Clube Atlético Mineiro

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Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro.svg
Full name Clube Atlético Mineiro
Nickname(s) Galo (Rooster)
Alvinegro (White and black)
Galão da Massa (The Crowd's Great Rooster)
Galo Doido (Crazy Rooster)
Campeão dos Campeões (Champion of Champions)
Founded March 25, 1908; 107 years ago (1908-03-25) (as Athletico Mineiro Foot Ball Club)[1]
Ground Independência
Ground Capacity 23,018[2]
President Daniel Nepomuceno
Head coach Levir Culpi
League Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Campeonato Mineiro
Brasileirão, 5th
Mineiro, 1st
Website Club home page
Current season

Clube Atlético Mineiro (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈklubi atˈlɛtʃiku miˈnejɾu]), commonly known as Atlético Mineiro or Atlético, and colloquially as Galo (pronounced: [ˈgalu], "Rooster") is a professional football club based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The club plays in the Brasileirão, the top tier of the Brazilian football league system, as well as in the Campeonato Mineiro, the premier state league of Minas Gerais.

Atlético Mineiro, the oldest active football club in Minas Gerais,[3] was founded on March 25, 1908 by twenty-two students from Belo Horizonte, led by Margival Mendes Leal and Mário Toledo.[4] Despite having liberal upper class founders, the club opened its doors to players of every social class, establishing itself as a "people's club",[5][6][7] and becoming one of the best supported in Brazil.[8]

Atlético Mineiro is one of Brazil's most successful clubs, having won the Brasileirão in 1971, while finishing as runner-up on four occasions. Domestically, Atlético has won one Copa do Brasil, one State Champions Cup[9] and the Copa dos Campeões da Copa Brasil.[10] The club has won the Campeonato Mineiro a record 43 times. In international club football, Atlético has won one Copa Libertadores, one Recopa Sudamericana and a record two Copa CONMEBOL, while taking part in three other continental finals.

The club plays the majority of its home matches at Estádio Independência, which holds up to 23,018 spectators. Mineirão, the club's ground for most of its history, is used as the team's home in important and high attendance matches, holding 62,160 people.[11] The club has a long-standing rivalry with Cruzeiro, with matches between the two teams being known as the Clássico Mineiro, and holds an interstate rivalry with Flamengo.

The team's regular home kit colours are black and white striped shirts, with black shorts, accompanied by white socks.[12] The club's mascot, a rooster (galo, in Portuguese), has been strongly associated with the club since its introduction in the 1940s, and through the years came to be a nickname by which it is commonly known.[13] The club is the 9th most valuable in Brazil, worth R$394.8 million (€122.7 million),[14] and ranks 8th in the country in terms of turnover, generating R$178.9 million in 2014 (€55.6 million).[15]


Foundation and early years[edit]

Atlético Mineiro was formed on March 25, 1908 by a group of twenty-two students from Belo Horizonte, who decided the club's name would be Athletico Mineiro Foot Ball Club. The club's first match was played against Sport Club Futebol on March 21, 1909, and won by Atlético 3–0, the first goal scored by Aníbal Machado.[4]

The Atlético Mineiro team that won the inaugural Campeonato Mineiro in 1915

In 1913 the club's name was officially changed to Clube Atlético Mineiro, and in the following year Atlético won Taça Bueno Brandão, the first competition ever held in the state of Minas Gerais.[16] In 1915, the club won the inaugural edition of the Campeonato Mineiro, the state league of Minas Gerais, then organised by the Liga Mineira de Sports Athléticos (which would later become the Federação Mineira de Futebol).[17]

A decade of dominance by América in Minas Gerais followed the first edition, and Atlético would win the state league back-to-back in 1926 and 1927, with a squad led by club legend Mário de Castro.[18] In 1929 the club played its first international encounter against Vitória de Setúbal, and won 3–1 in a match played at the Presidente Antônio Carlos Stadium, opened earlier in the same year, and which would be the club's home ground for the following two decades.[12]

Jornal dos Sports headline hails Atlético Mineiro as "Champion of Champions" after the 1937 State Champions Cup

After more state league victories in 1931, 1932 and 1936, Atlético won its first title at national level in 1937, the State Champions Cup organised by the Federação Brasileira de Foot-Ball (the federation for professional clubs that would later merge into the Brazilian Sports Confederation). The competition was contested by the 1936 state league champions from Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Espírito Santo: Atlético, Fluminense, Portuguesa and Rio Branco, with Galo defeating the latter 5–1 in the final match played at the Antônio Carlos stadium.[19] The title was followed in the decade by two more Campeonato Mineiro victories, in 1938 and 1939.

Success followed in the 1940s, with the club winning the state league again in 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947 and 1949.[20] 1950 saw another Campeonato Mineiro triumph, and was the year of the European tour, an important event in the club's history. The team played ten games in five European countries, against clubs from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Luxembourg. At a time when neither national competitions in Brazil nor continental in South America exist, and in the wake of the traumatic Maracanazo, the tour and Atlético's results, many of which achieved under adverse weather conditions and snow, were seen by national sports media as a historic achievement for Brazilian football itself.[21][22] The team was dubbed the Campeões do Gelo ("Ice Champions") for the feat, remembered in the club's official anthem.[23][24] Dominance in the state continued in the 1950s with five more Campeonato Mineiro victories in a row, from 1952 to 1956, and one more in 1958.

The 1960s were known as the decade in which the Mineirão was built, but were difficult times for the club. During this period, Atlético only managed to win the Campeonato Mineiro twice, in 1962 and 1963. It was in the mid-1960s that the rivalry with Cruzeiro strengthened, after the blue club won the first five state leagues of the Mineirão era in a row. However, highlights came in the form of friendlies against national sides: in 1968 Atlético, representing the Seleção, defeated then UEFA Euro runner-up Yugoslavia 3–2 in the Mineirão,[25] and in the following year the Seleção itself, which would become champions of the 1970 FIFA World Cup, was defeated by Atlético 2–1.[26]

National success and dominance in Minas Gerais[edit]

Dadá Maravilha was the top goalscorer and led to club to triumph in the 1971 Brasileirão

It was only in 1970, with the arrival of manager Telê Santana, that Atlético would break Cruzeiro's sequence and win its first state league title in the Mineirão.[27] In 1971, again managed by Telê and led by 1970 World Cup winner Dadá Maravilha, the club won its first and only Brasileirão, defeating Botafogo and São Paulo in a final group stage, securing its first continental participation.[28] The team failed to advance to the second stage of the 1972 Copa Libertadores, however.

After four trophyless years, in 1976 Atlético won the state league again and finished third place in Campeonato Brasileiro. Starting from 1977 Atlético's youth sectors formed a golden generation of players that would last until the middle of the 1980s, regarded as one of the greatest in the club's history.[29] Players like Reinaldo, Toninho Cerezo, Éder, Luisinho, Paulo Isidoro and João Leite led Atlético to win the state league six times in a row from 1978 to 1983, and to good results in the Série A. The team finished as Brasileirão runner-up in the 1977 edition, losing to São Paulo on penalties at the Mineirão, despite remaining undefeated for the entire season. Reinaldo, the league's top scorer in that year with a 1.56 goal per match average, was banned from the final, according to him because of his insistence to celebrate his goals raising his fist, a political symbol which opposed Brazilian military government of the time.[30] The following year, Atlético reached Copa Libertadores semi-finals and won the Copa dos Campeões Brasileiros, a tournament organised by the Brazilian Sports Confederation between past winners of the Brasileirão, this time defeating São Paulo on a penalty shootout in the final.[31]

Reinaldo (right), nicknamed "O Rei" ("The King"), is Atlético's all-time top goalscorer and was part of the club's golden generation

In 1980, Atlético lost again in a controversial Brasileirão final. Three players were sent-off against Flamengo, among them Reinaldo, who received a straight red card after scoring twice.[32][33][34] The following year, Atlético would be eliminated from Copa Libertadores without losing a match, after having five players sent off in a play-off match against Flamengo at Serra Dourada stadium.[34][35] Atlético took part in and won international friendly competitions in the decade, such as the Amsterdam Tournament and the Tournoi de Paris.[36][37] The club had the best performances of the 1980, 1983 and 1985 Brasileirão editions, and won the Campeonato Mineiro in 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989.[20] The 1980s were a decade in which the club was dominant against its rival in the state and one of the country's top sides,[38][39] providing many players to the Brazilian national team and having good performances in the Brasileirão, but failed to win it due to a tendency to lose in the final knockout stages of the competition.

International achievements and financial turmoil[edit]

In the following decade, Atlético won the state league in 1991 and saw success at international level in 1992, when it won the Copa CONMEBOL, its first official international title, defeating Olimpia in the finals.[40] The club then took part in the 1993 Copa de Oro, in which it eliminated rivals Cruzeiro in the semi-finals but eventually lost to Boca Juniors.[41] After finishing fourth in the 1994 Brasileirão, in 1995 the club won the state league and reached Copa CONMEBOL's finals again, this time losing to Rosario Central.[42] In 1996 Atlético participated in the Copa Masters CONMEBOL, a competition between past winners of the Copa CONMEBOL played in Cuiabá, in which it eliminated Rosario Central in the semi-finals but and lost São Paulo in the final match, while finishing third in the Brasileirão.[43] Another triumph came in the 1997 edition of the CONMEBOL, in which an Atlético team that included Marques and Cláudio Taffarel defeated Lanús in the finals and won the trophy for a second, undefeated, time.[44] That year the club finished the national league in fourth place. In 1999, after another Campeonato Mineiro title, Atlético, led by Marques and league top-scorer Guilherme, reached the Série A finals for the fourth time, but lost to Corinthians. Despite international success and good performances in the Série A, the decade was marked by bad club management by Atlético's presidents and deteriorating finances, which made the club one of the most indebted in Brazilian football.[45]

In 2000, Atlético won Campeonato Mineiro and reached Copa Libertadores quarter-finals and the semi-finals of Copa Mercosur, but had a bad season in Copa João Havelange, that year's national league edition. The following year, despite a good performance in the Brasileirão with a squad which included Marques, Guilherme and Gilberto Silva, the team once again was eliminated in the Série A semi-finals, eventually finishing in fourth place. After a 7th-place finish in 2003 and a very bad 2004 season in which it barely escaped relegation, in 2005, after a disastrous start, the club was demoted to Série B.[46]

The club was promoted straight back up as Série B champion in 2006, returning to the Série A in 2007.[47] That year Atlético won the Campeonato Mineiro, defeating rivals Cruzeiro in the final, and managed to finish 8th in the league, earning a spot at the following year's Copa Sudamericana. In 2009, with Diego Tardelli in good form, Atlético led the Brasileirão in eight of the thirty-eight rounds, before eventually finishing in seventh place.[48] Despite some highlights in the first and final years, the 2000s were not a successful age in the club's history, marked once again by bad administration and frequent managerial changes.[49] Alexandre Kalil was chosen as the club's new president in 2008, and tried to improve its finances and status.[50]

National resurgence and international success[edit]

Ronaldinho played an important part in the club's resurgence after his arrival in 2012

In 2010, the team won its 40th Campeonato Mineiro, but finished 13th in the Série A. After another bad year in 2011, barely escaping relegation once again, the arrival of manager Cuca in the end of that season marked the beginning of another successful era for the club.[51] 2012 started with an undefeated Campeonato Mineiro triumph, and the arrival of Ronaldinho in the middle of the season was an important event for the club, which eventually finished as runner-up in the Série A and earned a spot in the following year's Copa Libertadores.

2013 saw the return of Tardelli and Gilberto Silva to the club, who joined Ronaldinho, and Bernard, and Atlético once again had a strong start with yet another Campeonato Mineiro win and qualification for the knockout stages of Libertadores as the best team of the second stage.[52] An iconic moment for the club happened at the Independência, which had been adopted since 2012 as the club's home ground after renovations, in the second leg of the continental competition's quarter-finals against Tijuana. After a 2–2 away draw and with the score 1–1 at home, Leonardo Silva fouled a Tijuana player inside the box at the 87th minute and a penalty was awarded, subsequently saved by Victor with his foot. The save, according to sports commentators and fans, represented the kicking out of the club's historic bad luck.[53][54][55] After defeating Newell's Old Boys in the semi-finals in a penalty shootout, following a 2–0 first-leg defeat and a 2–0 home win, the club reached the finals of the competition for the first time.[56] Atlético then won its first Copa Libertadores after defeating Olimpia in a penalty shootout by a score of 4–3, after once again losing the first leg by 2–0 and winning the second by 2–0 at the Mineirão.[57] Atlético's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup, however, was unsuccessful, as the team failed to reach the finals after losing to Raja Casablanca, and eventually finished in third place.[58]

Atlético Mineiro against Arsenal de Sarandí in the 2013 Copa Libertadores

The following year, Atlético won its first Recopa Sudamericana after once again meeting Lanús at a continental final, which finished 4–3 in the aggregate score after extra-time. After a 1–0 away win in the first leg and a 3–2 defeat in the second leg after 90 minutes, own goals by Lanús players in extra-time gave Atlético the title at the Mineirão.[59] Later in the same year, after home comebacks in the quarter-finals against Corinthians and in the semi-finals against Flamengo, the club managed to win its first Copa do Brasil, defeating rivals Cruzeiro twice in highly anticipated finals, the first at national level to feature both rivals.[60] In the end of 2014 Alexandre Kalil's term at the club's presidency ended and Daniel Nepomuceno was elected for the office.[61] The team's successful run in the decade continued with its 43rd state league triumph in 2015.[62]

Symbols and colours[edit]


The club first used an emblem in 1922, which consisted of a simple design of the three initials of the club's name ("CAM" for Clube Atlético Mineiro) in an oval shape in black. The first change occurred in 1923, when a black and white striped Swiss escutcheon was adopted, with the letters in its upper part and black and white stripes in the lower.[63] The crests's general format has been kept ever since, with only the exact format and the placement of the black and white stripes within the escutcheon changing throughout the decades. The only significant change came in the 1970s when a golden star above the badge was adopted, alluding to the 1971 Série A title.[64] Red stars above the badge were featured on two occasions, alluding to the 1978 Copa dos Campeões and the 1992 Copa CONMEBOL victories, but were removed in 1999.[65]


The club's rooster mascot as designed by Italian-Brazilian artist Alfredo Volpi

The team's mascot, a rooster, is one of the best-known in the country.[66] It was created in the 1940s by Fernando Pierucetti, a cartoonist for A Folha de Minas newspaper. Pierucetti, known as Mangabeira, was designated to design a mascot for each of the three greatest clubs in Belo Horizonte. According to Mangabeira, Atlético's would be the rooster because the team used to play with passion and would never give up until the end of each match, just like roosters in cockfights.[67] Another reason is that the most popular hen breed raised in Brazil has mostly black-and-white feathers, thus making the rooster suitable.

Throughout the years the word Galo (Portuguese for "rooster") became both a cheering chant for the supporters and a nickname by which they referred to the club, a denomination which eventually spread to other football fans in the country as well.[68] The nickname is mentioned in the club's anthem, whose chorus hails Atlético as a "strong and avenging rooster".[23][69] In the club's home matches, a human-sized mascot in the form of a rooster, the Galo Doido ("Crazy Rooster"), cheers the crowd.[70]


The club's home kit consists of a black and white vertically striped shirt, with black shorts and white socks. The width of the black and white stripes varies from season to season, as do the shirt numbers colours, usually in red, black, white or yellow. Atlético's traditional away kit is all-white shirts, shorts and socks, but has had slight variations.[71] Number 12 is retired from the club's kits, dedicated to the fans.[72]

Shirt sponsors and kit manufacturers[edit]

From the 1981 season onwards the club has had its kits manufactured by sportswear corporations, the first one being Brazilian company Rainha. In 1982 bank Credireal was the first shirt sponsor.[73]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1981 Rainha
1982 Credireal
1983 Adidas
1984–1985 Precon
1986 Penalty Agrimisa
1991 Dell'erba
1992–1993 Penalty
1994 Umbro
1995 Multivision/Corona/TAM
1996 TAM
1997 Penalty Lousano/Tenda
1998 Tenda
1999 31
2000 GALO
2002–2003 Umbro Fiat
2004 MRV Engenharia
2005–2007 Diadora
2008 Lotto Fiat
2010–2012 Topper Banco BMG
2013 Lupo
2014 Puma
2015 MRV Engenharia


Match played between Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro at the Presidente Antônio Carlos stadium in 1941

Atlético had its first own home ground at Paraopeba Avenue, in downtown Belo Horizonte, built in 1912 across the street from América's first stadium.[74] The club's main ground for most of its early years, however, was the Presidente Antônio Carlos stadium, which held 5,000 people, nicknamed Estádio de Lourdes for the bairro in which it was located. The Antônio Carlos was one of the first stadiums in Brazil to feature floodlights, and opened on May 30, 1929 in a friendly against Corinthians, won by Atlético 4–2. The following year, the stadium was visited by then FIFA president Jules Rimet, who for the first time watched a night game.[75] The stadium fell out of favor, however, when the larger Independência was built in 1950, and remained largely unused by the first squad, eventually being sold by the club to the Belo Horizonte municipality in the 1960s. After decades of legal disputes with the municipal government, the estate returned to the club in 1991, and was leased to a shopping mall, which was built in 1996 where the ground once was, across the street from Atlético's administrative headquarters.[76]

Atlético Mineiro playing against Fluminense at Independência, the club's main home ground since its renovation in 2012

Construction for Estádio Raimundo Sampaio, more commonly known as Independência, started in 1947 in preparation for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, during which its first match was played.[77] Originally property of the Government of Minas Gerais, ownership was transferred to Sete de Setembro FC in 1965 when the Mineirão was built, and in 1997 property passed to América, when it absorbed Sete de Setembro.[78] Before Mineirão, the stadium was the largest in Belo Horizonte holding up to 30,000 people, and was preferred by Atlético over the older and smaller Antônio Carlos stadium. After the Mineirão's construction, however, Atlético did not use the stadium for decades, the exception being a brief spell in the late 1990s. The stadium was renovated in 2012, while Mineirão was closed in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and in that year Atlético announced a deal with BWA, the stadium manager. The club signed a contract to use the stadium as its home ground for 10 years, which has happened since then, except in important and high attendance matches.[12]

Mineirão, the club's ground for most of its history, was renovated for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is used as the team's home in important matches

Mineirão (officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto) opened in 1965, and quickly became the home of both Atlético and Cruzeiro,[79] due to being much larger than any other stadium in Belo Horizonte or in the state, holding over 100,000 spectators at its peak. Property of the State of Minas Gerais, Mineirão was Atlético's home since its opening until it closed in 2010 for renovations prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when the club temporarily moved to Arena do Jacaré in Sete Lagoas and subsequently to Independência in 2012.[80] Historically the club's home ground, Atlético's most important matches have all been played at the Mineirão, a fact that has continued even after Independência became the first choice home stadium.[81][82] After the renovation, Mineirão has an overall capacity of 62,160.[83]

In 2015 it was announced by club president Daniel Nepomuceno that Atlético has a four-year project to build a new stadium in Belo Horizonte, with a 45,000 capacity.[84][85]

Cidade do Galo ("Rooster City"), the club's main training facility since 2001, has been laureated as the best in Brazil and is considered one of the best in the world.[86][87] It hosted the Argentina national football team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[88] Other facilities owned by the club include Vila Olímpica, the old training grounds opened in 1973 that hosted the Seleção in its preparation for the 1982 FIFA World Cup,[89] and Labareda, a leisure and health club in Belo Horizonte.[90]


The massa supporting Atlético at the Independência

Atlético Mineiro was founded by liberal upper class students, but from an early age opened its doors to players from every social class, nationality or ethnicity, which earned it a "people's club" status in Belo Horizonte and in the state, while América had a reputation as an elitist club and Cruzeiro was strongly associated with the local Italian colony at the time.[5][6][91] As a result of the popular support, the fans came to be collectively known as "A Massa" (Portuguese for "the mass").[92] According to a 2014 survey conducted by IBOPE and Lance!, the club is the best-supported in Belo Horizonte and in Minas Gerais, and has the 6th largest fanbase in Brazil, with seven million supporters.[8] A 2014 survey by Datafolha, however, shows Atlético as the second best-supported club in Minas Gerais and 10th in Brazil.[93] The club has had the best average attendance in nine editions of the Série A since 1972.[94]

Atlético has many torcidas organizadas that support the club, the oldest being Dragões da FAO, founded in 1969, and the largest and best-known being Galoucura. Other notable torcidas include Galö Metal, Movimento 105 Minutos and the Charanga, a brass band which plays during the club's home matches.[95] Galoucura has historically developed alliances with other torcidas in Brazil, most notably Palmeiras's Mancha Verde and Vasco da Gama's Força Jovem.[96] After difficult but successful comebacks in 2013 and 2014, the fans have adopted the motto "Eu acredito" ("I believe") to support the club in against-the-odds situations.[97][98] Number 12 is retired from the club's jerseys and dedicated to the fans.[72]

In 1999 the club introduced Galo de Prata ("Silver Rooster"), a trophy officially awarded by Atlético to sportspeople, illustrious supporters, artists, politicians, and organisations that somehow promote the club's name.[99] Since the implementation of municipal and state laws in 2007 and 2008, Dia do Atleticano ("Atleticano Day") is officially celebrated in Belo Horizonte and Minas Gerais every year on March 25, the day of the club's foundation.[100][101] Atlético launched TV Galo in 2007, a TV Channel which provides content for fans such as interviews with players and staff, in addition to coverage of training sessions and matches, footballing news, and other themed programming.[102] Since 2012, the club has an affiliation program called Galo na Veia, in which supporters can become season ticket holders or pay monthly fees to buy match tickets at reduced price.[103]


Atlético Mineiro supporters during a 2007 Clássico Mineiro match held at the Mineirão, prior to the stadium's renovation

Atlético has two traditional derbies in Belo Horizonte, against América and against Cruzeiro. Until the 1950s and early 1960s, the strongest rivalry in Minas Gerais was between Atlético and América, but from the mid-1960s on, Atlético against Cruzeiro became the biggest derby.[104][105] Atlético also has an interstate rivalry with Flamengo of Rio de Janeiro, developed in the 1980s from numerous controversial encounters between the two clubs in that decade's Brasileirão and Copa Libertadores editions, which remained through the following years.[106]

The Atlético–Cruzeiro derby, known as Clássico Mineiro ("Mineiro Derby"), has been played 491 times, with 199 wins for Atlético, 162 wins for Cruzeiro and 130 draws.[107] Atlético's biggest win against Cruzeiro was 9–2 on November 27, 1927.[108] Atlético dominated the rivalry from its early days until the 1950s, but Cruzeiro rose in the 1960s and 1970s to be a strong challenger. The 1980s were favourable to Atlético, while the 1990s and 2000s to Cruzeiro. In the 2010s, Atlético achieved an eleven-game undefeated run against its rival, running from 2013 to 2015. In 2014, Atlético and Cruzeiro were finalists of Copa do Brasil, the first national final between the two clubs. Atlético Mineiro triumphed with an aggregate score of 3–0, the final match being played at the Mineirão.[60]

Atlético–América, known as the Clássico das Multidões ("Derby of the Masses") before the construction of the Mineirão,[109] has been played 394 times, with 194 wins for Atlético, 103 wins for América and 97 draws.[110]


Bernard, who won the 2013 Copa Libertadores with Atlético Mineiro, is the club's record selling transfer

Former goalkeeper João Leite holds Atlético's official appearance record, with 684.[111] Forward Reinaldo is Galo's all-time leading goalscorer with 255 goals since joining the club's first squad in 1973.[112] In the 1977 season, Reinaldo scored 28 goals in 18 appearances, setting the club record for more Brasileirão goals in a single season, which is the best average goal per game record in the Série A.[113] Dadá Maravilha comes in second with 211, the only other player to score over 200 goals for the team.[114] Argentine striker Lucas Pratto is Atlético's all-time foreign goalscorer with 19 goals.[115]

Telê Santana, who managed the Brazilian national football team in two FIFA World Cups, is Galo's longest serving head coach, sitting on the bench in 434 matches during three periods in the 1970s and 1980s.[116] Elias Kalil and his son Alexandre are Atlético's longest serving presidents, with six years each.

The first official game participated in by Atlético was in the 1915 Campeonato Mineiro against Yale, and won 5–0.[117] The biggest ever victory recorded by Galo was 13–0 against Calafate, in the 1927 Campeonato Mineiro. In the national league, the biggest win came against Ferroviária, 7–1 in the 1982 season.[118] The club's home attendance record, derbies excepted, is 115,142 in a friendly match against Flamengo at the Mineirão, played in 1980.[119] Atlético holds the Brazilian record for longest unbeaten run at home, with 54 matches from 2011 to 2013.[120][121]

The purchase of André from Dynamo Kyiv in 2012 is the club's buying transfer record, costing around €8 million.[122] Atlético's record sale is the transfer of Bernard to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, which costed the Ukrainian club €25 million.[123]

Finances and ownership[edit]

As is the case for most Brazilian football clubs, Atlético Mineiro's by-law defines the club as a not-for-profit public utility association, formed by associates (sócios). The club's administrative powers are the General Assembly, the Deliberative Council, the Board, the Fiscal Council and the Ethics and Discipline Council. The General Assembly, composed of all associates, elects a the Deliberative Council among its members every three years, which in turn elects and removes the club's Board, responsible for the executive management of the club.[124] Season ticket holders and participants of the Galo na Veia program, which are called sócios-torcedores, are not full club associates and cannot vote or be voted in the elections.[125]

A research conducted by BDO in 2015 indicates the club has a brand value of 394.8 million reais (€122.7 million), the 9th most valuable in Brazil.[14] In terms of annual turnover, Atlético ranks 8th in the country, with R$178.9 million (€55.6 million) in 2014, which represented a 21% decrease compared to the previous year.[15] The club's main sponsorship deal with MRV Engenharia, worth R$ 23 million (€7.1 million) per year, is the third biggest in the country.[126] Atlético is Brazil's fourth highest earner in terms of television rights, attaining R$80.4 million (€25 million) in 2014.[127] The club's kit sponsorship deal with Puma is worth R$ 15 million (€4.6 million) per year.[128]

The club's gross debt is R$486.6 million (€151.3 million), the fourth largest in Brazil, with a R$48.6 million (€15.1 million) deficit in 2014.[129] The club's balance sheet states it experiences operational losses, and according to a study by Itaú BBA, Atlético operates in a dangerous "financial all in".[130][131] The majority of the club's debt is owed to the Federal government of Brazil, totalling R$286.6 million (€89.1 million), and in 2015, after a law sanctioned by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Atlético and other clubs stated their intention to join a government program for debt financing.[132]


The Copa Libertadores in the club's trophy room

Atlético Mineiro's first trophy was Taça Bueno Brandão, won in 1914. The club's first Campeonato Mineiro title came in 1915, the inaugural edition of the competition, which Atlético has won a record 43 times. The club's first and only Brasileirão title was won in 1971, and the first Copa do Brasil came in 2014. At international level, Atlético is the most of successful club of Copa CONMEBOL with two wins, and has won the Copa Libertadores and the Recopa Sudamericana once each. The club's most recent trophy is the 2015 Campeonato Mineiro.


Winners (1): 2013
Winners (2): 1992, 1997
Winners (1): 2014



Winners (1): 1971
Winners (1): 2014
Winners (1): 1937
Winners (1): 1978
Winners (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
Winners (5): 1975, 1976, 1979, 1986, 1987


For a list of all former and current Atlético Mineiro players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Clube Atlético Mineiro players.

Current squad[edit]

As of August 24, 2015[135]

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 MF Rafael Carioca
6 Brazil DF Douglas Santos
8 Brazil MF Leandro Donizete
9 Argentina FW Lucas Pratto
10 Argentina MF Jesús Dátolo
13 Brazil FW Carlos
14 Brazil MF Giovanni Augusto
15 Brazil DF Edcarlos (vice-captain)
16 Brazil DF Pedro Botelho (on loan from Atlético Paranaense)
18 Brazil DF Carlos César
19 Colombia MF Sherman Cárdenas (on loan from Atlético Nacional)
No. Position Player
20 Brazil GK Giovanni
22 Brazil FW Thiago Ribeiro (on loan from Santos)
23 Brazil MF Dodô
25 Brazil MF Danilo Pires (on loan from Corinthians Alagoano)
26 Brazil DF Tiago
27 Brazil FW Luan
28 Brazil MF Josué
29 Brazil DF Patric
30 Brazil MF Eduardo
31 Brazil DF Jesiel
32 Brazil GK Uilson
33 Brazil GK Rodolfo
37 Brazil DF Mansur (on loan from Vitória)
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 (at Sport Recife)
Brazil DF Emerson (at Avaí)
Brazil DF Eron (at Ceará)
Brazil MF Fillipe Soutto (at Náutico)
Brazil MF Leleu (at Paysandu)
Brazil MF Renan Oliveira (at Avaí)
No. Position Player
Brazil MF Serginho (at Vasco da Gama)
Brazil MF Maicosuel (at Al Sharjah)
Brazil FW André (at Sport Recife)
Brazil FW Marion (at Joinville)
Brazil FW Neto Berola (at Santos)
Brazil FW Wescley (at Ceará)

Retired number[edit]

12A Massa (the 12th man)

Non-playing staff[edit]

Corporate management[edit]

The club's board took office on December 3, 2014, with its term ending on December 31, 2017.[136]

Position Staff
President Daniel Nepomuceno
Vice-President Manuel Bravo Saramago
Director of Football Eduardo Maluf
Planning Director Rodolfo Gropen
Executive Director Adriana Branco
Legal Director Lásaro Cândido da Cunha
Finances Director Carlos Fabel
Communications Director Domênico Bhering
Vila Olímpica Director Edéferson Araújo

Team management[edit]

Atlético has a permanent technical staff, managerial positions excepted.

Information correct as of August 2015.[137]

Position Staff
Manager Levir Culpi
Assistant Manager Luís Matter
Technical Supervisor Carlos Alberto Isidoro
Fitness Coach Rodolfo Mehl
Luís Otávio Kalil
Goalkeeper Coach Francisco Cersósimo
Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar
Marcus Vinícius
Otaviano Oliveira
Physical therapist Rômulo Frank
Guilherme Fialho
Physiologist Roberto Chiari
Sports Technology Assistant Alexandre Ceolin
Dentist Marcelo Lasmar
Nutritionist Evandro Vasconcelos
Natália Carvalho
Masseur Belmiro Oliveira
Eduardo Vasconcelos
Hélio Gomes
Field Assistant Rubens Pinheiro

Notable managers[edit]

For a list of all former Atlético Mineiro managers with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Clube Atlético Mineiro managers.

The following are the managers with most matches in charge of the club.[138][139]

Name Matches Trophies
Brazil Telê Santana 434 Brasileirão, 2 Campeonato Mineiro
Brazil Procópio Cardoso 328 Copa CONMEBOL, 3 Campeonato Mineiro
Brazil Levir Culpi 278 Recopa Sudamericana, Copa do Brasil, 3 Campeonato Mineiro, Série B
Brazil Barbatana 227 3 Campeonato Mineiro
Uruguay Ricardo Diéz 171 3 Campeonato Mineiro
Brazil Yustrich 159 1 Campeonato Mineiro
Brazil Cuca 153 Copa Libertadores, 2 Campeonato Mineiro

Other departments[edit]


Atlético Mineiro opened its futsal department in the 1960s, achieving victories at state level in the following decades, and winning the Taça Brasil in 1985.[140] In the late 1990s the team, named Atlético Pax de Minas for sponsorship reasons, was dominant at national and international level. With players such as Manoel Tobias, Falcão and Lenísio in its roster, Atlético won the Brazilian Liga Futsal twice, in 1997 and 1999, and the Intercontinental Futsal Cup in 1998, being runner-up in 2000.[141] In the second leg of the 1999 Liga Futsal finals against Rio de Janeiro, the attendance at Mineirinho was 25,713, a world record in the sport.[142] In 2000 the sponsorship deal with Pax de Minas ended and the club's professional senior futsal team folded, with the youth sectors remaining. In 2009 the futsal department ceased operations.[143]

Olympic sports[edit]

Throughout its history, Atlético Mineiro had departments for other olympic sports, with the athletics and volleyball ones achieving notability. In 1983 runner João da Mata won the São Silvestre road race as an Atlético athlete.[144] In 2007 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and Alice Timbilil won the race and celebrated their victory with Atlético flags, and the club's board stated the athletes had been sponsored as a marketing strategy.[145] The club's volleyball department won the Minas Gerais Volleyball Championship a total of twelve times, ranking second in the state for most titles won. The team had a specially successful period in the early 1980s, under administrative management of Alexandre Kalil, who would become club President in 2009.[146]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Baêta, Marcelo (2012). 1971: o ano do galo. São Paulo: Panda. ISBN 978-85-7888-252-5. 
  • Drummond, Roberto (2007). Uma Paixão em Preto e Branco. Belo Horizonte: Leitura. ISBN 978-85-7358-796-8. 
  • Freire, Alexandre (2007). Preto no branco: ensaios sobre o Clube Atlético Mineiro: o Galo entre a razão e a paixão. Belo Horizonte: Alexandre Freire. ISBN 978-85-906856-1-6. 
  • Goldblatt, David (2014). Futebol Nation, a Footballing History of Brazil. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-02-419697-8-6. 
  • Marra, Mário; Bertozzi, Leonardo; Beting, Mauro (2013). Nós acreditamos! Campeão da libertadores 2013. São Paulo: BB. ISBN 978-85-62716-28-7. 
  • Ziller, Aldechi (1997). Enciclopédia Atlético de todos os tempos: a vida, as lutas, as glórias do Clube Atlético Mineiro, o campeoníssimo das Gerais (2 ed.). Belo Horizonte. 

External links[edit]