Ligová fotbalová asociaceChance Liga

The Prague Derby

The Prague S Derby is the biggest football match in Czech history. The rivalry between these clubs was established right after the first duel and the revoked victory of Sparta. Since then, almost three hundred emotionally tense battles have been played.

Sparta needs Slavia and vice versa. The competitive struggle and the undying rivalry between the two most successful clubs in Czech history are the driving force of our number 1 sport. Ever since football's prehistory, Prague's "S" have been enemies to the death.

The first dispute was ignited during the first derby on 29 March 1896 at Císařská meadow. The referee Josef Rössler-Ořovský concedes the winning goal to Sparta, which, however, according to the rules of the time, must be approved by both captains after the final whistle. And the Slavic captain is reluctant. The goal is therefore called back and the match ends goalless. After the argument, both clubs feel aggrieved and turn their backs on each other. The goodwill truce and mutual visits to each other's sporting venues do not last long. The friendly newspapers also add fuel to the fire. In 1904, through the weekly Sportovní svět, published by its chairman Otakar Petřík, Sparta publicly challenged Slavia to a match. Over the past eight years, it has played only its reserves. Now it finally wants to play the A team. Nothing happens, so the captain Antonín Suchý writes in an open letter. The reaction of Slavia is not long in coming: "No answer is also an answer! What you think of us is a matter of indifference to us!" And the Cold War is here. In the end, the offended camps have not once come up against each other for 11 long years. Yet in that time they were practically neighbors on Letna Street. Slavia's stadium is only 200 steps away from Spartan's on the plain. They are close on the map, but otherwise they are separated by billions of light years. The verbal skirmishes and backstage tussles colorfully described in various media have lasted almost three decades. Even on the field, the feuding adversaries give each other nothing. The record of the toughest derby in history, in September 1931, is appalling: 50 fouls, five sprains, a concussion and a broken leg, for which the Sešivans filed and then withdrew a criminal complaint. And yet, ironically, the proceeds of this ruthless cut of 158,000 crowns go to the Injury Fund.

It was not until 1932 that the Prague “S”made peace. The end of the frog war is confirmed by a written agreement signed on behalf of Sparta by Major Tesar and Dr. Hartmann: "This finally settles the misunderstanding between the two clubs which led to the breaking off of friendly relations.”

In an Italian marriage, the plates stop flying. After World War II, the great rivals even borrowed each other's playgrounds. During the reconstruction of Letná in the 1960s, Sparta played the European Champions Cup with Real Madrid in Eden, for example. That doesn't change the fact that triumph in the most watched domestic match is usually the sweetest and richly compensates for any other stumbles. Just like in April 1988, when Václav Ježek's sovereign team rushed to defend and ran over Slavia like a steamroller. Although Jozef Chovanec gives away a penalty early on and there is a long wait for a goal, the final half hour sees an unprecedented whirlwind. Tomáš Skuhravý scores twice, his teammate Stanislav Griga scores twice and Vítězslav Lavička adds one goal. Five goals in 28 minutes! The Slavs and the renowned Spartan-killer Pavel Rehak are swept off the face of the earth and the title is within reach.
It is even better if you win the championship trophy in a derby with Sšívany in a direct duel in the decisive match of the whole season in front of the crowded Letná stands and in an electrifying atmosphere. Richard Genzer and Michal Suchánek devise an invitation to a Kopečkovice-style match. And it's not just their boys Tomas Rosicky and Horst Siegl who turn it up so much that the Slavs regret they didn't stay at home for the Tele Tele. The Reds respond to Richard Dostalek's goal with a twelve-minute hurricane and it's 3:1. Tomáš Rosický's baby solo and Jiří Novotný's captain's goal are all immortal visual monuments of this derby, which is etched in the memory of everyone present. Sparta beat Slavia 5-1 and can celebrate the title right after the final whistle on the pitch. And then the golden boys get on the championship tram and go to enjoy this extraordinary triumph for themselves.