CR Vasco da Gama
|Full name||Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama|
Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill) Trem Bala da Colina (Bullet train of the hill)Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express)
|Founded||August 21, 1898|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Head coach||Paulo Autuori|
|League||Campeonato Brasileiro Série A|
Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvaʃku dɐ ˈɡɐ̃mɐ], Vasco da Gama Rowing Club), usually known as Vasco da Gama, is a famous and traditional Brazilian multisports club from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was founded on August 21, 1898 (although the football department started on November 5, 1915), by Portuguese immigrants, and it is still traditionally supported by the Portuguese community of Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the most popular clubs in Brazil, with almost 20 million supporters.
Its statute defines the club as a "sportive, recreative, educational, assistant and philanthropic non-profit organization of public utility".
Their home stadium is São Januário, with a capacity of 25,000, the third biggest in Rio de Janeiro (after Maracanã and Engenhão), but some matches (especially the city derbies) are played at the Maracanã (capacity of about 80,000). They play in black shirts with a white diagonal sash that contains a Cross pattée (famously, though mistakenly, identified as a Maltese cross), black shorts and black socks.
In the late 19th century rowing was the most important sport in Rio de Janeiro. At this time, four young men – Henrique Ferreira Monteiro, Luís Antônio Rodrigues, José Alexandre d'Avelar Rodrigues and Manuel Teixeira de Souza Júnior – who did not want to travel to Niterói to row with the boats of Gragoatá Club decided to found a rowing club.
On August 21, 1898 in a room of the Sons of Talma Dramatic Society, with 62 members (mostly Portuguese immigrants), the Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Rowing Club) was born.
Inspired by the celebrations of the 4th centenary of the first sail from Europe to India, the founders chose the name of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama to baptise the new club.
Football was included only with the fusion with Lusitania Clube, other mostly Portuguese immigrants club. Beginning in the smaller leagues, Vasco became champion of the league B in 1922 and ascend to league A. In its first championship in League A – in 1923, Vasco became champion with a team formed by whites, blacks and "mulattos" players of different social classes.
Fight and victory against racism 
Because of that, in 1924 Vasco da Gama was pressured by the Metropolitan League to ban some players that were not considered adequate to play in the aristocratic League, notably because they were black, mulato and/or poor. After the negative response of Vasco, the big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco to participate unless it complied with the racist demand.
The former President of Vasco, José Augusto Prestes answered with a letter that became known as the Historic Answer (resposta histórica), which revolutionized the practice of sports in Brazil. After a few years, the racism barriers fell. Vasco da Gama had led the move toward a more inclusive soccer culture, forward-thinking not employed by leaders from Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo.
However, the first club to accept a black player was not Vasco, but Bangu in 1905, with Francisco Carregal. This was documented by Mário Filho and researcher Carlos Molinari, including photographs and other evidence, but Vasco was really the first Club to fight for the inclusion of black players and poor in Brazilian football, and perhaps to the entire world.
The Victory Express and the South American Club championship 
Between 1947 and 1952, the club was nicknamed Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express), as Vasco won several competitions in that period, such as the Rio de Janeiro championship in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952, and the South American Club Championship in 1948. Players such as Ademir, Moacyr Barbosa, Bellini and Ipojucan defended Vasco's colors during that period.
1998 Copa Libertadores 
After winning the Campeonato Brasileiro in 1997, beating Palmeiras in the final, Vasco started its Projeto Tóquio, and invested US$ 10 million to win the 1998 Copa Libertadores. Vasco won the Copa Libertadores, beating Barcelona of Ecuador in the final.
The club would go on to play the Intercontinental Cup and Interamerican Cup losing both matches.
2008 Campeonato Brasileiro 
The team finished the championship in a disastrous 18th place and was relegated to the second division of the championship for the first time since its foundation, 110 years before. Up until the relegation, it was one of the only six clubs to have never been removed from the first division, along with Internacional, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Santos and São Paulo, though the last two (even they never played any of the lower divisions), didn't participate in the 1979 Brazilian Championship's 1st division, in order to avoid conflicts with Paulista Championship schedule.
2009 Campeonato Brasileiro 
After almost one year out of the first division, Vasco played the second division and on November 7, was promoted to the first division after a victory against Juventude in Maracanã stadium by the score of 2–1.
2011: the Redemption Year 
After failing to win the the Copa do Brasil, Vasco da Gama found success in 2011, lifting that year's trophy. Victory came against Coritiba in the 2011 Copa do Brasil final. Vasco came second in the 2011 Brazilian Série A, enjoying an excellent campaign. The club also ended the year as semifinalists in the Copa Sudamericana, a competition that saw the club defeat Palmeiras, Aurora and Universitario in historic fashion before being eliminated by Universidad de Chile, the other top two team in South America at the time. The season was dubbed the "Redemption Year of Vasco da Gama", with many lauding Vasco as one of Brazilian football's elite teams once again.
Other sports 
Although best known as a football, rowing and swimming club, Vasco da Gama is actually a comprehensive sports club. Its basketball section (twice Brazilian champion and twice South-American champion) produced current NBA player Nenê. The club is also the first Brazilian club to play against a NBA team. In 1999, the club played the McDonald's Championship final against San Antonio Spurs. Its rowing team is one of the best of Brazil. Its swimmers regularly represent Brazil in international competitions. And Vasco da Gama is present in many other sports.
Current squad 
- As of March 28, 2013, according to combined sources on the official website.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Coaching staff 
|Assistant Manager||Renê Weber|
|Director Manager||Ricardo Gomes|
|Director of Football||Renê Simões|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Carlos Germano|
|Fitness Coach||Juvenilson de Souza|
|Youth Team Manager||Sorato|
Last updated: January 9, 2013
Former managers 
- Champion: 1953
- Runners-up (1): 1998
- Runners-up (1):: 2000
South American 
- 1948 First Libertadores
- Runners-up (1): 2006
- Runners-up (1): 1965
- 1958, 1966*, 1999 (* shared)
- Runners-up (5): 1950, 1952, 1953, 1959, 2000
- 1923, 1924, 1929, 1934, 1936, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003
- Runners-up (25): 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1939, 1944, 1948, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001,2004
- Taça Guanabara : 11
- 1965, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
- Runners-up (10): 1973, 1982, 1985, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2012
- Taça Rio: 9
- 1984, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004
- Runners-up (8): 1978, 1987, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012
- Champions (1): 1992, 1993
- Torneios Início do Rio de Janeiro
- Champions (1): 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1958
- Torneios Municipais do Rio de Janeiro
- Champions (1): 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
- Torneios Relâmpagos do Rio de Janeiro
- Champions (1): 1944, 1946
- Taça Raul Guimarães
- Champions (1): 1996
- Taça José de Albuquerque
- Champions (1): 1972
- Troféu Pedro Novaes
- Champions (1): 1973
- Taça Oscar Wright da Silva
- Champions (1): 1973
- Taça Danilo Leal Carneiro
- Champions (1): 1976
- Taça Manoel do Nascimento Vargas Netto
- Champions (1): 1979
- Taça Gustavo de Carvalho
- Champions (1): 1980
- Taça Ney Cidade Palmeiro
- Champions (1): 1981
- Taça Brigadeiro Jerônimo Bastos
- Champions (1): 1998
- Torneio Erasmo Martins Pedro
- Champions (1): 1973
International Tournaments 
- Champions (1):1957
- Champions (1):1979
- Champions (3):1987, 1988, 1989
- Champions (1):1993
|Campeonato Brasileiro Série A|
|Campeonato Brasileiro Série B|
Top scorers 
|1. Roberto Dinamite (1970–79), (1980–89), (1990), (1992–93)||702|
|2. Romário (1985–88), (1999–02), (2005–06), (2007–08)||324|
|3. Ademir (1942–45), (1948–56)||301|
|4. Pinga (1953–61)||250|
|5. Russinho (1924–34)||225|
|- Ipojucan (1944–54)||225|
|7. Sabará (1952–64)||165|
|8. Vavá (1951–64)||150|
|9. Lelé (1943–48)||147|
|10. Maneca (1947–55)||137|
|11. Edmundo (1991–92), (1996–97), (1999–00), (2003–04), (2008)||136|
|12. Valdir Bigode (1992–94), (2001–03)||135|
Most goals in a season 
Vasco da Gama's stadium is Estádio São Januário, inaugurated in 1927, with a maximum capacity of 35.000 people. The National Championship games have a maximum capacity of 15.150 people, for security reasons.
Vasco's biggest rivals are from the same city: Fluminense, Botafogo and Flamengo, with the latter being its biggest rival. The games between Vasco and Flamengo ("Millions Derby") are the most watched in Brazil. The matches are usually played in the Maracanã, and reunite two of the biggest crowds of Rio de Janeiro.
Kit evolution 
Vasco da Gama is one of the oldest Brazilian clubs and has had several different kits in its history. Vasco da Gama's first kit, used in rowing, was created in 1898, and was completely black, with a left diagonal sash.
Vasco da Gama's first football kit, created in 1916, was completely black, and was easily identified because of the presence of a white tie and a belt.
In 1929, the club's kit was changed. The tie and the belt were removed. However, the kit remained all-black.
In the 1930s, the home kit's color was changed again. The kit became black with a white right diagonal sash.
In 1945, the kit's color was changed to white, and a black diagonal sash was introduced. The sash was introduced because the club's manager at the time, the Uruguayan Ondino Viera liked the sash used in his previous club's kit, River Plate, of Argentina, and adopted this pattern in Vasco da Gama's away kit. So, both kits had a right diagonal sash.
In 1988, the sash located on the back of the shirt was removed.
In 1998, the kit design was changed again. This kit became very similar to the 1945 one. However, a thin red line was placed around the sash.
Vasco has currently three kits. The home shirt's main color is black, with a white sash. The short and the socks are black. The away kit is similar to the home kit, but the main color is white, the sash is black, and the shorts and socks are white. In 2009–2010 the third kit was all white, with a red "cross of the Knights Templar". In 2010, the away kit changes to black in honor to the 1923's team, which gave up playing for having black players, which were not allowed to play with white players at that time. This was one of the most important steps in the club's history, the fight against racism and discrimination. The nowadays third kit brings the symbol of an open hand with "Respect & Equality" in the left chest, and "Democracy and Equality" in the shirt collar.
Logo and flag 
The eight stars on the badge and flag signify: 1- South American Club Championship: 1948; 2- Libertadores Cup: 1998; 3- Mercosur Cup: 2000; 4- Brazilian National Championship: 1974; 5- 1989; 6- 1997; 7- 2000; 8- The Unbeaten Championship of Earth-and-sea of 1945.
Vasco's official anthem was composed in 1918, by Joaquim Barros Ferreira da Silva, it was the club's first anthem. There is another official anthem, created in the 1930s, called Meu Pavilhão (meaning My Pavilion), which lyrics were composed by João de Freitas and music by Hernani Correia. This anthem replaced the previous one. The club's most popular anthem, however, is an unofficial anthem composed by Lamartine Babo in 1942.
Vasco da Gama is the second most supported football club in Rio de Janeiro, and varies between the fourth and fifth most supported in Brazil. The club's support is very diverse stretching across social class lines, however the core of most the Vasco da Gama support lies within the working class of the Northern Zone of Rio de Janeiro and Rio outskirt cities like Niterói. Vasco da Gama have significant support in other regions in Brazil notably the Northeastern and North regions as well as stongholds in southern Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and in Santa Catarina (in South Region). Vasco also have a huge support in Distrito Federal.
Vasco da Gama have many celebrity supporters, including Fátima Bernardes (journalist – TV Globo), Rodrigo Santoro (actor), Eri Johnson (actor), Marcos Palmeira (actor), Juliana Paes (actress), Sérgio Loroza (actor), Paulinho da Viola (singer), Roberto Carlos (singer), Erasmo Carlos (singer), Martinho da Vila (singer), Fernanda Abreu (singer), Viviane Araújo (model), Renata Santos (model), Sergio Cabral Filho (Rio de Janeiro governor), Eduardo Paes (Rio de Janeiro mayor), Nelson Piquet (Formula 1 former champion), amongst others.
Vasco da Gama's torcidas organizadas have a strong friendship with torcidas organizadas of Atlético Mineiro, Palmeiras, Grêmio and Bahia. This alliance, having the 25 year friendship of torcidas Força Jovem Vasco, Mancha Verde do Palmeiras and Galoucura do Atlético Mineiro, utilize the code name D.P.A. – Dedos Para o Alto.
- Torcida Força Jovem Vasco
- Torcida Organizada do Vasco
- Kamikazes Vascaínos
- Pequenos Vascaínos
- Renovascão Vasco Campeão
- Guerreiros do Almirante
- União Vascaína
- Ira Jovem Vasco
- Torcida Expresso da Vitória
Clubs named after Vasco 
Due to Vasco's tradition, several clubs are named after it, including Associação Desportiva Vasco da Gama, of Acre state, founded in 1952, Vasco Esporte Clube, of Sergipe state, founded in 1931, Esporte Clube Vasco da Gama, of Americana, São Paulo state, founded in 1958, Vasco Sports Club, which is an Indian football club founded in 1951 and CR Vasco da Gama Football Club, which is a South African football club founded in 1980. Tomazinho Futebol Clube, from São João de Meriti, Rio de Janeiro state, founded in 1930, has a logo strongly inspired by Vasco's logo, and share the same colors.
- Enciclopédia do Futebol Brasileiro, Volume 1 – Lance, Rio de Janeiro: Aretê Editorial S/A, 2001.
- "Vasco da Gama's official site – The History of CR Vasco da Gama". Retrieved March 26, 2008.[dead link]
- "Flamengo e Corinthians lideram levantamento de torcidas no país – UOL Esporte". Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- UNZELTE, Celso – O Livro de Ouro do Futebol; page 689 (Editora Ediouro, 2002) – ISBN 85-00-01036-3
- História 1898–1923 NetVasco.com
- "Campeonato Brasileiro". 2000-2008. Retrieved November 13, 2010. (Portuguese)
- Vasco da Gama official website (English) (Portuguese) (Italian) (Spanish) (French)
- "Fluminense Football Club - Conquistas" (in Portuguese). Fluminense Football Club. Retrieved 2009-12-04.[dead link]
- "Intercontinental Club Cup". RSSSF. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
- "Vasco e Flamengo iniciam a decisão no Rio". Gazeta Esportiva. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- (Portuguese) "Símbolos". Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama official website. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2008.
- (Portuguese)"Vasco rescinde contrato com a Champs". GloboEsporte.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- (Portuguese) "Clube acerta com a Penalty e vai receber R$ 64 milhões em cinco anos". GloboEsporte.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- Official Site
- Torcida Força Jovem Vasco
- Torcida Mancha Negra Vasco
- Unofficial Home Page
- Vasco da Gama Unofficial Home Page