Copa União

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For the competition organized in 1987 by CBF, see 1987 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Season 1987
Champions [sport clube do recife)

The 1987 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (officially the 1987 Copa União) was the 31st edition of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. Was an independent league organized in 1987 by the Club of 13—an association of the 13 most popular football teams in Brazil, and played altogether by 16 teams. It was won by Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, which were considered the national champions by the Club of 13, the National Council of Sports and most of the media at the time. The Brazilian Football Confederation, nonetheless—even though it approved the organization of the national championship by the Club of 13 at its inception—eventually adopted its own rules for the national championship, with the Copa União already underway. Since the CBF organized championship was boycotted by the Club of 13, the Brazilian Football Confederation considered Sport Club do Recife to be the 1987 national champions.


In 1987, the CBF announced it had no financial conditions to organize the Brazilian football championship, a mere few weeks before it was scheduled to begin. 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 and was run by the 16 clubs that eventually took part in it (Santa Cruz, Coritiba and Goiás were invited to join), completely free from CBF authority (a move not unlike the creation of club-administered leagues in Europe). The CBF initially stood by the Club of the 13 decision.[1] However, weeks later, with the competition already underway, and under pressure from football clubs excluded from the Copa União, the CBF adopted a new set of rules, which considered the Copa União part of a larger tournament, comprising other 16 smaller teams. According to that new set of rules, the Copa União would be dubbed the Green Module of the CBF championship, whereas the other 16 teams would play the Yellow Module. In the end, the first two teams of each Module would play each other to define the national champions and the two teams that would represent Brazil in the Copa Libertadores in 1988. However, that new set of rules was never recognized by the Club of the 13[1] and largely ignored by most of the Brazilian media, who concentrated their attention in the independent league, eventually won by Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.

The competition[edit]

The Copa União was a single round robin from which four teams would qualify for the semifinals. Clube dos 13 signed sponsoring contracts with Coca-Cola and Rede Globo, which guaranteed the clubs would be paid unprecedented rates for TV broadcasts.

CBF initially agreed to grant the 1987 national title to the Copa União winners. However it eventually backed off due to pressure from smaller clubs, mainly the ones that were excluded from the championship, and also due to the prospect of forever losing control of the national championship. CBF then announced, with Copa União already taking place, that the national championship would be decided in a run-off between the two best teams of the Copa União and the two best teams of a tournament congregating smaller teams (which the CBF dubbed the "Yellow Module"). The move was rejected Clube dos 13, which announced none of its members would take part in the play-off. Most of the media and the public opinion sided with them.

The Copa União was a huge success both in terms of stadium attendance and TV audience, and also for the quality of football that was displayed. Having barely qualified for the semifinals, Flamengo went on to eliminate favorite Atlético Mineiro with two historic wins, 1-0 at the Estádio do Maracanã and 3-2 at the Mineirão. In the final round, the Rio de Janeiro side became the champions after a 1-1 draw in Porto Alegre and a 1-0 victory at the Maracanã over Internacional.

Among Flamengo's starting eleven that year, only one player, Aílton, has never played for the Brazilian national football team. The side consisted of such famous players as Zico, Bebeto, Jorginho, Zé Carlos (goalkeeper), Leandro, Edinho, Leonardo, Andrade, Zinho and Renato Gaúcho, who was elected the best player in the tournament.

Consistent with the Clube dos 13 decision, both Flamengo and Internacional refused to face Sport Recife and Guarani—who had agreed to share the Yellow Module title—in the final play-off CBF had convened. Since Flamengo and Internacional did not show up, the CBF championship finals consisted only of a rematch of the Yellow Module finals. In the first game, in Campinas, both teams tied 1-1. On February 7, 1988, Sport beat Guarani 1-0 and was declared the 1987 national champions by the CBF. Most of the media and the public opinion, however, did not give much credit to Sport's claim to the title, and considered Flamengo the Brazilian champions of that year.

Clube dos 13 and the National Sports Council (CND), the entity legally in charge of settling the dispute at the time, before the 1988 Constitution, considered Flamengo to be the 1987 Brazilian Champions. CBF, however, declared Sport to be the national champions, and the club, along with Guarani, represented Brazil in the 1988 Copa Libertadores de América. On their pursue for legitimacy, Sport filed a lawsuit in Pernambuco's regional section of Brazilian Federal court, which declared the club as the 1987 national champions.

Final Results[edit]

Pos Club Pts P W D L GF GA GD
1 Flamengo 24 19 9 6 4 22 15 7
2 Internacional 18 19 6 6 7 14 12 2
3 Atlético Mineiro 25 17 10 5 2 23 9 14
4 Cruzeiro 21 17 6 9 2 16 7 9
5 Grêmio 18 15 7 4 4 14 8 6
6 São Paulo 17 15 7 3 5 21 12 9
7 Fluminense 17 15 6 5 4 14 12 2
8 Palmeiras 16 15 7 2 6 11 13 -2
9 Botafogo 15 15 4 7 4 11 9 2
10 Vasco da Gama 13 15 5 3 7 17 18 -1
11 Bahia 13 15 4 5 6 11 18 -7
12 Coritiba 12 15 4 4 7 15 22 -7
13 Goiás 11 15 3 5 7 8 15 -7
14 Santa Cruz 11 15 3 5 7 10 20 -10
15 Santos 11 15 2 7 6 7 17 -10
16 Corinthians 10 15 2 6 7 9 16 -7


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Flamengo 4-2 Atlético Mineiro 1-0 3-2
Internacional 4-2 Cruzeiro 1-0 3-2 (1-0 after extra time)


December 6, 1987
Internacional 1 – 1 Flamengo
Amarildo Goal 32' Bebeto Goal 30'
Porto Alegre, Beira-Rio
Attendance: 63,228
Referee: Ulisses Tavares Filho

December 13, 1987
Flamengo 1 – 0
(2 – 1 agg.)
Bebeto Goal 16'
Rio de Janeiro, Maracanã
Attendance: 91,034
Referee: José de Assis Aragão
GK 1 Brazil Zé Carlos
RB 2 Brazil Jorginho
CB 3 Brazil Leandro
CB 5 Brazil Edinho Booked
LB 4 Brazil Leonardo
DM 6 Brazil Andrade
MF 8 Brazil Ailton
AM 10 Brazil Zico (c) Substituted off 79'
FW 7 Brazil Renato Gaúcho
CF 9 Brazil Bebeto
FW 11 Brazil Zinho
MF 14 Brazil Flávio Substituted in 79'
Head coach:
Brazil Carlinhos
GK 1 Brazil Taffarel
RB 2 Brazil Luiz Carlos Winck (c)
CB 3 Brazil Aloísio Booked
CB 6 Brazil Nenê
LB 4 Brazil Paulo Roberto Substituted off 45'
DM 5 Brazil Norberto
MF 10 Brazil Balalo
MF 8 Brazil Luiz Fernando Flores
FW 7 Brazil Hêider Substituted off 74'
CF 9 Brazil Amarildo
FW 11 Paraguay Félix Brítez
CB 13 Brazil Beto Substituted in 45'
FW 16 Brazil Manu Substituted in 74'
Head coach:
Brazil Ênio Andrade


1987 Copa União Champions:

Clube de Regatas do Flamengo
One-off tournament

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Copa União 1987 e Clube dos 13 a linha do tempo e do dinheiro" (in Portuguese). Lance!. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]