Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Logo, in use since 2014.
|Founded||August 23, 1959|
|Number of teams||20|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Campeonato Brasileiro Série B|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa do Brasil|
|International cup(s)||Copa Libertadores
|Current champions||Cruzeiro (3rd title)
(8 titles each)
|TV partners||List of broadcasters|
|2014 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A|
The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazilian Portuguese: [kãmpjoˈnatu braziˈlejɾu ˈsɛɾii ˈa]), commonly referred to as the Campeonato Brasileiro and popularly as the Brasileirão (Brazilian Portuguese: [brazilejˈɾãw]), is an annual Brazilian club football tournament organized by the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol, or CBF. At the top of the Brazilian football league system, it is the country's premier football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, seasons typically run from May to December, operating on a system of promotion and relegation with the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B. Teams play 38 matches each, totaling 380 matches for the season. Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons with other games being played during weekday evenings.
Due to historical peculiarities and the large geographical size of the country, Brazil has a relatively short history of nation-wide football competitions. Only in 1959, with the advancements in civil aviation and air transport and the need to appoint a Brazilian representative to the first edition of the Copa Libertadores in 1960, was a nationwide tournament created, Taça Brasil. Before the establishment of a national league, the most prestigious football competitions in Brazil were the state leagues, notably the Campeonato Paulista and Campeonato Carioca, the premier leagues of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro respectively, and a tournament between both states, the Torneio Rio – São Paulo. In 1967, the Rio-São Paulo was expanded to include teams from other states, becoming the Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, which was also considered a national tournament. The first Campeonato Brasileiro with that name was held in 1971. The three tournaments - Taça Brasil, Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, and Brasileirão - were unified by CBF in the Brazilian championship history in 2010.
Since its inception, the Campeonato Brasileiro has grown in stature, being considered one of the strongest leagues in the world. The Campeonato Brasileiro contains the most club world champions titles, with 4 championships won among 3 clubs. The league also contain the most clubs to have won the Copa Libertadores with 17 titles won among 10 clubs. The league is also one of the world's most powerful, ranked as the 6th most valuable with a worth of over $1.43 billion. It is also one of the world's richest championships, generating an annual turnover of over $1.169 billion in 2012. The Campeonato Brasileiro is the most-watched football league in the Americas and one of the world's most exposed, broadcast in 155 nations.
Since 1959, a total of 17 clubs have been crowned Brazilian football champions, 12 of which have won the title more than once with 6 having won the title in consecutive seasons. Santos and Palmeiras are the most successful clubs of the Campeonato Brasileiro, having won the competition 8 times each. Santos' Os Santásticos, considered by some the best club team of all times, won 5 consecutive titles between 1961 and 1965, a feat that remains unequaled until today. The State of São Paulo is the most successful state, amassing 28 titles among 5 clubs. A total of 156 clubs have played in the Campeonato Brasileiro since the first edition in 1959.
- 1 History
- 2 Competition format
- 3 Attendance
- 4 Finances
- 5 TV partners
- 6 Awards and trophies
- 7 Clubs
- 8 Records and statistics
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
As Brazilian football became more established in the 1920s, interest in interstate competition grew. The first of these competitions, the Campeonato Brasileiro de Seleções Estaduais, was first disputed in 1922 which brought together state football teams; the inaugural winner of the competition was São Paulo. Citing the difficulties in bringing together players from various clubs, clubs from the Rio de Janeiro Federal District and São Paulo opted to pit their best clubs against each other instead. The Torneio Rio-São Paulo, first disputed in 1933 and seeing further editions canceled due to low interest, became the optimal choice of interstate tournaments. This led the State Football team competition, a tournament that was disputed almost uninterrupted until 1950, lose much of its prestige. Five more editions later, the competition was scrapped with a celebratory one being disputed in 1987.
The Torneio Rio-São Paulo's, whose inaugural winners were Palestra Itália, kicked of again in 1950 with Corinthians winning the title. Five more Paulista sides won the competition afterwards until Fluminense broke São Paulo's streak in 1957. Vasco da Gama's Expresso da Vitória added a second title to Rio in 1958. That same year, the South American football confederation approved the creation of the Copa de Campeones de America, later known as Copa Libertadores, a competition that was supposed to bring together the national champions of each South American league. In light of this, the Confederação Brasileira de Desportos, or CBD, created a competition that brought every Brazilian state champion to compete for a national tournament, being named Taça Brasil de Futebol.
Beginnings: Os Santásticos' legacy (1959-1970)
The 1959 Taça Brasil, the first national club competition in the nation, counted with 16 participants: ABC, Atlético Mineiro, Atlético Paranaense, Auto Esporte, Bahia, Ceará, CSA, Ferroviário, Grêmio, Hercílio Luz, Manufatora, Rio Branco, Santos, Sport Recife, Tuna Luso and Vasco da Gama; Santos and Vasco da Gama, as Paulista and Carioca champions respectively, entered the competition at the semifinal stage whereas the other state champions were grouped geographically. The eventual winners of the northern and southern zones would go on to the semifinals of the national tournament. The final series between Santos and Bahia needed a tie-breaking playoff to decide the title with Bahia coming out on top of a highly contested match; however, overcrowdness of fixtures, due to the many tours Brazil's national football team partook as well as Santos', forced the match to be played three months after the second leg. The second edition of the competition saw Bahia dethroned by Fortaleza in the second stage. Fortaleza would go on to reach the final only to be thoroughly defeated by Palmeiras' Academia de Futebol, a squad that contained world-class talent such as Ademir da Guia, Dudu, Djalma Santos and Émerson Leão, 11-3 on aggregate.
However, this impressive performance by Palmeiras was eclipsed by a Santos team led by Pelé, Coutinho, Zito, Mauro Ramos, among others. Os Santásticos, in a rematch of the inaugural final, crushed Bahia to win the 1961 tournament as Pelé and Coutinho scored one hat-trick each on the final series. Pelé was that edition's top scorer with nine goals, the highest tally in that category up to that point. Santos became the first club to retain the Brazilian national title in 1962, defeating Botafogo's Os Gloriosos, which contained many of the game's best ever players such as Mario Zagallo, Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Amarildo, etc., 5-0 in front of 70,324 spectators at the Estádio do Maracanã. Os Santásticos also became the first squad in the world to win the Continental Treble, winning the Paulistão, the Taça Brasil, and the Copa Libertadores in 1962.
Os Santásticos managed to win their third, consecutive title after defeating Bahia once again, this time with an 8-0 aggregate with Pelé responsible for four of those goals. A hat-trick from Pelé helped Santos defeat Flamengo 4-1 in the first leg of the 1964 Taça Brasil final at the Estádio do Pacaembu. Santos was able to grind out a 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro, retaining the trophy once again. Santos' record Pentacampeonato was achieved in 1965. With a brace from Dorval and Toninho, Santos ran out the winners on both legs of the final against a talented Vasco da Gama squad composed of young prospects, winning 6-1 on aggregate. Santos reached their sixth consecutive final in 1966; however, they fell short as Cruzeiro thumped Santos 9-4 on aggregate.
As a result of the violence practiced often in the Copa Libertadores by Argentine and Uruguayan clubs, disagreements with CONMEBOL, the lack of financial incentives and the violent, brutal and controversial way the Brazilian national team was treated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup by European teams, Brazilian football, including its clubs, declined to participate in international competition, including the Copa Libertadores and, ergo, the European/South American Cup, from 1966 to 1970; the 1966, 1969 and 1970 editions saw no Brazilian teams participating while Santos declined to participate in 1967. Brazilian clubs instead prioritized tours around the world which were financially more lucrative than any official international competition at the time.
In order to take advantage of the exposure its clubs had, the Rio-São Paulo was expanded to include teams from the other states. The Rio-São Paulo started being called by its official name, Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa (after the late Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, former president of the São Paulo state football federation who was also goalkeeper of São Paulo Futebol Clube), nicknamed 'Robertão', to showcase this expanded nature to a nationwide tournament in the 1967 edition. The following year, the delay in closing the 1968 Taça Brasil made CBD use the Robertão to determine the Libertadores representants. With the extinction of the Taça Brasil, the Robertão, officially named by CBD as "Taça de Prata" (Silver Cup) remained the top Brazilian championship the following two years.
The Brasileirão's establishment (1971-1980)
Following Brazil's third world title at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, president Emílio Médici decided to organize the Brazilian football better. In a reunion with the CBD and the club presidents in October 1970, it was decided to create the following year a true Brazilian championship contested by twenty teams, inspired by the national tournaments in the European nations. The first edition of the Campeonato Brasileiro, named "Campeonato Nacional" ("National Championship"), was held in 1971. The top division was named "Divisão Extra" (Extra Division), while a newly created second division earned the "Primeira Divisão" (First Division) name.
In 1979, all big clubs from São Paulo, except Palmeiras, withdrew from the competition. They protested against the odd system of tier qualification, which made their rivals, Palmeiras and Guarani, enter only in the final phase (due to their being previous-year finalists) and also asked for the same privileges. Oddly enough, Guarani finished in the top 12, while playing only 3 games, and Palmeiras finished third, despite playing only 5 games, in a tournament with 96 entrants.
A Tempestuous decade (1981-1990)
In 1984, Juventus, a small club from São Paulo, managed to qualify for the Série A. Participants during that year could be promoted from and relegated to Série B in the middle of the tournament. Juventus thus started the tournament in the premiership, was relegated in the middle of the tournament, but eventually managed to clinch the Série B title. Despite this, the team was not promoted to Série A in the following year and failed to qualify to it from the state championship.
In 1987, the CBF announced that it was financially unable to organize the Brazilian football championship, only a few weeks before it was scheduled to commence. The Confederation said that it would try to find a sponsor, or would agree with the clubs that they finance it themselves with travel. Without an agreement, it would only be a regional tournament. As a result, the thirteen most popular football clubs in Brazil created a league, dubbed the Club of the 13, to organize a championship of their own. This tournament was called Copa União. 16 clubs eventually participated (Santa Cruz, Coritiba and Goiás were invited to join), completely without the permission of the CBF (a move not unlike the creation of club-administered leagues in Europe). To reconcile the interests of the CBF with Club of the 13, Copa União was called Green Module, and Copa Brasil was called Module Yellow. At the end, there was a cross between the champions and runners-up from both modules(groups), to determine the two representatives of Brazil for the Copa Libertadores in 1988. Flamengo and Internacional declined to participate. Sport and Guarani did play in the final two games, that enshrined Sport of Recife as Brazilian champion of 1987. In the following years Flamengo also considered itself Brazilian champion for winning the top division of the Copa União. In 2014, STJ (Brazilian Supreme Court) and CBF ruled that Sport is the only 1987 winner.
The league becomes fortified (1991-2000)
In 1999, an averaging relegation system was adopted, similar to the one used in the Primera División Argentina. The two clubs with the worst point results in the first stage of the two previous seasons were to be relegated. However, this system only lasted for a single season. During the first stage, it was discovered that one player was registered with false documents. Due to this scandal, CBF decided to punish the player's team by annulling games in which this player took part. Due to this, the average points of some clubs were changed, so one club lost positions and was relegated. This club immediately sued CBF, which was prevented from organizing the 2000 Brasileirão. In light of this, Clube dos 13 organized the championship of that year, officially named Copa João Havelange in homage to the former CBD and FIFA president João Havelange.
An era of growth (2001-2010)
Before 2003, the format of Série A changed almost every year; for specifics, see Campeonato Brasileiro tournament scheduling. Since 2003, the Série A has been contested in a double round-robin format. The team with the most points is declared champion. There is no final match, which is a very controversial subject. Prior to 2003, the Brazilian championship had traditionally been decided via some type of playoff format (most commonly the "Octagonal", where the top 8 regular season teams comprise a single elimination tournament), rather than the European model of points accumulation over a season. Although some complain that this system lacks the drama of playoffs and finals, the competition has so far proven to be well balanced, without a small number of clubs dominating the league, a phenomenon often found in many European leagues.
Eleven matches of the 2005 competition were annulled due to a match-fixing scandal and had to be replayed.
For the 2006 season, the number of contestants was reduced to 20 and CBF claims it to be the "definitive" format, with the best three or four teams qualified for the Copa Libertadores (depending of the year) and the least four relegated to the Série B in the following year. In 2006, a limit on the number of foreign players was set, such that no team can have more than three foreign players on the field or on the bench in a single match, from the season 2014 onwards, teams will abe able to have five foreign players listed for a match and no limit on the squad. The seasons with the largest number of entrants of the competition were: 2000 (116 entrants), 1979 (94 entrants) and 1986 (80 entrants).
In 2010, CBF decided to recognize the champions of the defuncts Taça Brasil and Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa as Brazilian Champions, creating some controversy as there was a two year period when both tournaments were held, thus Palmeiras was awarded two times for winning both in 1967 and both Santos and Botafogo were recognized as champions in 1968 as each tournament was won by one of them.
There are 20 clubs in the Brasileirão. During the course of a season (from May to December) each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal between two or more clubs, the rules are:
- If the tie is between more than two clubs not disputing the national title or relegation, then the tie is broken, using the games the clubs have played against each other:
- a) most amount of games won
- b) total goal difference
- c) total goals scored
- d) head-to-head record (with the away goals rule in effect if only two clubs are taken into account)
- If the tie is still not broken, the winner will be determined by Fair Play scales.
- If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, the Fair Play scales will not be taken into account; a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. Otherwise, a drawing of lots will determine the final positions.
A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Brasileirão and the Série B. The four lowest placed teams in the Brasileirão are relegated to Série B, and the top four teams from the Série B promoted to the Brasileirão.
Qualification for international competitions
As of the 2012 season, the top four teams in the Brasileirão qualify for the Copa Libertadores, with the top three teams directly entering the group stage. Previously only the top two teams qualified automatically. The fourth-placed team enters the Copa Libertadores at the play-off round for non-champions and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group stage. One Copa Libertadores place is reserved for the winner of the Copa do Brasil. If the winner of the Copa do Brasil finishes the Brasileirão season between first and fourth place, the next-best placed finisher in the Brasileirão takes the vacant slot "replacing" the one given by the domestic cup.
The teams placing fifth to twelfth in the Brasileirão no longer qualify for the Copa Sudamericana. Instead, the clubs eliminated during the Copa do Brasil's fourth phase will be ranked by their record in the Brasileirão, determining the participants for the Copa Sudamericana. If the Brasileirão contains the defending champion(s) of the Copa Libertadores and/or Copa Sudamericana and they finish the Brasileirão in an international qualification zone, that place goes to the next-best placed team in the league.
Brazilian clubs who win the forementioned competitions have the opportunity to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup, the premier club competition in the world, the Recopa Sudamericana, which pits the winners of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana against each other, as well well as the Suruga Bank Championship against the Japanese J. League Cup champion.
Barring the Taça Brasil and Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, along with the format changes the Brazilian championship had its official name changed often before settling on Campeonato Brasileiro in 1989.
- Campeonato Nacional (National Championship): 1971-3
- Copa Brasil (Brazil Cup): 1974-9, 1984, 1986
- Taça de Ouro (Golden Cup): 1980-1983, 1985
- Copa União (Union Cup): 1987, 1988
- Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship): since 1989
- Copa João Havelange: 2000
The league is the second largest in attendance in South America (behind Argentina). Despite the great popularity of football in the country, the league has a low average audience compared to major football leagues in the world, the championship doesn't even appear among the top 10 average attendance in football league, the smallest attendance was in 2004 season with 9,136, the largest was in 1983 season with 22,953. the attendance of 2013 season was 14,951 with average occupation of 40%.
The Brasileirão had total club revenues of US $1.17 billion in 2012. This makes the Brasileirão the highest revenue football league in the Americas, and the highest outside of Europe's "big five." In comparison, it is significantly surpassed by the revenues of Europe's premier international club competitions UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup combined, despite being continental tournaments, which garnished over US $1.78 billion. The Brasileirão's gross revenue is regularly the fifth highest of any American sports league, behind the annual revenues of the four most popular North American major sports leagues (the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League).
The Brasileirão is also one of the world's most powerful football leagues, having a marketing value and worth over US $1.24 billion in 2013. The total worth of every club in the 2013 Brasileirão is US $1.07 billion. The Brasileirão's television rights are the most valuable ones in the Western hemisphere, worth over US $610 million in 2012; that accounts for over 57% of Latin America as a whole.
The Brasileirão clubs are some of the richest football clubs in the world. Forbes, who annually release figures on club value, listed Corinthians in the top 20 for the 2012 season. The club is the 16th most valuable club in the world, worth over US $358 million. In terms of revenue, Corinthians is also Brazil's richest sports club and the 31st biggest football club in the world, the largest outside of Europe, generating an annual turnover of over US $126 million in 2012. As of 2013, five Brazilian clubs have a brand value strong enough to break into the top-50 list worldwide according to Brand Finance. Corinthians' brand, ranked 19th, is worth US $103 million. The brands of Santos and São Paulo, ranked 38th and 39th, are worth US $65 million and US $62 million, respectively. Flamengo and Internacional are worth US $55 million each and ranked 45th and 46th.
Awards and trophies
Prêmio Craque do Brasileirão is the league's official award. Placar magazine's Bola de Ouro is the oldest award, while the Troféu Osmar Santos and the Troféu João Saldanha are awards given by the newspaper Lance!.
Stadiums and locations
|Atlético Mineiro||Belo Horizonte||Independência||23,018|
|Atlético Paranaense||Curitiba||Arena da Baixada||43,900|
|Botafogo||Rio de Janeiro||Olimpico||46,931|
|Corinthians||São Paulo||Arena Corinthians||48,234|
|Coritiba||Curitiba||Estádio Couto Pereira||34,872|
|Flamengo||Rio de Janeiro||Maracanã||78,838|
|Fluminense||Rio de Janeiro||Maracanã||78,838|
|Grêmio||Porto Alegre||Arena do Grêmio||60,540|
|Palmeiras||São Paulo||Allianz Parque||45,000|
|São Paulo||São Paulo||Morumbi||67,428|
|Sport||Recife||Ilha do Retiro||35,020|
Records and statistics
List of Brazilian football champions
Eighteen clubs are officially recognized to have been the Brazilian football champions.
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning years||Runners-up years|
|Santos||8||6||1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 2002, 2004||1959, 1966, 1983, 1995, 2003, 2007|
|Palmeiras||8||3||1960, 1967, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1993, 1994||1970, 1978, 1997|
|São Paulo||6||5||1977, 1986, 1991, 2006, 2007, 2008||1971, 1973, 1981, 1989, 1990|
|Corinthians||5||3||1990, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2011||1976, 1994, 2002|
|Flamengo||5||1||1980, 1982, 1983, 1992, 2009||1964|
|Vasco da Gama||4||4||1974, 1989, 1997, 2000||1965, 1979, 1984, 2011|
|Fluminense||4||0||1970, 1984, 2010, 2012||—|
|Internacional||3||6||1975, 1976, 1979||1967, 1968, 1988, 2005, 2006, 2009|
|Cruzeiro||3||5||1966, 2003, 2013||1969, 1974, 1975, 1998, 2010|
|Botafogo||2||3||1968, 1995||1962, 1972, 1992|
|Grêmio||2||3||1981, 1996||1982, 2008, 2013|
|Bahia||2||2||1959, 1988||1961, 1963|
|Atlético Mineiro||1||4||1971||1977, 1980, 1999, 2012|
Performance by State
|Rio de Janeiro||15||9|
|Rio Grande do Sul||5||10|
|1||155.523||Flamengo||3–0||Santos||Maracanã||May 29, 1983|
|2||154.335||Flamengo||3–2||Atlético Mineiro||Maracanã||June 1, 1980|
|3||146.043||Fluminense||1–1||Corinthians||Maracanã||December 5, 1976|
|4||138.107||Flamengo||1–1||Grêmio||Maracanã||April 4, 1982|
|5||135.487||Botafogo||3–1||Flamengo||Maracanã||April 19, 1981|
|6||128.781||Fluminense||0–0||Vasco||Maracanã||May 27, 1984|
|7||122.001||Botafogo||2–2||Flamengo||Maracanã||July 19, 1992|
|8||121.353||Flamengo||1–1||Vasco||Maracanã||May 8, 1983|
|9||120.441||Flamengo||2–1||Guarani||Maracanã||April 11, 1982|
|10||118.777||Vasco||2–2||Internacional||Maracanã||July 28, 1974|
|11||118.370||Fluminense||0–0||Corinthians||Maracanã||May 20, 1984|
|12||118.162||Flamengo||1–0||Atlético Mineiro||Maracanã||November 29, 1987|
|13||117.353||Botafogo||0–0||Flamengo||Maracanã||April 16, 1981|
|14||115.002||Corinthians||4–1||Flamengo||Morumbi||May 6, 1984|
|15||114.481||Santos||2–1||Flamengo||Morumbi||May 12, 1983|
|16||113.479||Atlético Mineiro||0–0||Santos||Mineirão||May 15, 1983|
|17||113.286||Corinthians||2–1||Internacional||Morumbi||November 21, 1976|
|18||112.993||Vasco||2–1||Cruzeiro||Maracanã||August 1, 1974|
|19||112.403||Fluminense||1–1||Atlético Mineiro||Maracanã||December 20, 1970|
|20||112.047||Flamengo||1–4||Palmeiras||Maracanã||December 9, 1979|
|21||111.260||Flamengo||2–1||Vasco||Maracanã||May 5, 1983|
|22||111.111||Santos||3–2||Flamengo||Morumbi||February 27, 1983|
|23||110.877||Vasco||3–0||Grêmio||Maracanã||May 19, 1984|
|24||110.438||Bahia||2–1||Fluminense||Fonte Nova||February 12, 1989|
- List of Brazilian football champions
- Copa do Brasil, the national cup competition
- Campeonato Brasileiro tournament scheduling, historical development of Campeonato Brasileiro from 1971 until today.
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, the second division of Brazilian football
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, the third division of Brazilian football
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série D, the fourth division of Brazilian football
- Campeonato Brasileiro Sub-20, the official U-20 national football tournament
- Campeonato Brasileiro de Seleções Estaduais, the tournament contested by state teams between 1922–1962 and in 1987.
- Brazilian Football State Championship, the football competitions in the 26 states of Brazil and the Federal District
- Torneio Rio-São Paulo, the inter-state competition between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the two strongest football states at the era, held from 1950 to 1966, in 1993 and 1997 to 2002.
- Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, the national tournament from 1967 to 1970
- Taça Brasil, the national tournament from 1959 to 1968
- Football in Brazil
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- CBF Confederação Brasileira de Futebol - Brazilian Football Confederation
- Brazil All-time topscorers
- RSSSF Brazil links
- Best Attendances 1971/2008
- Map of Serie A club locations
- Futpedia The Brazilian Football Encyclopedia, with historical statistics about championships, clubs, games, athletes, and more (Portuguese).
- Champions Squads