CR Vasco da Gama

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Vasco da Gama
Full name Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama

Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill)
Almirante (Admiral)
Cruzmaltino (Maltese Cross)

Trem Bala da Colina (Bullet Train of the Hill)
Founded August 21, 1898; 116 years ago (1898-08-21)
Stadium Estádio Vasco da Gama (São Januário)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ground Capacity 24,584
President Eurico Miranda
Football Manager Paulo Angioni
Head Coach Doriva
League Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
2014 Série B, 3rd (promoted)
Website Club home page
Current season
CR Vasco da Gama at Estádio São Januário, September 2008.
Team photo from the 1934 season

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),[1] 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 more than 20 million supporters.[2]

Its statute defines the club as a "sportive, recreative, educational, assistant and philanthropic non-profit organization of public utility".[3]

Their home stadium is São Januário, with a capacity of 25,000,[4] 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.

The club is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.



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.[5] 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[edit]

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 or mulato and/or poor. After Vasco refused to comply with such a ban, the other big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco from participating 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),[6] 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.

Even though the club was not the first to field black players, it was the first one to win a league with them, which led to an outcry to ban "blue-collar workers" from playing in the league - a move that in practice meant barring blacks from playing.

In 1925 Vasco was readmitted into the "elite" league, with its black and mulatto players. By 1933, when football became professional in Brazil, most of the big clubs had black players in them.

The Victory Express and the South American Club championship[edit]

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.

1969 Pelé's 1000th Goal[edit]

Pelé scored his 1000th professional goal against CR Vasco on 19 November 1969, in front of 65,157 spectators.[7] The goal, popularly named O Milésimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco, when Pelé scored from a penalty kick, at the Maracanã Stadium.[8]

1998 Copa Libertadores[edit]

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.

1998 Toyota Intercontinental Cup[edit]

By winning 1998 Copa Libertadores, Vasco da Gama challenged the UEFA Champions League champion Real Madrid C.F. at 1998 Intercontinental Cup, in Tokyo, Japan. They lost the game 2-1.

2000 FIFA Club World Championship[edit]

By winning the 1998 Copa Libertadores, Vasco entered on now official 2000 FIFA Club World Championship, held in Brazil. They draw the game 0-0 with Corinthians Paulista but lost on penalties, 2-3.

Copa Mercosur[edit]

Also in 2000, Vasco won the Copa Mercosur against Palmeiras in a historical match. Losing 0-3 in the end of first-time, with Palmeiras scoring 2 goals in less than a minute. Vasco managed to score 3 goals and drew the game, 3-3. In the 93" Romário scored a decisive goal and Vasco won the match (3x4).[9] Still today the match is considered the best game played in Brazil in decades.[10]

2001 Copa João Havelange[edit]

Vasco won the Copa João Havelange in 2001. Seen as controversial competition organized by Clube dos 13 rather than CBF, Vasco challenged São Caetano drawing the game by 1-1 when a disaster happened in São Januário Stadium. It won the second game beating São Caetano by 3-1.

Vasco shirt

2008 Campeonato Brasileiro[edit]

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,[11] though the last two (even they never played any of the lower divisions), didn't participate in the 1979 Brazilian Championship's 1st division,[11] in order to avoid conflicts with Paulista Championship schedule.

2009 Campeonato Brasileiro[edit]

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[edit]

After failing to win 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[edit]

Although best known as a football, rowing and swimming club, Vasco da Gama is actually a comprehensive sports club. Its basketball section, CR Vasco da Gama Basquete (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[edit]

As of 15 February 2015, according to combined sources on the official website.[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
–– Brazil GK Charles
–– Brazil GK Jordi
–– Brazil GK Rafael Copetti (on loan from Benfica)
–– Uruguay GK Martín Silva
–– Brazil DF Aislan
–– Brazil DF Anderson Salles
–– Brazil DF Christiano (on loan from Bangu)
–– Brazil DF Douglas da Silva
–– Brazil DF Erick
–– Brazil DF Henrique
–– Brazil DF Jomar
–– Brazil DF Lorran
–– Brazil DF Luan
–– Brazil DF Mádson
–– Brazil DF Nei
–– Brazil DF Rodrigo
–– Brazil MF Bernardo
–– Argentina MF Emanuel Biancucchi
–– Brazil MF Daniel
–– Paraguay MF Julio dos Santos
No. Position Player
–– Argentina MF Pablo Guiñazú (captain)
–– Brazil MF Índio
–– Brazil MF Jean Patrick (on loan from Luverdense)
–– Brazil MF Jhon Cley
–– Brazil MF Lucas (on loan from Friburguense)
–– Brazil MF Marcinho
–– Colombia MF Santiago Montoya
–– Brazil MF Paulista
–– Brazil MF Sandro Silva
–– Brazil MF Serginho (on loan from Atlético Mineiro)
–– Brazil MF Victor Bolt (on loan from Madureira)
–– Brazil FW Dagoberto (on loan from Cruzeiro)
–– Brazil FW Gilberto (on loan from Toronto)
–– Brazil FW Marquinhos
–– Brazil FW Mosquito (on loan from Macaé)
–– Brazil FW Rafael Silva
–– Spain FW Romarinho
–– Brazil FW Thalles
–– Brazil FW Yago

Out of team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
–– Brazil GK Alessandro
–– Brazil DF Alisson
–– Brazil DF Eduardo
–– Brazil DF Rafael Vaz
–– Brazil MF Matheus Batista

Out of loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
–– Paraguay MF Eduardo Aranda (on loan to Olimpia)
–– Brazil DF Bruno (on loan to Bragantino)
–– Brazil GK Diogo Silva (on loan to XV de Piracicaba)
–– Brazil FW Éder Luís (on loan to Al Nasr)
–– Brazil FW Erick Luis (on loan to Bragantino)
No. Position Player
–– Brazil MF Fellipe Bastos (on loan to Grêmio)
–– Brazil MF Guilherme (on loan to Bragantino)
–– Brazil DF Marlon (on loan to Macaé)
–– Brazil DF Max (on loan to Macaé)
–– Brazil FW William Barbio (on loan to Chapecoense)

Former head coaches[edit]




Runners-up (1): 1998

South American[edit]


Runners-up (4): 1968, 1979, 1984, 2011
Runners-up (1): 2006
Runners-up (1): 1965
Runners-up (5): 1950, 1952, 1953, 1959, 2000
  • Campeonato Carioca: 22
    • 1923, 1924, 1929, 1934, 1936, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003
Runners-up (26): 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, 2014
1965, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
Runners-up (11): 1973, 1982, 1985, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2013
1984, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004
Runners-up (8): 1978, 1987, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012
Champions (2): 1992, 1993
  • Torneios Início do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (10): 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1958
  • Torneios Municipais do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (4): 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
  • Torneios Relâmpagos do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (2): 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[edit]

Champions (1):1957
Champions (1):1979
Champions (3):1987, 1988, 1989
Champions (1):1993



Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B

Top scorers[edit]

1. Brazil Roberto Dinamite (1970–79), (1980–89), (1990), (1992–93) 702
2. Brazil Romário (1985–88), (1999–2002), (2005–06), (2007–08) 324
3. Brazil Ademir (1942–45), (1948–56) 301
4. Brazil Pinga (1953–61) 250
5. Brazil Russinho (1924–34) 225
- Brazil Ipojucan (1944–54) 225
7. Brazil Sabará (1952–64) 165
8. Brazil Vavá (1951–64) 150
9. Brazil Lelé (1943–48) 147
10. Brazil Maneca (1947–55) 137
11. Brazil Edmundo (1991–92), (1996–97), (1999–2000), (2003–04), (2008) 136
12. Brazil Valdir Bigode (1992–94), (2001–2003) 135

Most goals in a season[edit]

  1. Romário – 70 goals in 2000
  2. Roberto Dinamite – 61 goals in 1981.


Estádio do Vasco da Gama.jpg

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.[4]


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.[15]

Kit evolution[edit]

Vasco da Gama's 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.[16]

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.[17]

Since July 2009, after breaking the partnership with Champs,[18] the official jerseys are produced by Penalty.[19]

Logo and flag[edit]

The eight stars on the badge and flag signify: 1- South American Championship of Champions: 1948; 2- Copa Libertadores: 1998; 3- Copa Mercosur: 2000; 4- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 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.[20] 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 third 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.

Clubs named after Vasco[edit]

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.
  1. ^ "Vasco da Gama's official site – The History of CR Vasco da Gama". Retrieved March 26, 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Flamengo e Corinthians lideram levantamento de torcidas no país – UOL Esporte". Retrieved March 27, 2008. 
  3. ^ UNZELTE, Celso – O Livro de Ouro do Futebol; page 689 (Editora Ediouro, 2002) – ISBN 85-00-01036-3
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ História 1898–1923
  6. ^
  7. ^ [Book Almanaque do Santos]
  8. ^ Pelé Eterno [Documentary film]. Brazil: Anima Produções Audiovisuais Ltda.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Campeonato Brasileiro" (in Portuguese). 2000–2008. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ Vasco da Gama official website (Portuguese) (Italian) (Spanish) (French)
  13. ^ "Fluminense Football Club - Conquistas" (in Portuguese). Fluminense Football Club. Retrieved 2009-12-04. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Intercontinental Club Cup". RSSSF. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Vasco e Flamengo iniciam a decisão no Rio". Gazeta Esportiva. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Símbolos" (in Portuguese). Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama official website. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2008. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Vasco rescinde contrato com a Champs" (in Portuguese). Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Clube acerta com a Penalty e vai receber R$ 64 milhões em cinco anos" (in Portuguese). Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  20. ^

External links[edit]