Derbies from around the football world are nothing new, but in Stockholm- they have one of fiercest rivalries in world football. There is the obvious entertainment on the pitch, but there is also no shortage of hatred between the fans, players and managers.
Many Stockholm football fans often clash when it comes to ‘the’ derby. There are three teams based around Stockholm with all classing a different part of the city as theirs.
Djurgården Fans call themselves the Djurgårdare, the Östermalm district is considered the home of the side. This is because Djurgården’s former home ground Stadion is situated here. Whereas, AIK have their spiritual home in Solna and Hammarby in Södermalm.
Hammarby are often referred to as the Swedish West Ham United. A life-long fan said: “the resemblance has always been there when it comes to the way we both play the game but it’s the support of fans that is the main comparison.
“We are so passionate about our team and our willingness to support the team through the hard times is something you don’t always get. This is why we are deserving of something good to finally happen.”
Bajen (Hammarby’s nickname) were looking to finally change their fortunes last season. However, with the team firmly in a position to possibly win their first Allsvenskan since 2001- they dropped numerous points in games they should have won. They sat in second place, trailing their Stockholm rivals AIK by five points.
It was shaping up to be a gripping end to the season, especially considering that the two sides played each other late in the season.
However, by the time that the fixture rolled around, AIK were clear at the top of the league. To compound their local rival’s misery, they won 1-0.
The derbies kept coming thick and fast then for AIK as they next travelled the short distance to the Tele2 arena to face off against Djurgården. The rivalry was only fiercer as AIK were looking to finish off their unbeaten season. The game itself turned out to be lacking quality, the final score a disappointing 0-0 draw.
This rivalry has so much history; in fact both clubs were formed only three weeks apart. AIK hold the better record over their rivals, winning 63 of their 170 meetings. Djurgården can always claim that they won the first game between the teams, beating AIK 2-0 in 1905.
The Djurgården vs Hammarby rivalry isn’t quite as intense as both sides’ face-offs against AIK. But because of the geography it still means as much to the fans. You can trace the fixtures origin back to the latter half of the 1910s. But, it did not reach relevance until the 1950s and 60s when Hammarby established themselves as a top-flight outfit.
2013 saw the extra dynamic added to the rivalry with both clubs moving to the newly constructed Tele2 Arena. The two sides recently met in what was to be a historic meeting. Upon Hammarby’s return to the Allsvenskan after a five year absence in 2015, the two sides had played on eight occasions with Djurgården fans lamenting a derby curse (derbyspöket).
Hammarby had recorded six wins and two draws in the meetings with their rivals. This was the case until early September- as Djurgården finally beat their rivals, the curse was finally lifted. Djurgården ran out 3-1 winners much to the displeasure of the green and white army.
The closeness between the players and fans is something that you don’t get from football in every country. The closest most people can get is by controlling their favourite players with a modded PS4 controller playing on FIFA 19. But in Sweden it is different, players play with pride for the club sides they represent- mainly because most of the players in the Swedish league play for the team which they support, or are their local side to where they were born.
That’s what Football is about, community and Swedish clubs excel at that.