Football Rivalries in Stockholm

Football Rivalries in Stockholm

Discover the excitement of attending a football match in Stockholm and watch teams AIK, Hammarby, and Djurgården battle it out.

Photo by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

In 2018, I went to my first football match since moving to Sweden—AIK vs. Djurgården—at Friends Arena.

After being to countless Manchester and West Midlands derbies (games between two rivals of close geographical proximity are usually called a derby) in England, my expectations for the Stockholm football equivalent were not exactly sky high.

However, what I got was something that I had never seen before. There was entertainment on the pitch and no shortage of rivalry between the fans, players, and managers on display.

Many Stockholm football fans clash at derbies.

Djurgården fans call themselves the Djurgårdare and claim the Östermalm district of Stockholm as their home territory. AIK is located in the northern part of the city in Solna, and Hammarby is in the sout of Stockholm in Södermalm.

Football in Stockholm | Slow Travel Stockholm
Photo credit: Hammarby Fotboll

Hammarby vs. AIK

Hammarby is often referred to as the Swedish West Ham United. Marcus, a life-long Hammarby fan, said, “The resemblance has always been there when it comes to the way the teams play the game, but it’s the support from the fans that differs. We are so passionate about our team and are willing to support our team through hard times. We are deserving of something good to happen.”

Bajen (Hammarby’s nickname) could be looking to change their losing streak and possibly win their first Allsvenskan since 2001. They currently sit in second place trailing their Stockholm rivals AIK by five points. It’s shaping up to be a gripping end to the season, especially considering that the two sides meet in February.

The Allsvenskan will start on Sunday, March 31 and will end on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Click here for the full schedule.

Football in Stockholm | Slow Travel Stockholm
Photo Credit: AIK Fotball

AIK vs. Djurgärden

The derbies keep coming thick and fast for AIK as they travel to the Tele2 arena to face off against Djurgården. The Stockholm football rivalry will only be fiercer as AIK wants to finish with an undefeated season. The Djurgården home team will be looking to ensure that doesn’t happen.

There is a historic rivalry between AIK and Djurgården. AIK holds the better record over their rivals, winning 63 of their 170 meetings but Djurgården can always claim that they won the first game between the teams, beating AIK 2-0 in 1905.

Football in Stockholm | Slow Travel Stockholm
Photo credit: Sportlovin Djurgården Fotboll

Djurgården vs. Hammarby

The Djurgården-Hammarby rivalry isn’t quite as intense, but due to the close proximity of the teams, the fans for each team are devoted.

In 2013, the relationship between Djurgården and Hammarby grew even more complex when both clubs moved to the newly constructed Tele2 Arena.

In 2015, Hammarby returned to Allsvenskan after a five-year absence, and the two teams have played on eight occasions with Djurgården fans blaming their poor record on a derby curse (derbyspöket).

Derby losses are tough

As a fan, you never want to lose to your biggest rival.

Speaking to Marcus following a painful defeat, he said, “This match is the match we never like to lose. I would say it’s the biggest derby in Sweden because we share the same home stadium and the opposing fans are often family or close friends so if you lose, you will hear about it until we play each other again.”

Stockholm football is fun because of the fans

Swedish football finally won me over on the afternoon that I went to see the derby. The closeness of the players and fans is something that you just don’t witness at football matches in every country.

Sweden really excels at bringing the community of the fans together with the players on the team. If you’ve never been to a Swedish football match, I highly recommend it.

Additional links for football in Stockholm

AIK Football Club’s website
Hammarby Football Club’s website
Djurgården Football Club’s website

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Author: Alex Dudley

Born in England, Alex Dudley has now found that his heart lies in Sweden. He loves fika and has came to love the snow over the winter months. He has worked for regional magazines in England, as well as travel magazines in Sweden and the USA. You can see his personal blog here.

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