By Fernando Sell
Brazil is a nation with a fierce and historic rivalry between clubs. However, the characteristics of the rivalries are different in comparison to European ones.
As Brazil is a huge country that is composed of many states, it is rare to see a heated rivalry between two teams from different states.
The most intense rivalries are those between clubs of the same state; this mainly happens in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The rivalries are primarily stimulated through state championships, also through the league known as O Brasileirão and the Brazilian Cup. When two rival teams play against each other the match is known as a derby and teams can play against each other 6 or more times in one year.
Grêmio vs Internacional
Grêmio and Internacional are fierce rival clubs from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state Rio Grande do Sul. The state is practically divided in half by the clubs, half the state is painted blue and the other red. The historic derby between the two sides is known as the Gre-Nal.
Many players have played against each in the Gre-Nal, but one of the greatest player vs player moments was between Ronaldinho (Grêmio) and Dunga (Internacional). In one of the derbies, Ronaldinho destroyed Dunga with his tricks and flicks, and the Brazilian superstar scored a beautiful chip in the game.
This particular state championship in which the two teams compete for is called “Campeonato Gaúcho.” In 2009 Internacional were the winners, with arch rivals Grêmio finishing in second. Inter have won the competition 39 times and Grêmio 35 times.