Who Are Liverpool’s Biggest Rivals?

Soccer is a sport that is beloved by millions of people around the world. This unique sport has an incredible global reach and passionate fan bases. Then, it is no surprise that soccer rivalries are some of the most intense in all sports. Rivalries in soccer can take many forms, ranging from local derbies between two clubs in the same city to long-standing grudges between two successful clubs to regional or national rivalries.

Liverpool FC is one of the most successful and storied clubs in English but European soccer too. This team has won numerous domestic and international titles, including six Champions League trophies. Liverpool has a large and particularly passionate fan base. In this article, we will explore some of Liverpool’s biggest rivals, examining the various types of rivalries that exist in soccer and how they have played out in the context of Liverpool.

What Kind Of Rivalries Exist In Soccer?

Different types of rivalries exist in soccer, and the intensity and nature of these rivalries vary greatly. Some of the most common types of rivalries in soccer include:

Local derbies

These are matches between two clubs based in the same city or region. Local derbies are often characterized by a fierce sense of local pride and a desire to claim bragging rights over the other team. These matches can be intense, as the clubs are often geographically close to each other, and their fans often share the same local culture and identity.

National rivalries

These are rivalries between two clubs that represent different countries or regions. National rivalries bring to the table differences in language, culture, and historical conflicts. These are especially intense during international tournaments, such as the World Cup or the European Championship, where national pride is on the line.

Historical rivalries

Historical rivalries develop over time, often as a result of a long history of success and competition between two iconic clubs. These rivalries can form due to the successes of the two clubs, memorable matches or controversies between the two teams. Also, there is the overall intensity of the competition.

Regional rivalries

These are rivalries between two clubs based in different regions of the same country. These rivalries can be fueled by differences in culture, geography, and historical conflicts between the two regions. In fact, Liverpool’s greatest rival comes from a rivaling region.

Who Are Liverpool’s Biggest Rivals?

Liverpool’s biggest rival is Manchester United, a club with a long and storied history in English soccer. The rivalry between these two clubs, known as the North West Derby dates back to the early 20th century and is one of the most intense in English soccer.

The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United has grown thanks to several factors. These include the fact that Liverpool and Manchester United have consistently been two of the most successful clubs in English soccer, not only domestically but in European competitions as well. As a result, they have often found themselves competing for the titles and accolades, with Man United currently leading 20 to 19 in the number of domestic league titles at the top of English football history.

Over the years, the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United has been characterized by several memorable matches, including many high-scoring contests and controversial moments. Some of the most memorable matches between these two clubs include a 3-3 draw in 1994, a 4-3 victory for Liverpool in 2009, and a 2-1 victory for Manchester United in 2011.

Who Are Liverpool’s Local Rivals?

Liverpool’s local rival is Everton FC, a club based in the same city. The rivalry between these two clubs, known as the “Merseyside Derby,” dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the oldest and most intense in English soccer.

In fact, it was Everton who first played at the legendary Anfield, before the owners decided to leave the stadium over a dispute. When the Anfield Stadium owner realized he had no club to play there, he formed Liverpool FC in 1892. This is how the first seeds of a big rivalry were sawn.

However, this rivalry in the last few decades went from being a heated one to the more friendly one. This was due to the horrific accident at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989, when 97 Liverpool fans died during a human crash due to overcrowding of a stand during the FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest.

This tragedy brought the local fans together, but even afterwards, there were some iconic matches between the two teams. These include a 3-3 draw in 1991 and a 4-0 win for Liverpool in 1999.

Who Are Liverpool’s Other Rivals And Why?

In addition to Manchester United and Everton, Liverpool has other rivals in English and European soccer. Some of the club’s other big rivals include:

Chelsea FC

The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea is a modern one. It is not as long-standing one as against Everton or Man United. These clubs developed their rivalry thanks to a big number of memorable matches which started around 2005. It coincided with Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho managing the two sides. First, they clashed in the 2005 Champions League semifinals and 2007 FA Cup final. There were hard-fought and controversial matches between the clubs in the latter stages of the Champions League in 2007, 2008 and 2009. With some games ending 4-4, 1-3 and 3-2 in the process, it is no wonder these two teams don’t like each other.

Manchester City FC

Liverpool and Manchester City have developed a fierce rivalry only in recent years, as both clubs have emerged as dominant forces in English soccer. This rivalry has been fueled by the success of both clubs, with Liverpool and City clearly becoming two of the finest teams in English soccer over the past four or five years. Some of the most memorable matches between these two include a 4-3 victory for Liverpool in 2018, and a 3-1 victory for Manchester City, but also feuds between their ultra-successful managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

Real Madrid CF

Considering these two clubs come from two different countries, it is interesting to see just how big of a rivalry this is becoming in the last several years. Liverpool and Real Madrid faced each other just nine times, but three of those encounters were European Cup or UEFA Champions League finals. Liverpool won the first one in 1981, but in 2018 and 2022, the Spanish giants made the Reds suffer. This rivalry is not as great as some of the other ones in the traditional sense, but it has a storied history with plenty of historic matches in European soccer.

Here are the other teams who have developed a kind of rivalry with Liverpool:

  • Arsenal
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • Newcastle
  • AC Milan
  • Leeds


Liverpool FC is one of the most successful and storied clubs in English and European soccer, and as a result, it has several fierce rivals. These rivalries can take many forms, including local derbies, national rivalries, historical rivalries, and regional rivalries. Some of Liverpool’s biggest rivals include Manchester United, Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Real Madrid. It doesn’t matter which one of these teams you believe is Liverpool’s greatest rival – the fact they do have so many great rivals shows just how great of a club Liverpool FC is.