Juventus versus Torino: The oldest derby in Italy
It may not get as much press as the Derby della Madonnina or Derby della Capitale (Rome versus Lazio), but the Derby della Mole is certainly one of the fiercest.
The 165th meeting between the two teams is truly a David and Goliath tie. Torino go up against Juventus on Sunday, having not won the Serie A giants in 16 occasions.
So, after all this is the oldest derby is the Serie A. Juventus first played Torino on January 13 1907, Granata’s first competitive match following their foundation the prior year. Also born the same year, was the socio-economic dimension, Torino – represented by proletariat and Juventus who are represented by bourgeoisie.
The proletariat is a term used to describe a class of wage earners, mainly industrial workers, and in this case, working in the car factories in Turin. Proletariat’s tend to earn fairly low wages and football is a way to unleash the passion. On the other hand, bourgeoisie see themselves as middle-class, typically composed of businessmen.
The question from fans around Europe ahead of the game is, “Does a derby stop being one once the rivalry becomes so one-sided that the underdog only has slim-to-no chances of winning?”
There’s no doubt that despite being in the bottom half of the Serie A, Torino will give it their all to earn bragging rights over their inter-city rivals.
“Like in a derby in any league, two teams from the same city hate each other, both teams want to be the best and some fans take their passion to extreme levels and do stupid things,” said Marco Messina, a Juventus fan living abroad.
“Torino fans feel like they truly run the city since most of the people from Torino support Torino. Whilst Juventus have a more worldwide reach and have most of their fans from other Italian regions.”
For Torino, this is the biggest match in their calendar: “The players want to give something back to the fans. Winning this for them is like winning the Scudetto,” said Messina.
The Bianconeri have been the dominant of the two teams, with Torino’s last win dating back to the 1994-95 season. Torino’s last goal against Juventus dates back to the 2001-02 season, and towards the end of the last season lost Ciro Immobile and Aleesio Cerci.
Juventus President, Andrea Agnelli famously said on Thursday said that: “Torino have not won the derby for more than 15 years.”
If there wasn’t tension before the derby, there certainly is now.
Unfortunately, Italian football is still marred by violence, with both clubs having been previously fined for vandalism and offensive chanting.
“The lack of effective leadership within the Italian Federation leads to this,” said Messina.
An incident that hit the headlines in Italy was one that happened between Inter Milan and AC Milan. Inter fans had smuggled in a moped, torched the vehicle and threw it from the upper deck to fans below. The incident has then been known as “The Holy Vespa.”
Torino have struggled of late and will do well to get any type of result at the Juventus Stadium. The visitors find themselves in 15th, having not found the back of the net in four of their previous five games.
Their counterparts however, are at the summit of the Serie A, having only lost once this season the league under Massimiliano Allegri.