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Brazil team
Brazil in the World Cups
. History of the Brazilian team in the Cups.
Brazil Team blog. Recent News.
Ronaldinho. The greatest player in the world today.

Brazil Championship 2005

Statistics - Brazilian football

Football (or soccer, for Americans) is the favorite sport in Brazil.
Football was introduced in Brazil by an English sportsman, Charles Miller. Because all it takes for people to play football is a somewhat large free plain area (of which there is plenty in Brazil) and any kind of round object which can be kicked around (which can be something as cheap as a sock stuffed with rags), the game had a quick widespread in the country.

Football in Brazil is administered by Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF).
It's up to CBF to nominate the coach of the Brazilian national team; CBF negotiates with teams when a player is summoned to play by Brazil; it's the CBF badge which appears in the Brazilian uniform.
CBF is a private entity; professional football teams which follow the rules foreseen in CBF estatute can join the entity, and by doing so they oblige themselves to follow CBF rules. This situation is very different from Europe, where the teams are organized in Leagues, and those leagues (i.e., the teams) set the rules.
Visit the sites below to read more about CBF.

Brasil Futebol Institutional site. Information on History, mission, past glories, etc.
CBF News News site. Recent information about Brazilian football.
Read also:
Brazil to play in Haiti
Brazil wins America Cup 2004

The Championships
A typical season for the major Brazilian teams is like that:
- State championship, about three months a year;
- the best teams of each State participate in the National Championship, the most important tournament in Brazil; until 2002, the rules were complicated (Santos finished eighth in the qualifyings, and ended up as champion); in 2003, following the European championships, there was just a round robin system, the team with most points is the champion (Cruzeiro was the champion, with a lead of six points over Santos, the runner up; interesting to notice that Cruzeiro won both matches against Santos: had Santos won only one of the matches, and there would be a tie); in 2004, the system will be repeated
Read also:
The 2004 Brazilian Championship
The 2004 Brazilian Championship - Final Results
- almost every Brazilian team has a chance to play the Copa do Brasil (Brazil Cup); after every round, only the winner goes on; matches are played simultaneously to the State and National championships
Read also:
Santo Andre wins the Copa do Brasil 2004
- a few other short tournaments (Sao Paulo against Rio, Minas against Rio Grande do Sul, Northeast Cup) are set up just to keep teams busy
- the winners of the above mentioned championships participate in the Libertadores da America tournament, along with champions from South America (and Mexico); the winner of Libertadores goes to Tokyo, for a match against the European champion
Read also:
Brazilian teams eliminated from Libertadores 2004

Most important teams
The most popular teams are in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul also have strong teams. Every state usually have at least two popular teams, which divide the fans; teams from these states do win important championships from time to time, but most tournaments are won by the larger teams.
The links below lead to the official sites of the largest Brazilian teams. Most sites mention past achievements, recent news and future matches. Some sites have a heavier commercial tone.
There are many other sites, maintained by fans, which focus on sentimental aspects of each team. A query in a major search engine is suggested.
Sao Paulo
Corinthians The most popular team in Sao Paulo, and the second in Brazil.
Palmeiras A team founded by Italians immigrants in Sao Paulo; during the war, the name and colours of the team (which used to remind Italia) were changed. Palmeiras played the in the Second Division in 2003, but earned its way back to First Division in 2004.
Santos This is the only team where Pele played professionally; it is not that strong today, but still is an important player (Santos was national champion in 2002).
Sao Paulo This team was two times world champion, in the 1990s; the biggest private stadium in Brazil, Morumbi, belongs to Sao Paulo (Maracana is bigger, but it belongs to the government of Rio de Janeiro).
Portuguesa Supported mostly by the Portuguese community in Sao Paulo. It's going through a bad time: it played the Second Division in 2003, and will stay there in 2004.
Sao Caetano This small team first appeared in 1999, when, starting in the Third Division, it jumped straight to vice-championship; in 2000, as to prove it hadn't been a fluke, it was again vice-champion. Sao Caetano has been playing in the First Division the last years; because it is not a traditional team yet, the rivalry against other teams is incipient.
Rio de Janeiro
Flamengo Recent polls show that Flamengo is the most popular team in Brazil; all around the country, many people root first for a local team, then root for Flamengo.
Fluminense The eternal rival of Flamengo.
Vasco da Gama Formerly popular only among the Portuguese community, it's today the second most popular team in Rio.
Botafogo This team lived its golden age in the 1960s, when Garrincha was playing. Botafogo was in Second Division in 2003, but will be back to First Division in 2004.
Minas Gerais
Cruzeiro Current Brazilian champion (2003). Known for its excellent infra-structure. Ronaldo (currently in Real Madrid) started his career here.
Atletico More popular than Cruzeiro. Long time without an important national winning.
Rio Grande do Sul
Gremio Ex-world champion (1983).
Internacional Three times national champion in the 1970s and 80s, but not in the spotlights lately.
Visit this site for links to another well known
Brazilian football teams

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