Over time, rivalries have existed between countries, individuals, and even major companies. Unfortunately, some of these clashes have caused loss of lives, money, and freedom. Today, we will highlight some of the most intense and memorable ones.

1. France vs. England

If you look at the type of friendship France and England have today, you will not believe they once fought for 700 years. Popularly known as the Anglo-French wars, the battles started in the 12th century, with the major cause of concern being the ownership of Normandy, which was initially part of northern France.

France and England participated in the Hundred Years’ War, which lasted for 116 years, during which most of France was controlled by England. However, by the mid-1400s, France had reclaimed most of its cities. Interestingly, their rivalry ended in the 19th century, just in time for the two countries to pair and fight for the same side in the World Wars.

2. Russia and Poland

Russia and Poland’s rivalry has lasted for 1000 years. It all started in the 10th century when the leaders of the two nations were at loggerheads with each other. The rivalry is part of the reason why Russia was invaded several times during the Time of Troubles, when it was undergoing lots of challenges.

Six hundred years later, after Russia had regained its strength, they started attacking Poland. From 1772 to 1795, Russia occupied a significant portion of Poland, almost making the entire country extinct. Poland was, however, able to break free from Russia in 1991. The relationship between the two countries remains strained to date.

3. The Hatfields and McCoys

The Hatfields and McCoys families had one of the most intense rivalries in American history, lasting for 100 years. There has been a lot of speculation on what started this rivalry, with most sources claiming it was because Randolph McCoy stole a razorback hog from the Hatfields. Others claim it’s because Johnse Hatfield impregnated Randolph’s daughter.

Whichever the case, this feud caused the deaths of 20 people and several undocumented ones. The good news, however, is that the McCoys and Hatfields squashed their rivalry and even appeared on an episode of Family Feud.

4. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

There has never been a more intense rivalry for boxing fans than the one between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Being two of the best boxers of all time, Joe and Ali were friends before the first fight in 1971, which Frazier won. Ali started the rivalry when he said Joe Frazier was against the civil rights campaigns supported by the African American community.

Before their rematch in 1973, Ali, the king of psychological warfare and an eloquent speaker, had much to say about Frazier, which only increased their rivalry. Joe and Ali fought for 14 rounds in a fight dubbed Thriller in Manila. Ali won by a technical knockout.

5. Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov

It’s been a few years since Conor fought Khabib, but their rivalry remains fresh in the minds of most UFC fans. Like Frazier and Ali, Connor and Khabib were once friends. They even posted a picture in 2014 after the Conor and Poirier match. At the time, Khabib was undefeated after 22 matches, making him a potential target for Conor McGregor.

It didn’t take long before Conor McGregor started bad-mouthing Khabib on social media. Things escalated quickly when Khabib attacked Artem Lobov, Conor’s training partner. Upon learning this, Conor McGregor took a flight with his Irish friends and went straight to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. He threw a seat on the bus Khabib was on.

Before and after the Conor vs Khabib fight, there was a lot of drama. After Khabib won, he got out of the ring and attacked Dillion Danis, Conor’s teammate. Some of Khabib’s boys started throwing punches at the already-defeated Conor.

6. United States and the Soviet Union

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States has played a crucial role in modern society. Fought by the US and Soviet Union, this war started in 1945 in what was a battle for power and control. The Soviet Union tried to spread communism and socialism after World War II. In contrast, the US was on a campaign to popularize capitalism and democracy.

In this war, the two countries would fund and support proxy wars such as the Vietnam War. Even though there were no direct attacks, the Cold War became so serious that the two threatened to use nuclear weapons. There were a couple of near misses.

Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union discovered it was impossible to defeat the United States regarding finances and military supremacy. However, when you mention the United States and Russia in the same sentence, everyone pauses for a moment – the two still don’t see eye to eye.

7. Coca-Cola vs Pepsi

If there are two brands that have had a feud for a long time, it must be Coca-Cola and Pepsi. These two companies have been at each other’s throats since they were invented. From then on, they have engaged in competitive and aggressive marketing techniques such as using celebrity endorsements, changing logos, changing recipes, and even airing ads mocking each other. Funny thing, from 1922 to 1933, Coca-Cola had three chances to buy the Pepsi Company, but the offers were declined.

8. Apple and Samsung

This feud started when Samsung released its first smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S, in 2009, two years after the release of the first iPhone. Apple didn’t take this lightly, so a rivalry ensued. At the time, reports indicated that Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, was infuriated about this move because he thought Apple would dominate the smartphone industry.

In 2011, Apple claimed that Samsung had copied some of its features. Samsung retaliated with another lawsuit that kickstarted a legal battle. While Apple gets more sales, Samsung always releases new phones at a quicker rate. Therefore, the competition remains high.

9. Real Madrid and Barcelona

On paper, the El Classico may seem like a football-only rivalry, but the rivalry extends deeper than one may think. During the Spanish Civil War that lasted from 1936 to 1939, there was a lot of political tension between these two cities: Madrid and Barcelona. So even after the war ended, supporting Barcelona or Real Madrid showed which political side one supported or believed in.

During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona, also known as Catalonia, supported the Spanish, whereas Madrid was left in the opposition. This rivalry was intensified by the 1943 Copa del Generalisimo when Barcelona players were booed during the second leg match. To make it worse, high-ranking military officers threatened some players, too. Soon after, Barcelona fans were banned from traveling to Madrid.

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Last Update: May 27, 2024