15 years we have the era of Olympiacos.
Olympiacos became the rich club of the town while Panathinaikos - especially during the two last years - has become the poor one facing huge financial problems. Nonetheless the rivalry still exists.
This season’s match is somehow different. The rivalry is maybe the only element that survived from the past. All the others have changed. First of all this match used to be a title decider.
This season’s match will not decide anything. This match used to determine which of these two clubs the best club in Greece is. In this season’s derby there is no such doubt.
Olympiacos is by far the best club in Greece. Furthermore, that match used to have big consequences for the losing club. The only aspect that remains untouched throughout years is the pride and the prestige.
Winning in such a match will help the winner boost their confidence and continue fighting through the rest of the season. Panathinaikos are in a transitional season, trying to build a whole new team with a lot of youngsters and a new but promising manager, Giannis Anastasiou.
Olympiacos have also made a lot of transfers but all of them were of top quality. Olympiacos is aiming to have a successful presence in the European competitions and win the title league once again.
We are dealing with two clubs with completely different goals and perspectives for this season. Panathinaikos are trying to survive while Olympiacos try to expand and develop as a club.
So is this derby worthy watching? Of course it’s worthy. No matter the condition that each club is in, this match is always going to be special. All the players want to win, score and write their name in the history of Greek Superleague.
Both clubs are coming off wins and although it is expected to be an easy evening for Greek champions Olympiacos. I believe that we should expect a tight match with strength and willingness being the decisive factors.
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