The 5 Biggest Rivals of the Kaizer Chiefs

The Kaizer Chiefs are far and away the most popular football team in South Africa, and with fame comes a lot of ire. Just like the Dallas Cowboys in the United States or Manchester United in England, there are a lot of other teams that want their shot at the most popular. As a result, the Chiefs have amassed many rivals throughout the club’s history.

Of those rivalries, which ones are the fiercest? Let’s take a look at the five clubs that Chiefs fans want to see their team beat every time with little regard to running up the score.

Moroka Swallows

The Moroka Swallows Football Club is the second-oldest team on the list, having been founded in 1947. The Birds haven’t experienced a lot of top-level success, but have plenty of notable matches against Kaizer Chiefs. Some of the highlights for Moroka Swallows include winning the South African Soccer League in 1965, then having a run of success in the 1980s and 1990s when they won the Mainstay Cup once and the Bob Save Super Bowl twice.

Surprisingly, these two clubs don’t meet as often as you might think. As of the 2022-23 season, the two clubs faced off just 22 times. The Chiefs took home 11 wins in those matches while the Swallows won five of their own, drawing in the other six. While it was a rivalry that was heavily in favor of the Chiefs for a while, Moroka has proved to be able to hold their own.

Bloemfontein Celtic

Founded the year prior to the Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic doesn’t play in a large venue, but the club has been able to find some success throughout its time despite relegations to the lower level. Celtic has undergone a few ownership changes during its history and has a few titles in the trophy case. This includes winning the 1985 Mainstay Cup, the 2005 MTN8 Cup, and the 2007 Telkom Charity Cup.

When Celtic is good, it tends to bring out the best in the Kaizer Chiefs. In the first 35 matches against one another, the Chiefs have come out on top in 15 of those matches, while Celtic won just five times. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though, as the clubs played to a draw another 15 times, showing that Celtic was able to at least hang around when up against top competition.

SuperSport United

By far the newest club on the list is Supersport United, which was founded in 1994 after the media company purchased Pretoria City. With a large corporate backing, SuperSport United was able to quickly find success and became a dominant force in the 2000s. During the decade, the club won the Premier Soccer League title for three consecutive years and also has several Nedbank Cup championships.

Despite being a newer club, the Chiefs have had plenty of matches played against them. In the first 29 matches in the head-to-head, SuperSport United has actually come out on top more often than the Chiefs with 11 wins against 10. The other eight matches resulted in draws, with SuperSport United holding a three-goal advantage.

Mamelodi Sundowns

In the same year (1970) that the Kaizer Chiefs were founded, the Mamelodi Sundowns made their debut. The club was originally founded by a group of local young players, and quickly grew into a professional organization that turned into a powerhouse during the late 1990s. Since 1998, the Mamelodi Sundowns have won the Premier Soccer League title more than a dozen times, while also finishing in second place several times. All in all, they have more titles than any other South African team since rising to the highest level in the 1990s.

Mamelodi has gotten the best of the Chiefs throughout the rivalry’s history, holding a slight edge in the win department. However, there have been some big wins for the Chiefs, including handing Mamelodi its only loss during the 2020-21 season.

Orlando Pirates

Despite battling the Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the table seemingly almost every year, no other club will replace the Orlando Pirates in terms of Kaizer Chiefs rivals. The club was founded in 1937 as Orlando Boys Club, making them the oldest club on the list by a wide margin. The heyday for the Orlando Pirates came in the 2000s and 2010s, with the club winning four Premier Soccer League titles in 12 years while coming in second place four times during that span.

The Pirates are also the most formidable foe for the Kaizer Chiefs. Through the first 57 matches that the two clubs played against one another, 19 of them ended in a draw. The Chiefs have a slight edge in the win total, earning 21 compared to 17 for the Pirates. However, the Pirates were able to score more goals in the rivalry, so both sides have some bragging rights in their favor.

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