Is Liverpool against Manchester United the biggest game in the world? It's certainly up there with the biggest. It has the history, the rivalry, the number of supporters world wide, the star names, the success of both teams, everything. In my opinion we are possibly pipped by Real Madrid v Barcelona, just at the minute they have the star names in world football representing them and this probably gives them the edge, River Plate v Boca Juniors is also up there with the passion of the support certainly matching us.
But what makes the rivalry so big and the match so important, we have the derby against Everton so why are United considered by many as out greatest rivals? In my opinion its the success that both teams have had that has created jealousy and often hatred in the opponents fans. In the 60's and early seventies there appeared not to be the level of rivalry that there is now. It is worth remembering that following the Munich Air Disaster the then Liverpool manager Phil Taylor offered to lend Manchester United 11 players in order that they could help towards United having a team and that Sir Matt Busby arguably Uniteds greatest ever manager was a former Captain of Liverpool. Its hard to imagine a captain of one team moving across to the other in any role or players playing for both clubs with transfers between the two tea almost taboo.
But starting in the seventies and through the eighties Liverpool had a remarkable run of success. Through this period United were a big team with top players but were left as mainly a cup team with any success coming in the cup competitions whilst Liverpool swept all before them both at home and in Europe, this must have hurt and created jealousy, in fact I know it does because for the last twenty years it as been Uniteds turn to dominate the game in this country overtaking our record of 18 League titles winning 20 of their own whilst Liverpool have fell behind, with their glory coming from the occasional cup win and it hurts and yes I am jealous. We are the two most successful clubs in England and we want to be best
Why each other and not our geographical rivals in Everton and Manchester City? Simple, in my opinion despite them both having periods of success it hasn't been sustained, they haven't got the history, simply until Manchester City have recently had the big money investment neither have been a real threat to the big two's dominance. Yes we love to bet Everton but for me and manyy others United are the big one.
As time goes by there are fewer and fewer people who attend the games ho remember times before the rivalry was so intense so fans have known nothing else it is turing or has turned into hatred almost an obsession and it shouldn't, rivalry is good, an intense rivalry is healthy it will push both clubs to succeed but hatred is not healthy it can only cause harm. I love my team and dont want it harmed especially its reputation. We all now the songs that both sides sing that aren't acceptable and violence and intimidation are also not acceptable. Millions and millions of people world wide will watch the game at the weekend and I don't the reputation of my team harmed. So rivalry and banter good it creates atmosphere. Hatred and bile bad it creates harm. So enjoy the game at the weekend support your team, create a fabulous atmosphere and with a bit of luck three points for Liverpool.