Clásico Paisa


The Clásico Paisa

El Clasico Paisa is the name for the rivalry between the teams of Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellín. They share the Atanasio Girardot Stadium, with a capacity of over 40,000, it is considered to be the most important derby in Colombia, as well as one of the most important in South America and the world. All while being recognized by FIFA as a ‘classic’ match-up.

The Clasico Paisa has become such a sports phenomenon that even ESPN has made documentaries about it. In the series “Capitales del Futbol” (Football Capitals) ESPN goes behind the scenes of what it means to have a Clasico in Medellin, this is one of the best documentaries by ESPN about Atletico Nacional, there are other great ones like The Two Escobars as well that are worth watching.

Commonly, the two teams are among the most successful teams in Categoría Primera A, with Atlético Nacional among the most successful in Colombia by domestic and international titles, compared to Independiente Medellín who in over 100 years of existence has not yet acquired its first International title.

Out of the two teams, Atlético Nacional is not only the team with the most league Cups won but is also the only one that has participated in all of the country’s premier football tournaments since it was founded in 1948.

Deportivo Independiente Medellin in the other hand was demoted from the league’s first division on three separate occasions, they were not part of the 1952, 1953 and 1958 Colombian Soccer League; Then from 1970 to 1972 they were force to drop out again because of economic turbulence, for the 1971 tournament they were replaced by another team called Oro Negro.


Historic wise, The Clásico Paisa has being mainly controlled by Atlético Nacional, who has adquired the most victories. The first match between the two was played on September 12, 1948 when Atletico Nacional was known as Atletico Municipal. The top goalscorer of the derby is Víctor Aristizábal, who has scored over 300 goals in his playing years with Atlético Nacional.

The most goals scored in the derby in its registered order were: November 4, 1976, Atlético Nacional 6 – 0 Independiente Medellín; December 9, 1987, Independiente Medellín 1 – 6 Atlético Nacional, and the infamous score by Atlético Nacional 7 – 2 on July 4, 1959.

The Fans

Both teams have an incredible fan base, being a Hincha as they like to be called in spanish has become a part of the Paisa and Colombia culture, both sides have very organized fan bases or Barras as they like to call them selves in spanish, the two main ones are: Los Del Sur for Atletico Nacional and Resistensia Norte for Deportivo Independiente Medellin.

Both of this fan bases have established formal and organized groups to the point were they own their own brand and have stores in some of the top Malls in the city.

The biggest fan base out of the two and out of all the fan bases in Colombia is Los Del Sur, they are in every city of Colombia thus giving the slogan of “The Country’s Team” to Atletico Nacional who is known to fill stadiums all over the country, The Campin Stadium in Bogota is referred to as Atletico Nacional’s second home since thats were they won the Copa Libertadores of America which is the biggest title in the continent.


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