Asia's Biggest Rivalries: Shanghai Shenhua vs Shanghai SIPG, China

We kick-off our new series with one of the newer match-ups: the Shanghai Derby between Shenhua and SIPG. They only met for the first time four years ago, but it has quickly developed into a fierce rivalry that has even spread beyond Chinese shores...

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

First meeting

April 28, 2013: Shanghai Shenhua 2 Shanghai SIPG 1

Shanghai Shenhua

Founded: 1951

Biggest achievement: Finishing second eight times in the space of 12 seasons and then having their sole league title – won in 2003 – removed from the history books after match-fixing crimes. It is something only Shanghai Shenhua could do.

Key Figures:

Giovanni Moreno: Forget Carlos Tevez, fellow South American Moreno is the beating heart of the team and has been for five years. The Colombian playmaker is one of the most successful and popular imports in the history of the Chinese Super League.

Didier Drogba: It’s not his fault, but Drogba's arrival in 2012, along with Nicolas Anelka, represented that disappointing period in the club’s history. What should have been a triumph ended in disaster as both swiftly departed amid claims of not receiving their salaries – classic Shenhua.

Shanghai SIPG

Founded: 2005

Biggest achievement: Runner-up in 2015. Under Sven Goran Eriksson, SIPG pushed Guangzhou Evergande all the way and had they won at home to the all-conquering champions with just a few weeks remaining in the season, would surely have lifted the title. Instead they finished two points short.

Drogba's Shanghai stay lasted less than a year

Key Figures:

Dario Conca: The Argentine was the first world-class import to head to China in 2011, helping Guangzhou win titles in China and Asia. The playmaker then surprisingly turned up in Shanghai in 2015 and, in the words of one coach, “just made everything better: games, training, the other players – everything”. He only stayed for two seasons, but his impact was lasting.

Hulk: Expensive – US$60 million (S$83.6 million) last summer seemed a lot – but explosive. He has already shown a goalscoring touch and a high work ethic and he could make the difference in 2017.

[UP NEXT: Three key clashes, including a sea of red cards]