Tribal Football Rivalries – Borussia Dortmund Vs FC Schalke 04 (Revierderby)

The “Revierderby” is a 91 year-old derby between German teams Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

The derby is named after the Ruhr region, where both teams are situated. Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen are separated by just 25 kilometres. VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg and Rot-Weiss Essen are also based in the region. When games between these three teams take place, the term of the derby is demoted to the ‘Small Revierderby’.

This just emphasises the mammoth fixture between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, which has gone onto be the biggest and most historic local rivalries in German football. Schalke dominated the pre-Bundesliga era, whereas Borussia Dortmund have been superior in the Bundesliga era.


Schalke have the most wins in the head-to-head record, with 58 victories, compared to Dortmund’s 51 wins. They also won the first derby, which took place in May 1925, finishing as 4-2 winners.

Borussia Dortmund failed to beat Schalke in their first 17 attempts, with the royal blues winning 16 of them. This also included a 10-0 win for Schalke, which is the record winning margin in the Revierderby, in October 1940.

The yellow and blacks earned their first win over Schalke with a 1-0 victory in November 1943. This signalled a reverse in fortune for Dortmund as they went onto record 15 wins, compared to Schalke’s 7 between 1947-1963.

Both teams had periods without playing each other due to relegation from the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund were relegated in 1972 and returned in 1975 and Schalke were relegated in 1988 and returned in 1991.

Schalke marked their return in the Revierderby with a famous 5-2 winning score line in August 1991. Dortmund went onto seek revenge when Schalke lost the title due to a 2-0 Dortmund win in May 2007.

Borussia Dortmund made one of the most historic comebacks in the Revierderby’s history when they came from three goals behind to draw 3-3 in 2008. A brace from Frei and an opener from Subotic in the last 23 minutes ensured Dortmund of the point.

Borussia Dortmund have won 8 German league titles, whereas Schalke have won 7 titles. All of Schalke’s league titles were in the old German Championship and the royal blues have never won the Bundesliga. BVB have been more dominant in the Bundesliga era, winning 5 league titles, including two consecutive titles in 2011 and 2012.

Tribal History

Both teams have roots in the area’s foundries, furnaces and mines with both teams having a large amount of Polish immigrant players in the early stages of their existence. Gelsenkirchen were known for their mining industry, whereas Dortmund were known for making steel and coal.

Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen contribute massively to the German economy and local pride is seriously at stake when both sides meet in the Revierderby. True supporters find it difficult to identify each team by their actual locations. Schalke speak of Ludenscheid-Nord when referring to Borussia Dortmund and the BVB faithful refer to Schalke as Herne-West.

The rivalry also intensified when several Schalke players were banned for taking bribes. The match fixing scandal in 1971 led to Klaus Fischer, Klaus Fichtel and Reinhard Libuda being given football bans. Borussia Dortmund supporters still mock Schalke calling them FC Perjury.

Schalke drew so many of their players from the coal-mine factories in Gelsenkirchen. Whereas Dortmund were founded by a group of rebellious young men, who were dissatisfied with church-sponsored Trinity Youth, which was dictated by the local parish priest.

Borussia Dortmund originally wore the colours of FC Schalke when their kit had blue and white stripes. However, they changed their strip to the familiar kits colours of yellow.

Schalke’s establishment was much more complex to that of Borussia Dortmund. They were founded in 1904 as Westfalia Schalke by a group of high school students and first wore the colours of yellow and black.

They were unable to gain admittance to the Westdeutscher Spievlerband and merged with gymnastics club Schalker Turnverein 1877 , in order to boost their chances of gaining entry. They were called Turn-und Sportverein Schalke 1877 but became an independent club in 1924, when they parted companies with the gymnastics club to be called FC Schalke 04.

Head-to-Head Record

Teams Wins Draws Goals
Schalke 04 58


40 282
Borussia Dortmund 51 40 229

Schalke have the best head-to-head record in the Revierderby, winning 58 games compared to Dortmund’s 51 victories. The scores have ended level on 40 occasions and Schalke have scored 282 goals, whereas Dortmund are lagging behind with 229 goals.

Schalke dominated the early stages of the Revierderby with a 17-match unbeaten run, which included 16 wins over their fiercest local rivals. It took Borussia Dortmund until 1943 to earn their first win against the royal blues.

The royal blues dominated the pre-Bundesliga era, with 7 German Championships. Dortmund only won 3 league titles and were second to their rivals from Gelsenkirchen.

Borussia Dortmund have dominated the Bundesliga era, winning 5 titles, including 2 consecutive title winning years in 2011 and 2012. They also won the Champions League in the 1996/97 season, whereas Schalke won the UEFA Cup in the same year.

Click these links for more information…

Wikipedia – Borussia Dortmund Vs FC Schalke

World Soccer – Borussia Dortmund Vs FC Schalke

FourFourTwo – Borussia Dortmund Vs Schalke

Vavel – The Mother of all Derbies

Outside of the Boot – Schalke 04 Vs Borussia Dortmund





George Bennett

My name is George Bennett, I'm 19-years-old and I'm the founder and administrator for GB Articles Football Blog. I've been writing from the age of 12-years-old and decided to create my own blog to spread my passion for the beautiful game. The blog was created in May 2016 and I've began to assemble a talented group of writers since April 2017. I mainly cover the Premier League, although I also base some reports on the Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga and more!

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