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Brazilian Football - Championship 2004

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Added Dec. 2004: Santos was the Champion 2004

2005 Championship

The Brazilian Championship 2004 will last from April through December.
The most important Brazilian teams were divided in two groups: Serie A and Serie B, with 24 teams in each Serie. The elite teams will be in Serie A, or First Division; four teams will move down from Serie A to B in 2005, and only two teams will move up from B to A. All teams earned their place in the respective series (there is also a Serie C, with many more teams trying to get a promotion to Serie B), without political invitations (common in the past); in 2004, Palmeiras and Botafogo won the Serie B, whereas Sport and Bahia were the worst performers in Serie A; one remarkable consequence is that the Brazilian northeast has only one team in Serie A (Vitoria), way below the proportion of the Brazilian population that lives in the region.

Serie A
Serie A will have the following teams: Atletico Mineiro (MG), Atletico Paranaense (PR), Botafogo (RJ), Criciuma (SC), Corinthians (SP), Coritiba (PR), Cruzeiro (MG), Figueirense (SC), Flamengo (RJ), Fluminense (RJ), Goias (GO), Gremio (RS), Guarani (SP), Internacional (RS), Juventude (RS), Palmeiras (SP), Parana (PR), Paysandu (PA), Ponte Preta (SP), Santos (SP), Sao Caetano (SP), Sao Paulo (SP), Vasco da Gama (RJ) and Vitoria (BA).
The letters between parenthesis refer to the usual acronyms for the
Brazilian States.
First round scheduled for April 21st, last round scheduled for December 19th.
All teams play against each other twice, once at home, once as visitor. After the last round, the team with more points is the Champion (tie breaking criteria: most wins along the tournament, goals balance, goals scored, direct match and drawing), and the *four* teams with least points are moved to Serie B in 2005. The final positioning also defines the teams which will participate of other tournaments (for example, the top five teams are qualified to the Libertadores de America).

Serie B
Serie B will have the following teams: Avai (SC), America (MG), America (RN), Anapolina (GO), Bahia (BA), Brasiliense (DF), Caxias (RS), Ceara (CE), CRB (AL), Fortaleza (CE), Ituano (SP), Joinville (SC), Londrina (PR), Marilia (SP), Mogi-Mirim (SP), Nautico (PE), Paulista (SP), Portuguesa (SP), Remo (PA), Santa Cruz (PE), Santo Andre (SP), Sao Raimundo (AM), Sport (PE) and Vila Nova (GO).
First round onn April 23rd, last round on December 11th.
Similarly to Serie A, all teams play in round robin system; however, Serie B will have a play-off with the top eight teams. The champion and vice-champion of Serie B will move up to Serie A in 2005; six teams will move down to Serie C. As consequence, there will be two teams less in Serie A in 2005, and four teams less in Serie B.

Check out latest results and classification table

Important players.
As itīs widely known, many Brazilian players are abroad (mostly in traditional European teams, but more and more not-so-famous players are playing in Japan, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East).
Below, a list of some important players of the Brazilian Championship 2004: goalkeeper Marcos is still in Palmeiras; Cruzeiro has Alex, the best player of last season; Santos has Diego, Robinho and Renato, all of which already played with the National team; Flamengo has Felipe (used to play in left-defensive, but now plays in middle-field); Fluminense has Romario (aged 38, just recently hit the 900 goals mark); Sao Paulo has Luis Fabiano (recent article in a Brazilian magazine reported that Sao Paulo regreted having released Kaka for just US$ 3.5 million, last year); Corinthians counts on Gil (a young who alternates highs and lows); Botafogo brought Luizao back to Brazil (he spent a season in Europe after playing in the 2002 Cup).
Of the above mentioned, Marcos, Felipe and Renato seem to have the best chances to play with the Brazilian team.

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