The world of football brings with itself competition without hesitation. This competition many a time engulfs the friendship between teammates and makes them eternal rivals.
There have been numerous accounts of rivalries forming amongst teammates, sometimes for the title of the best, and sometimes even for the sweet starting eleven spots. Let us take a look at the top 5 iconic rivalries between teammates in football.
5. Jens Lehmann – Oliver Kahn
The legendary goalkeeper for the ‘invincible’ team of Arsenal in 2003-04 was none other than Jens Lehmann. He has the record for the most consecutive clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League where he went for 8 straight matches in a row without conceding a single goal.
Also one of the best goalkeepers of the same era, Oliver Kahn played in the German League and is one of the most decorated players there. Since both the players represented the same nation it was always a dilemma on who to play for the German national football team. Lehmann appeared in 61 matches for the German team while Oliver was capped a total of 86 times for the nation.
4. Arturo Vidal – Claudio Bravo
Arturo recently left Inter Milan to join Flamengo as their star midfielder. Arturo has played for many big clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Juventus before. His exceptional performance with Juventus entitled him to ‘The Warrior’.
But all this was rivaled by another player from the same region Claudio Bravo. He was already achieving all the fame that Arturo Vidal was longing for. Claudio is the third most capped player for Chile. He plays as a goalkeeper and his goalkeeping skills are second to none.
There is always a rivalry between the two on who is the best player for their nation. Both of them have played numerous matches together for Chille and have taken the team to greater levels. Vidal has over 130 caps for his country and is one of the mainstays since his senior career debut.
3. Manuel Neuer – Marc Andre ter Stegen
The exceptional goalkeeper in the German League Bundesliga, Manuel Neuer also plays for the German national football team. He is also the captain of the most dominant club in the region Bayern Munich. Neuer also led the German team in international matches and was integral to the FIFA World Cup winning team in 2014.
His arch nemesis, Marc is also an excellent goalkeeper for the La Liga team Barcelona and has played over 217 matches for them. He is also seen many times taking the near goalpost position instead of Neuer in the international formats.
The players share a rivalry to represent their country wearing those gloves. Both have been called for international matches multiple times. Since Neuer is the captain of the team, Marc is seen comparatively less on the field wearing the national team’s jersey. Neuer has appeared in 113 matches while Marc has only been capped a total of 28 times.
2. Paul Scholes – Frank Lampard
No doubt one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Frank Lampard shared a sweet rivalry with the former Manchester United starplayer Paul Scholes. Frank Lampard’s best spell comes from his time in Chelsea where he was breaking and making records one after another.
Playing in opposite teams for most of the time they were destined to battle out each other in the midfield position as rivals. What fuels their rivalry is the starting position for the national football team of England as both the players root their origin in the same nation.
1. Steven Gerard – Paul Scholes
Another English rivalry that formed alongside the Frank-Paul rivalry was one between two fated rivals Steven and Paul. The players were destined to battle each other in the fierce northwest London derby.
What added to this was their selection to the England national football team. The player shared a rivalry on who would be finding themselves on the frontlines and get that sweet starting eleven berth to play as a midfielder. Steven found himself playing for the nation in 114 instances and scored 21 goals out of it. However, Paul was seen playing for the team for a total of 66 matches and scored 14 goals in them.