Top 3 Galatasaray Biggest Rivals

Galatasaray is a professional football club based in Turkey that has consistently participated in the Süper Lig since 1959.

They’re the most successful Turkish club, having ranked first by the IFFHS and acclaimed as the best Turkish club of the 20th century.

Gala has won the most Süper Lig, Turkish Cup, and Turkish Super Cup titles. Plus the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000.

Their achievements include a rare treble in the 1999-2000 season, winning the Süper Lig, Turkish Cup, and UEFA Cup.

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Biggest Rivals?

1. Fenerbahçe SK

Fenerbahçe SK

Galatasaray’s biggest rivals are Fenerbahçe SK, and their matches form what’s known as the Intercontinental Derby. This intense football rivalry between the two Turkish clubs has spanned over a century, making it one of the biggest in international football.

Matches between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray are fiercely contested, drawing large crowds and sparking intense emotions due to the history and success of both teams.

It all began with a friendly match in 1909, with Galatasaray emerging victorious. Since then, their encounters have seen memorable moments, including Galatasaray’s biggest win of 7-0 in 1911 and Fenerbahçe’s remarkable 6-0 victory in 2002.

The rivalry also Includes incidents of fan violence and clashes. In 1934, a match between the two clubs ended in riots. In addition, the professionalization of Turkish football in 1959 fueled the competition between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, as both clubs vied for dominance in the newly formed Süper Lig.

Notable incidents, such as Graeme Souness planting a Galatasaray flag in 1996 and the “water derby” in 2007 made the rivalry more intense.

Fan rivalry has also been a prominent feature, with instances of hooliganism and violence tarnishing the matches. Also, the cultural and social differences between the clubs’ fanbases add another dimension to the rivalry.

Galatasaray, founded by high school students in Beyoğlu, represented the upper class, while Fenerbahçe, founded in Kadıköy, was seen as the people’s club.

However, these class differences have faded over the years, with both clubs boasting diverse fanbases. One major aspect of the rivalry is Fenerbahçe’s 21-year undefeated streak at home, which ended in 2020 with a victory for Galatasaray. This streak, coupled with other historical factors, has contributed to the Intercontinental Derby.

Who Has More Fans Galatasaray Or Fenerbahçe?

“According to a survey, Galatasaray has a larger fan base compared to Fenerbahçe. The survey found that 37.6% support Galatasaray, while 32.3% support Fenerbahçe. This indicates that Galatasaray has a higher percentage of fans than Fenerbahçe.

However, these percentages represent the opinions of survey participants and may not reflect the exact number of fans each team has. Additionally, 20.8% support Beşiktaş.

While Galatasaray may have more fans according to this survey, the rivalry between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe remains intense, with both clubs boasting powerful support across Turkey.

The number of fans supporting each team can fluctuate over time due to various factors such as team performance, and player transfers.”

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2. Beşiktaş


Another of Galatasaray’s biggest rivals is Beşiktaş. The rivalry between Beşiktaş and Galatasaray is one of the most intense in Turkish football, involving two of the most successful clubs in the Süper Lig.

This local derby has been fierce and passionate, back to their first encounter in an Istanbul Football League game on August 22, 1924.

The fans of both clubs also play a major role in the intensity of the rivalry. Beşiktaş and Galatasaray have huge fanbases that passionately support their teams in domestic and international matches.

However, in recent years, football hooliganism has become a common phenomenon among their fans, with different forms of misconduct such as breaking seats, cursing, fighting, fireworks, and street rioting.

Beşiktaş’s fans are particularly known for their chanting and are widely regarded as some of the fiercest fans in Europe, while Galatasaray’s fans also contribute to the electric atmosphere with their chants.

On the football pitch, both clubs vie for the title of the most successful football club in Turkey. While Galatasaray has won the most official titles, having won 59 compared to Beşiktaş’s 35, both clubs fiercely contest each other’s dominance.

Galatasaray boasts notable achievements like winning the 2000 UEFA Cup Final and the 2000 UEFA Super Cup, making them the only Turkish side to have accomplished this feat thus far.

Also, the cultural value of this rivalry is underscored by the geographical roots of the clubs. Beşiktaş JK was founded in the municipality of Beşiktaş, while Galatasaray SK originated in the district of Galatasaray, both located on the European side of Istanbul.

Although they draw the majority of their support from their respective areas within the city, both clubs also command significant support from across Turkey.

In terms of honors, Galatasaray leads in domestic and international titles, and Beşiktaş has also achieved notable success over the years, contributing to the competitiveness of their encounters.

3. Manchester United

Manchester United

Galatasaray’s rivalry with Manchester United has its roots in a dramatic meeting during the European Cup in November 1993.

The game took place at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul and is remembered for its intense atmosphere and controversial incidents.

Manchester United, led by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, entered the match as favorites but faced a resilient Galatasaray side determined to make a statement on the European stage.

The first leg at Old Trafford saw United take an early lead, but Galatasaray’s tenacity and tactical discipline turned the tide, resulting in a 3-3 draw.

However, it was the return leg in Istanbul that made Impression on both clubs’ histories. The hostile environment at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, combined with incidents of violence and intimidation, created a volatile atmosphere.

United players encountered assaults from police, attacks from fans, and a daunting wall of sound from Turkish supporters.

Despite their best efforts, United surrendered to Galatasaray’s tactical acumen, crashing out of the tournament on away goals.

The aftermath of the match saw tensions increase further, with allegations of misconduct and clashes between players and authorities.

The bitter memories of that night in Istanbul lingered in the minds of both supporters, fueling the rivalry between Galatasaray and Manchester United.

Since that fateful encounter, following meetings between the two clubs have carried the weight of history and expectation.

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How Many Times Have Manchester United Played Galatasaray?

“Manchester United has played against Galatasaray a total of eight times in competitive matches. The encounters between these two teams have taken place in the UEFA Champions League across different years.

The first match was held on October 20, 1993, where the outcome was a draw with a score of 3-3. This was followed by another draw on November 3, 1993, with a score of 0-0. The teams met again on September 28, 1994, resulting in another draw, this time with a score of 0-0.

However, Manchester United secured a victory on December 7, 1994, 4-0. The teams then had a gap of several years before facing each other again in the UEFA Champions League on September 19, 2012, where Manchester United won with a score of 1-0.

However, Galatasaray managed to secure a victory in the following match on November 20, 2012, with a score of 1-0.

The most recent meeting was on October 3, 2023, which resulted in a win for Galatasaray with a score of 3-2, and on November 29, 2023, which ended in a draw with a score of 3-3.

These matches show the history of competitive play between Manchester United and Galatasaray in European football competitions.”