Ipatinga Esporte Clube
|Full name||Ipatinga Esporte Clube|
|Nickname(s)||Tigrão (Big Tiger)
|Founded||May 21, 1998|
|Stadium||Estádio Municipal João Lamego Netto, Ipatinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil|
|Head coach||Wallace Lemos|
|League||Campeonato Mineiro Modulo 2|
|2014||Série D, 40th|
Ipatinga Esporte Clube, is a Brazilian football club based in Ipatinga, state of Minas Gerais, founded on May 21, 1998. During the 2013 season club played in Betim, shortly after returned to Ipatinga in 2015.
The club was founded May 21, 1998 by entrepreneur Itair Machado, a former player for Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro, and at the time the sponsor of Social Futebol Clube, a club located in Coronel Fabriciano city (a neighbor city of Ipatinga), with the support of Gercy Mathias, who was the president of the amateur club Novo Cruzeiro Futebol Clube, located in Ipatinga's neighborhood of Novo Cruzeiro; Cosme Mattos, former sportsman; Doctor Rinaldo Campos Soares, president of Sistema Usiminas; Doctor Ronaldo Monteiro de Souza, president of Usisaúde, and Francisco Carlos Delfino (also known as "Chico Ferramenta"), then mayor of Ipatinga. Together, they professionalized Novo Cruzeiro Futebol Clube and renamed the club as Ipatinga Futebol Clube.
After establishing a team of professional players, the administrators entered the team to the state championship where the team came second in the second division in 1998. In the following year, the team competed in the first division, coming second in the Second Module of the division. As a result, in 2000 Ipatinga Futebol Clube played against the state's elite teams throughout the First Module of the first Division, ending the competition in fourth place.
Seven years after its foundation, the team won the 2005 state title, beating Cruzeiro and finished as runner-up of the competition the following year. In the 2006, Ipatinga competed in the Copa do Brasil, which is the second most important national competition in Brazil. To reach the semifinals, the team beat Botafogo and Santos, respectively the champions of that year's (2006)Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo state championships. However, Ipatinga was eliminated by Flamengo, of Rio de Janeiro, in the semifinals. Shortly after the competition was over, three players and the coach of Ipatinga transferred to Flamengo. In 2006, the club also finished third in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, thus being promoted to the following year's Brazilian Championship Second Level. After finishing runner up in the 2007's Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, Ipatinga gained promotion to the elite of Brazilian football in 2008's Série A.
In 2008, Ipatinga was relegated twice in the same season, first from the State Championship, and then from the Série A. In the following years, the club had mixed results, with eventual good campaigns in some championships followed by relegations in others. In 2012, due to a severe financial crisis and losing the support of the Ipatinga population, the club decided to move to Betim, changing its name to Betim Esporte Clube.
2013 season roster
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Runner-up (2): 2006, 2010
- 2004, 2011
- Third-place (1): 2006
- Runner-up (1): 2007
- Third-place (4): 2002, 2005, 2006, 2011
For 14 years, the club played in the Municipal Stadium Epaminondas Mendes Brito (later named João Lamego Netto), usually known as Ipatingão or Lamegão, built in 1982, with a maximum capacity of 15,000 people. Nowadays the club awaits the construction of a football stadium in Betim, and will probably play in other cities, such as Sete Lagoas, in the first semester of 2013.
Colors and symbols
The club colors are the same colors as the city of Ipatinga's. The mascot is a tiger, and was chosen in a popular contest. The tiger had 7948 votes, in second the eagle had 2529 votes, in third the cat had 846 votes, in fourth the parakeet had 713 votes, and in fifth the parrot had 202 votes.
- "Ipatinga Futebol Clube" (in Portuguese). Futebol Nordeste. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- (Portuguese) Official Website