Clube Atlético Mineiro

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Atletico mineiro galo.png
Full name Clube Atlético Mineiro
Nickname(s) Galo (Rooster)
Alvinegro (White'n Black) Galão da Massa (Great Rooster of the Mass) Galo Doido (Crazy Rooster) Campeão dos Campeões (Champion of The Champions)
Founded March 25, 1908 (107 years ago) (1908-03-25)
Stadium Independência, Belo Horizonte
President Daniel Nepomuceno
Head coach Levir Culpi
League Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Campeonato Mineiro
Brasileirão, 5th
Mineiro, 1st
Website Club home page

Clube Atlético Mineiro, commonly known Atlético and referred to as Galo, is a Brazilian multisport club based in Lourdes, a bairro nobre (noble/high class neighborhood) in the city of Belo Horizonte. Although they compete in a number of different sports, Atlético is mostly known for its association football team. It plays in the Campeonato Mineiro, the State of Minas Gerais's premier state league, as well as the Brasileirão, the top tier of the Brazilian football league system.

The club was founded on March 25, 1908 by 22 Belorizontino students, being led by Margival Mendes Leal and Mário Toledo as a response to the social discrimination practiced by many clubs elsewhere in Brazil. Despite being founded by upper class founders, the club opened its doors to everyone regardless of social class, quickly establishing itself as a "people's club". As a result, the club has the most supporters in the city and the largest supporters in the state.[1] Atlético is also the oldest club of Belo Horizonte. Atlético play their home games at the Estádio Independência, better known as the Independência, which currently holds up to 23,018 spectators. Atlético's regular kit is black and white striped shirts, with black shorts, accompanied by white socks. Puma are the kit manufacturers currently.

The Galo is one of Brazil's most successful clubs, having won the Brasileirão in 1971, while also finishing runners-up on four occasions. Atlético has also won the defunct Champions Cup 1937 (FBF)[2] and Champions Cup 1978 (CBD)[3] once each. They have won the Campeonato Mineiro 43 times, being the record-holders as the most successful club in that competition. Atlético is also the best performing club of the now-defunct Copa CONMEBOL after the victories in 1992 and 1997; they were also finalists in 1995. Atlético also won the Copa Libertadores in 2013 with a squad composed of stars such as Bernard, Diego Tardelli, , Victor and Ronaldinho, and are thus one of ten Brazilian clubs to have won it. The club managed to perform a double in 2013, winning both the Campeonato Mineiro and the Copa Libertadores. The following year after winning Copa Libertadores, Atlético managed to win the Recopa Sudamericana and Copa do Brasil 2014.

Atlético hold a long-standing rivalry against Cruzeiro. It has contributed many key and famous players towards Brazil's FIFA World Cup squads such as Dario, Reinaldo, Luizinho, Toninho Cerezo, Éder, Elzo, Cláudio Taffarel, and Gilberto Silva. The club is the 9th most valuable in Brazil, worth almost $162 million.[4] In terms of revenue, Atlético is also one of Brazil's richest sports club and the 10th biggest football club in Brazil, generating an annual turnover of over $100 million in 2013.


The emergence of the myth[edit]

The Clube Atlético Mineiro was founded on March 25, 1908 by 22 boys from Belo Horizonte.[5] The founding players were: Aleixanor Alves Pereira, Antônio Antunes Filho, Augusto Soares, Benjamin Moss Filho, Carlos Marciel, Eurico Catão, Horácio Machado, Hugo Francarolli, Humberto Moreira, João Barbosa Sobrinho, José Soares Alves, Júlio Menezes Melo, Leônidas Fulgêncio, Margival Mendes Leal, Mário Hermanson Lott, Mário Neves, Mário Toledo, Raul Fracarolli and Sinval Moreira. 3 other boys who were not in the founding meeting, but are considered as founders too are: Francisco Monteiro, Jorge Dias Pena and Mauro Brochado.[6] The boys decided that the club's name would be Athletico Mineiro Foot Ball Club, and the kit would be a white shirt with a green horizontal strip on the chest. Soon after, they decided to change the kit to the black/white stripped shirt which is used nowadays.

The Galo champion team in 1915.
Mário de Castro.

Atlético's first match was against Sport Club Foot Ball, the biggest and oldest club in Belo Horizonte at the time. The match was played on March 21, 1909, and Atlético won 3–0; the first goal was scored by Aníbal Machado. Sport's board demanded that Atlético play a rematch the following week to get revenge, to which Atlético agreed. Atlético won again, but this time the score was 4–0. In 1913, the club officially changed its name from Athletico Mineiro Foot Ball Club to Clube Atlético Mineiro. The following year, in 1914, Atlético won its first championship, the Taça Bueno Brandão, a tournament between Atlético, América and Yale. In 1915, the club won the first Campeonato Mineiro in history, which was organized by the Liga Mineira de Esportes Terrestres. The team came back to win the local championship in 1926 and 1927.

Circled, The Trio Maldito: Said, Jairo and Mário de Castro, from left to right.
1/11. TSV 1860 München 4-3
4/11 Hamburger SV 4-0
5/11 Werder Bremen 1-3
12/11 FC Schalke 04 3-1
16/11 SK Rapid Wien 0-3
20/11 1. FC Saarbrücken 2-0
22/11 RSC Anderlecht 2-2
26/11 Eintr. Braunschweig 3-3
5/12 Luxembourg 3-3
7/12 Stade Français 2-1

From the first initial decades, Atlético went on to have extraordinary players, of great national reputation, some examples are: Carlos Brant, Álvaro Lopes Cançado (who was with the Brazilian team in the World Cup 1938), Mário de Castro, Said and Jairo. The last three are considered true legends of the time, won the sports press the Trio Maldito (damn trio's) nickname, due to large amount of goals scored together.

In the 1930s, the club won the state championships of 1931, 1932, 1936, 1938 and 1939. In 1937, Atlético won the first national championship of its history: the Champions Cup (FBF), which included the champions of four states: Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro), Portuguesa (São Paulo), Rio Branco (Espírito Santo), and Atlético. The great references that 1937 team were Zezé Procópio (who was with the Brazilian team in the World Cup 1938), Guará and Kafunga, international players with the Brazilian national team.

Atlético dominated the football scene of Minas Gerais State in the 1940s and 1950s, winning no less than 12 state championships between 1940 and 1960, including 5 championships in a row sequence, from 1952 to 1956. In 1950, Atlético accomplished one of the most celebrated achievements in its history by winning the symbolic title of Campeão do Gelo (Ice Champion) after a successful tour in Europe, where the team played against clubs like Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, and RSC Anderlecht. Between the decades from 1940 to 1960, large national football star wore the traditional athletic shirt, to name a few: Bigode, Nívio Gabrich, Murilo Silva, Lucas Miranda, Carlyle Guimarães Cardoso, Orlando Pingo de Ouro, Paulo Valentim, Mussula, Marcial de Mello and Djalma Dias.

The 1960s were known as the decade in which the Mineirão Stadium was built, but they were difficult times for the club. During this period, they only managed to win the Campeonato Mineiro of 1962 and 1963. It was in the mid-1960s that the rivalry with Cruzeiro became strong, after the blue club won 5 state championships in a row (the first 5 championships of Mineirão era). However, in December 1968, Atlético beat Yugoslavia National Team (runners-up of UEFA Euro 1968) 3-2 in the Mineirão. In October 1969, Atlético beat the Brazilian National Team that would become champions of the 1970 FIFA World Cup by 2–1 at the Mineirão.


It was only in 1970 that Atlético won its first championship in Mineirão Stadium, breaking Cruzeiro's five titles sequence. In 1971, the club won its first and only Brazilian Championship in history. In 1976, Atlético won the State Championship again and also finished in third place in the 1976 Brazilian Championship. They also finished runners-up in the 1977 championship, despite not being defeated for the entire season. In 1978, Atlético won the Champions Cup (CBD), a tournament between the past winners of the Brazilian Championship, defeating São Paulo Futebol Clube in the final.


Since 1977 Atlético made a great team, that would last until the middle of the 1980s, one of the best in its history. This team that had players like Reinaldo, Toninho Cerezo, Éder, Luisinho, Paulo Isidoro, João Leite won the state championship 6 times in a row, from 1978 to 1983, winning also in 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989. Atlético also had good performances in the Brazilian Championship, having the best campaign for four times 77, 80, 83, 85. Political and arbitration scandals prevented Atlético to win.

In 1977, Reinaldo, the historical scorer of Brazilian championship in that year was forbidden to play the final, supposedly by his insistence in celebrating his goals raising his fist, in a symbol of left politics opposed to Brasil military regimen of the time. Atlético got the 2º place with the best campaign of Brazilian championship ever, finishing with 17 victories and four draws. In 1980, a scandal of arbitration would eliminate Atlético in the final, with Reinaldo receiving red card after scoring twice. In the next year Atlético would be eliminated from Copa Libertadores without losing a match, after having 5 players receiving red card in a game known as "the big stickup". Atlético was also third placed in 1983, 1986 and in the gold cup of 1987.


In the 1990s, Atlético won the state championships in 1991, 1995 and in 1999 and had some good performances in Brazilian Championships, finishing runner-up in 1999, third placed in 1996 and fourth placed in 1994 and 1997. In 1992, Atlético won the CONMEBOL Cup, the club's first official international title, which was won again in 1997. Twice the team had the top goalscorer of Brasileirão, in 1996 with Renaldo (tied with Paulo Nunes) and in 1999 with Guilherme.


The financial situation turned worse in the late 1990s, with a scandal involving the then Atlético's president Paulo Curi and, the 2000s (decade) did not start well for Atlético, as the club had suffered serious crisis. Atlético won only the state championship in 2000, and was runner-up in 2001 and in 2004. In 2000, it reached the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals, and was fourth placed in the Brazilian Championship in 2001, with great players on the team as Cicinho, Gilberto Silva and Valdo Filho, among others. In 2004, Atlético almost got relegation to Série B. 2005 started disastrously, and was the worst year in its history; the club was relegated to Brazilian Second Division.

In 2006 the club won the Brazilian League Série B after a good campaign, qualifying to play the Brazilian League Série A in 2007. That year, Atlético won the Campeonato Mineiro again, defeating their rivals Cruzeiro in the final. After its promotion, the club managed to finish 8th in the 2007 Brasileirão, earning a spot at the Copa Sudamericana 2008.

In 2009, Atlético led the Brasileirão in eight of the thirty-eight rounds, and finished in seventh place. Striker Diego Tardelli was the top goalscorer of the championship (18, alongside Flamengo's Adriano), and the biggest overall of the year in Brazilian football, with 57.


In 2010, the team won his 40th Campeonato Mineiro. In 2012, Atlético commenced another successful era, harkening back to the 1940s, 1950s and 1990s, winning its 41st State Championship without losing a match, including a 3-0 win over their rivals América in the final. They finished the State Championship with an overall record of 11 victories and 4 draws, having won 10 straight matches. Later in that year, Atlético, led by Ronaldinho Atlético finished runner-up in the Brazilian Championship after leading for 15 consecutive rounds. Atlético finished with 72 points overall, was the top goal scoring team in the Championship, and earned a spot in the Group Stages of the Copa Libertadores

In 2013, Atlético once again started strong with 10 straight wins in their first 11 games of the year, with four victories in the Copa Libertadores including six victories in the State Championship, including a 5-2 victory over their rivals América. Atlético reached on July 10, 2013 the Finals of the Copa Libertadores 2013 for the first time in the club's history, defeating Argentinian side Newell's Old Boys in a penalty shootout by a score of 3-2 after losing the first leg by 2-0 and winning the second leg by 2-0.[7] On July 24, 2013, Atlético won the Copa Libertadores for the first time in their history. They defeated Paraguayan side Olimpia of Asuncion in a penalty shootout by a score of 4-3 after losing the first leg by 2-0 and winning the second leg by 2-0.[8]

In 2014, Atlético won its first South American Recopa after beating Argentina‘s Lanús in overtime 4-3. Gustavo Gomez Portillo at the 102nd minute and Victor Ayala at the 111th minute gave the title away with own goals. It was their first Recopa Sudamericana for Atletico after winning the 2013 Copa Libertadores, adding to their two Copa CONMEBOL (1992 and 1997). In the first leg in Buenos Aires, the 'Galo' won 1-0. Meanwhile, Diego Tardelli scored his hundredth goal with the 'Galo' at the 6th minute and Maicosuel at the 37th minute. For the 'granate', the South American champion last year, Ayala (8), Silva (25) and Acosta (90 +3) scored. That last goal, minutes from the final whistle, took the match to extra time.


International competitions[edit]


Winners (1): 2013.
Winners (2): 1992, 1997. (Record)
Runner-up (1): 1995.
Winners (1): 2014.


Third place (1): 2013.

Domestic competitions[edit]


Winner (1): 1971.
Runners-up (4): 1977, 1980, 1999, 2012.
Winner (1): 2014.
Winner (1): 1937. (Record)
Winner (1): 1978. (Record)
Winner (1): 2006.


Winners (43): 1915, 1926, 1927, 1931, 1932, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960,1962, 1963, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015. (Record)
Runners-up (34): 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1948, 1951, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014.
Winner (5): 1975, 1976, 1979, 1986, 1987. (Record)
Runners-up (4): 1973, 1982, 1983, 1985.
Winner (3): 1970, 1971, 1972. (Record)
Winner (8): 1928, 1931, 1932, 1939, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1954.
Runners-up (12): 1922, 1929, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1953, 1956, 1963, 1964.
Winner (1): 1974.
Runners-up (1): 1999.
Winner (1): 1993.
Winner (1): 1959. (Record)
Runners-up (2): 1960, 1961.
Winner (1): 1914. (Record)

Performances in Brazilian Championships[edit]

Year Position Year Position Year Position Year Position Year Position
1971 1st 1981 14th 1991 3rd 2001 4th 2011 15th
1972 11th 1982 19th 1992 13th 2002 8th 2012 2nd
1973 11th 1983 3rd 1993 32nd 2003 7th 2013 8th
1974 7th 1984 19th 1994 4th 2004 20th 2014 5th
1975 19th 1985 4th 1995 7th 2005 19th**
1976 3rd 1986 3rd 1996 3rd 2006 1st (Série B)***
1977 2nd 1987 5th/3rd* 1997 4th 2007 8th
1978 34th 1988 10th 1998 9th 2008 12th
1979 8th 1989 8th 1999 2nd 2009 7th
1980 2nd 1990 5th 2000 24th 2010 13th

*Officially, for CBF, the 5th. Sometimes considered the 3rd. See: Copa União

** Atlético was relegated to play the Brazilian League Série B in the next year.

*** Atlético played and won the Brazilian League Série B, qualifying to play the Série A in 2007.

Current squad[edit]

As of 14 February 2015.[16][17]

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

No. Position Player
1 Brazil GK Victor
2 Brazil DF Marcos Rocha
3 Brazil DF Leonardo Silva (captain)
4 Brazil DF Jemerson
5 Brazil DF Carlos César
6 Brazil DF Douglas Santos (on loan from Udinese)
7 Brazil FW
8 Brazil MF Leandro Donizete
9 Argentina FW Lucas Pratto
10 Argentina MF Jesús Dátolo
11 Brazil MF Maicosuel
12 Brazil GK Giovanni
13 Brazil FW Carlos
14 Brazil MF Giovanni Augusto
15 Brazil DF Edcarlos
16 Brazil DF Pedro Botelho (on loan from Atlético-PR)
No. Position Player
17 Brazil FW Guilherme
18 Brazil MF Rafael Carioca (on loan from Spartak Moscow)
19 Colombia MF Sherman Cárdenas
21 Brazil FW André
22 Brazil FW Thiago Ribeiro (on loan from Santos)
23 Brazil MF Dodô
24 Brazil GK Uilson
25 Brazil MF Danilo Pires (on loan from Corinthians-AL)
26 Brazil DF Tiago
27 Brazil FW Luan
28 Brazil MF Josué
29 Brazil DF Patric
30 Brazil MF Eduardo
31 Brazil DF Jesiel
86 Brazil DF Emerson Conceição
Brazil MF Lucas Cândido

Out on 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
Brazil DF Alex Silva (loan to Sport Recife)
Brazil DF Emerson (on loan to Avaí)
Brazil DF Eron (on loan to Ceará)
Brazil MF Fillipe Soutto (loan to Náutico)
Brazil MF Leleu (loan to Paysandu)
No. Position Player
Brazil MF Renan Oliveira (loan to Avaí)
Brazil MF Serginho (loan to Vasco da Gama)
Brazil FW Marion (loan to Al Sharjah)
Brazil FW Neto Berola (loan to Al Wasl)
Brazil FW Wescley (loan to Ceará)

First-team staff[edit]

As of February 2014.
Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Levir Culpi Brazil
Assistant Coach Renê Weber Brazil
Gilvan Santos Brazil
Goalkeeping Coach Chiquinho Brazil
Fitness coaches Carlinhos Neves Brazil
Manoel dos Santos Brazil
Luis Otávio Kalil Brazil
Physiotherapists Rômulo Frank Brazil
Guilherme Fialho Brazil
Masseurs Belmiro Oliveira Brazil
Eduardo Vasconcelos Brazil
Hélio Gomes Brazil

Notable head coaches[edit]

The coaches with most matches in Atlético's history are:

Other head coaches[edit]

Current kit[edit]

  • 1st - Black with white vertical stripes;
  • 2nd - White with black numbers and details.
1st Kit
2nd Kit

Other kits[edit]

  • 2012
1st Kit
2nd Kit
  • 2011
1st Kit
2nd Kit
  • 2010
1st Kit
2nd Kit
  • 2009
1st Kit
2nd Kit
  • 2008
1st Kit
2nd Kit
3rd Kit


Despite being founded by upper class founders, the club opened its doors to everyone regardless of social class, quickly establishing itself as a "people's club". As a result, the club has the most supporters in the city and the largest supporters in the state.[1]

Atlético is the club which attracted most people to Mineirão; as of 2002, 20,887,391 people in 1,011 matches. Even with 51 less games than the second placed Cruzeiro, Atlético brought 1,542,884 people more. These stats do not include derbies.

Atlético's average attendances per year in Brazilian Championship:

Year Attendance Year Attendance Year Attendance Year Attendance Year Attendance
1971 - 1981 32,786 1991 26,763 2001 30,679 2011 14,179*
1972 20,396 1982 26,693 1992 17,310 2002 22,248 2012 18,309*
1973 17,813 1983 39,249 1993 5,650 2003 14,034 2013 11,436*
1974 12,727 1984 21,199 1994 22,673 2004 10,222 2014 14,132*
1975 27,087 1985 29,668 1995 21,072 2005 21,889
1976 46,581 1986 36,150 1996 25,449 2006 31,922¹
1977 55,664 1987 34,879 1997 23,342 2007 23,199
1978 14,958 1988 8,330 1998 19,562 2008 18,638
1979 18,965 1989 14,136 1999 42,322 2009 38,761
1980 48,252 1990 26,748 2000 13,657 2010 13,447*
  • From 2010 until now, Atlético is playing its home matches on smaller arenas like Arena do Jacaré (17,000 people) and the Estádio Independência (25,000 people) because of the renovation of Mineirão, which has a capacity of 62,170 people, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, Atlético's President said, that the club intends to build its own stadium instead of using other arenas.[18]

¹ In 2006 Atlético competed in the Série B


Atlético v Cruzeiro[edit]

Atlético plays two derbies in Belo Horizonte: Atlético v América and Atlético v Cruzeiro. Until the 1950s and early 1960s, the biggest derby in Minas Gerais was Atlético vs América, but from the mid-1960s on, Atlético vs. Cruzeiro became the biggest.

The Atlético vs Cruzeiro derby has been played 484 times, with 195 wins for Atlético, 161 wins for Cruzeiro and 128 draws. Atlético vs América has been played 376 times, with 186 wins for Atlético, 100 wins for América and 90 draws. The biggest win against Cruzeiro was 9-2 on November 27, 1927.[19]

Atlético v Flamengo[edit]

Atletico also has a great rivalry with CR Flamengo of Rio de Janeiro.[20]

The Rooster (Galo)[edit]

The team's mascot, the rooster, is one of the best-known mascots in the country. It was created in the 1940s by Fernando Pierucetti, a cartoonist for "A Folha de Minas" newspaper. He was designated to design a mascot for each of the three greatest clubs in Belo Horizonte. According to Pierucetti, the symbol of Atlético was the rooster because the team used to play with plenty of passion, and would never give up until the end of each match, just like roosters used in cockfights. Another reason is that the most popular hen breed raised in Brazil has mostly black-and-white feathers, thus making the rooster suitable.



  1. ^ a b IBOPE 2014 (in Portuguese). Retrieved August 27, 2014
  2. ^ RSSSF Champions Cup (FBF) 1937 Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  3. ^ RSSSF Champions Cup (CBD) 1978 Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  4. ^ Ranking BDO (in Portuguese). Retrieved August 25, 2014
  5. ^ "Atlético Mineiro, 100 años de grandeza" (in Spanish). FIFA. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Atlético: 100 anos honrando o nome de Minas" (in Portuguese). Gazeta Esportiva. 2008-03-25. Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  7. ^ The Best Club of South America RSSSF. Retrieved August 10, 2014
  8. ^ South American Competitions RSSSF. Retrieved August 10, 2014
  9. ^ RSSSF Campeonato Mineiro Retrieved Dezember 5, 2013
  10. ^ RSSSF Taça Minas Gerais Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  11. ^ RSSSF Taça Belo Horizonte Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  12. ^ RSSSF Initium Tournament Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  13. ^ RSSSF Champions Cup (FMF) Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  14. ^ RSSSF Incentives Tournament (FMF) Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  15. ^ RSSSF Bueno Brandão Cup Retrieved Dezember 10, 2013
  16. ^ "Futebol Profissional - Elenco" [Professional Football - Squad] (in Portuguese). Clube Atlético Mineiro. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Com Jô e André, Galo divulga lista dos 30 atletas que iniciam a Libertadores" [With Jô and André, Galo submit their 30-player squad for the Libertadores] (in Portuguese). Clube Atlético Mineiro. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Stadium (in Portuguese). Superesporte. Retrieved Dezember 5, 2013
  19. ^ "Maior Goleada da história" (in Portuguese). SuperEsportes. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Atlético e Flamengo revivem clássico dos anos 80". ESPN. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 

External links[edit]