Sat 23 April 2022 | 13:30

Palmeiras club history, a club with 18 million fans

Football clubs are the whole reason behind football's popularity. Today we are going to learn Palmeiras club history, one of these clubs.

Welcome to Spoortmob's article about 

Palmeiras club history

! Palmeiras is a Brazilian professional football team headquartered in the area of Perdizes in the city of So Paulo. With over 18 million supporters and 52,750 associated fans, including many Brazilians of Italian heritage, Palmeiras is one of the most popular South American clubs, with the most trophies and achievements in Brazil.

Palmeiras competes in a variety of sports while being mostly a football team. The football team competes in the Campeonato Paulista, the major state league in So Paulo, as well as the Brasileiro Série A, the highest tier of the Brazilian football league system.

Palmeiras was created on August 26, 1914, by Italian immigrants as "Palestra Itália." However, once Brazil joined the Allies in the Second World War against Italy and the Axis powers, the club changed its name on September 14, 1942.

Palmeiras has won 15 top-tier national championships since then, including a record 10 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles, four Copa do Brasil titles, and one Copa dos Campers, making them Brazil's most successful club in domestic competitions.

The Brazilian behemoth has won the 1951 Intercontinental Cup, 1999, 2020, and 2021 Copa Libertadores, the 2022 Recopa Sudamericana, and the 1998 Copa Mercosul in international club football. The club has also had success on a regional level, winning 5 Interstate Championships and 23 State Championships. This is not all to Palmeiras club history, so... 

Palmeiras club history, a club with 18 million fans!

Palmeiras is now ranked second in both the CBF and CONMEBOL rankings, and in 2021, it became the first Brazilian club to win the IFFHS Men's Club World Ranking. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Corinthians, and its matches are known as the Derby Paulista. S. Paulo and Santos are also rivals for Palmeiras. Before we dive into 

Palmeiras club history

, we will take a look at the basic info about this club.

  • Full name:

    Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras

  • Nickname:

    Verdão (Big Green)

  • Founded:

    August 26, 1914

  • Ground:

    Allianz Parque

  • President:

    Leila Pereira

  • League:

    Campeonato Brasileiro Série A

The story of birth

At the turn of the century, a group of young Italians decided to organize a club with the primary purpose of forming a football team that would represent the Italian population and competes against the city's top players. Italy had been unified just over three decades before, a fact that some Italian-Brazilians and non-Italian Brazilians were unaware of.

There were a lot of Italian clubs, but they all represented an Italian province or were focused on something other than football. At the time, the game was gaining popularity and attracting a large number of players and spectators.

The group's founders approached the Fanfulla newspaper, which served as a media outlet for Italians in Brazil, and tasked young Vincenzo Ragognetti, another admirer of the concept, with drafting an invitation to individuals interested in founding a sports club.

After many meetings, 46 people convened at the Alhambra Room on what is now Rua do Riachuelo to form Palestra Italia, a sports club for all Italian-Brazilians. Ezequiel Simone was named president of the club. The new group piqued the interest of the Italian Consulate in So Paulo since it would help disseminate the word among Italians that their country now had a single flag and song.

Palestra Italia won the Savoy Cup after defeating Savoy 2–0 in Votorantim (Sa Paulo State) after some initial problems. Bianco and Allegretti scored the goals. The team entered the city's primary sports league in 1916 and had its first official championship match the following year.

It finished runner-up in the So Paulo State Championship the following year, facing Corinthians for the first time. Palestra won the first game 3–0, with Caetano scoring three goals, and the rematch 3–1 in what would become the team's main rivalry.

Palestra Italia won the So Paulo State championship in 1920, defeating the tough Paulistano team in the championship match. Palestra expanded as a sports club and proceeded to acquire additional properties.

The first Brazilian stadium with concrete grandstands and barbed-wire fences was Estádio Palestra Itália, which was purchased in 1920 then restored and expanded in 1933. Starting in 1964, the playing field was suspended, giving fans a full, panoramic perspective while also freeing up room in the lower levels.

Palestra fans chanted in celebration, "With the feet or with the hands, Palestra is the best in the land," as the club grew and won more championships. At the start of the 1930s, the club became the three-time S Paulo State football and basketball champion – a feat that prompted Palestra fans to chant, "With the feet or with the hands, Palestra is the best in the land."

The World War II

During World War II, President Getulio Vargas' government issued an order prohibiting any group from using names associated with the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan). Palestra Italia had no choice but to alter its name to Palestra S. Paulo.

"Palestra" is a Greek word that means "gymnasium" but does not fall under the government's definition. However, the adjustment did not totally alleviate political and sporting pressures to change the name. Palestra was obliged to alter its name a second time to avoid forfeiting all of its assets to another team and being ejected from the competition it was presently leading.

The Palestra board of directors convened a tense meeting the night before the last game of the State championship, set for September 20, 1942, and changed the club's name. "They don't want us to be Palestra, so we'll be Palmeiras - born to be champions," Dr. Mario Minervino said as the discussion heated up.

Tensions erupted during Palmeiras' final league match against S. Paulo Futebol Clube (SPFC), which was vying for the assets of the former Palestra Italia. Palmeiras took the field under the direction of army captain Adalberto Mendes, carrying the Brazilian flag.

Palmeiras had a 3–1 advantage in the match when a penalty was awarded to them. At that point, the SPFC issued an order to its players declaring the Palmeiras team an enemy of the motherland, and the team was escorted from the field amid jeers from the club's own supporters.

The first Copa Rio

In 1951, the first Copa Rio was held, with eight teams competing in two brackets of four teams each: Vasco da Gama (Brazil), Austria Vienna (Austria), Nacional (Uruguay), and Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) in Rio, and Palmeiras (Brazil), Juventus (Italy), Red Star (Yugoslavia), and Olympique (France) in S Paulo.

Malmo, Rapid Vienna, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Barcelona, and Lausanne were all asked to participate in the event, however, Milan and Atletico de Madrid declined because they opted to compete in the Latin Cup.

The prominence of the 1951 Copa Rio can be attributed to the fact that it was the first international football interclub competition, having been established prior to the Intercontinental Cup. The Brazilian Sports Confederation organized the competition with FIFA's help and approval, and it was named after the Rio de Janeiro City Hall, which sponsored it.

The first World Club Champion in history

According to FIFA, the Palmeiras are the de facto winners of the first World Club Championship in history. In 1951, two editions of Copa Rio were held in Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo, Brazil. Palmeiras, a Brazilian team, won the tournament, while Fluminense, another Brazilian team and co-organizer of the 1952 event, won the title in 1952.

According to FIFA's regulation, official competitions are organized by FIFA or at least one of the continental confederations, hence the Copa Rio, which is officially organized by the Brazilian Federation, is not one of them. Palmeiras has pursued official FIFA recognition as a club world cup on multiple occasions. Palmeiras prepared a dossier for FIFA in 2006, detailing the 1951 Copa Rio and requesting official recognition of their victory as the first-ever club football world championship.

The participation of FIFA officials Stanley Rous and Ottorino Barassi in the organization of the 1951 competition was a clear indication of FIFA's blessing to it in 1951, according to the document, which claimed that FIFA had assigned Barassi to represent FIFA in the tournament's organization. Rous and Barassi were principally responsible for discussions with European clubs, with Barassi also assisting in the organization of the competition's structure.

Palmeiras got a letter from FIFA in May 2007, signed by then-Secretary-General Urs Linsi, recognizing them as the 1951 club world champions. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, however, eventually reversed his judgment, stating that the incident was still being investigated.

In a letter to then-Brazilian Minister of Sports, Aldo Rebelo, in April 2013, then-FIFA General-Secretary Jérôme Valcke reaffirmed Palmeiras' status as champions of the "first Club World Cup ever held". Palmeiras were named champions of the "first worldwide club competition" by the FIFA Executive Committee in 2014. FIFA president Joseph Blatter told the Brazilian press that Palmeiras had been successfully recognized by FIFA and should hence be considered club world champions.

On July 22, 2016, FIFA commemorated the 65th anniversary of Palmeiras' 1951 Copa Rio triumph. "Green is the color of jealousy," FIFA wrote on Instagram. 'The Big Green' was the talk of the town It was 65 years ago today.

Palmeiras, led by Liminha, defeated a Juventus squad led by Giampiero Boniperti and a Danish trio to win the sport's first intercontinental world club title. At the Maracana, 100,000 people watched. One million people flocked to the streets of So Paulo to greet their heroes as they returned home."

A club called Academy

The Palestra Italia team was known as the "Academy" of Brazilian football in the 1960s due to the high level of Palmeiras' play, which was led by Ademir da Guia, who would come to symbolize this age of football greatness.

Djalma Santos, Djalma Dias, Dudu, Ademir da Guia, Julinho Botelho, Vavá, Liminha, and Chinesinho were among the finest players in the First Academy. Palmeiras players, led by Filippo Nunes, won the most important national competition, the Rio – So Paulo championship, in 1965, with outstanding performances.

Seven goals were scored against Santos, five against Botafogo in their home stadium of Maracana, five against S. Paulo, and four more against Vasco da Gama. Palmeiras won the title with another blowout victory over Botafogo at Pacaemb Stadium in So Paulo.

The Brazilian Sports Federation (CBD) employed the whole Palmeiras lineup to inaugurate Minero Stadium and represent Brazil in an official national team match versus Uruguay for the Inconfidência Cup the following year. Palmeiras as Brazil defeated the Uruguayan blue 3–0 on the day it donned the green and white.

The squad won multiple titles in the 1970s, led by Oswaldo Brando. Two-time Brazilian Champion, three-time winner of Spain's Ramón de Carranza Trophy, and winner of Argentina's Mar del Plata Trophy.

The surprise decade

Palmeiras fans were used to successes at the "Academy" in the 1960s and 1970s, but the 1980s were devoid of championships or titles. Palmeiras featured a strong team in 1986, routing Corinthians 5–1 and winning a historic game versus Corinthians in the semifinals of the So Paulo State Championship, 3–0. The team had reached the State Championship final but had been defeated by Inter de Limeira.

During this decade, two significant events occurred. Referee José de Assis Arago scored a goal for Palmeiras in the 47th minute of the second half of the 1983 State Championship against Santos. Jorginho kicked the ball inside the penalty area, and it was on its way out when it hit Arago, who was about a meter from the goal line and went into the Santos net. Santos was furious when the game finished in a 2–2 stalemate.

The second surprising event occurred on November 11, 1988, when Gacho, a striker, saved two penalties in a Brazilian Championship game at Maracana versus Flamengo. After keeper Zetti broke his leg in the last minutes of the game, Gacho was inserted into the goal.

As a result of the tie, the game went to a penalty shootout. Gaucho saved two shots from Aldair and Zinho during the shootout. He ended the night by scoring a penalty while wearing the goalkeeper's shirt.

Palmeiras had another chance to win a title in 1989. The team was undefeated until the second last match when it was eliminated in the semifinals of the So Paulo State Championship after losing to Bragantino. The 1980s were marked by a lack of major successes, but the 1990s would make up for it.

The golden age

Let's talk about the golden age in Palmeiras club history! Palmeiras had been without a major trophy for sixteen years until 1992 when the team inked a sponsorship contract with Italian dairy giant Parmalat. Palmeiras rapidly became Brazil's wealthiest team as a result of the eight-year deal.

Palmeiras had a lot of success in the 1990s, winning a lot of key trophies. Under the direction of coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and with high-quality players, the squad won the Campeonato Paulista in 1993, defeating its largest rival Corinthians in the final. The team's major players were Evair, Zinho, Edmundo, César Sampaio, Mazinho, Antônio Carlos, and Edlson.

It also won the Rio-Sao Paulo Championship and the Campeonato Brasileiro in the same year. The next year, it made history by becoming a two-time State Champion and a two-time Brazilian Champion.

Palmeiras won the friendly Euro-America Cup in 1996, defeating Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga winners, 6-1. Later, the squad won the 1996 Campeonato Paulista with ease, scoring over 100 goals and claiming landmark triumphs like a 6-0 win over Santos FC. The historic team was highlighted by Rivaldo, Muller, Djalminha, and Luiz.

Palmeiras also enjoyed a memorable run in the 1996 Copa do Brasil, defeating Clube Atletico Mineiro 5-0 (7-1 on aggregate) and Gremio, the 1995 Copa Libertadores champions, in the quarterfinals, but ultimately fell to Cruzeiro EC. Palmeiras defeated Cruzeiro EC in both the 1998 Copa do Brasil and the 1998 Copa Mercosur.

Stepping into 2000

The club's Parmalat sponsorship lapsed in 2000, leaving them in serious circumstances. After a mildly irregular season in 2001, with the club's most notable achievement being defeating Boca Juniors in the 2001 Copa Libertadores semifinal, the club had its worst year ever in 2002 and was relegated to the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, which it won the following year before returning to the Série A in 2004.

The team had a strong season in 2004 and 2005, finishing fourth in both years and qualifying for the Libertadores Cup in 2005 and 2006. In both years, Palmeiras was ousted in the Round of 16 by rivals So Paulo.

Palmeiras great Edmundo was playing his final season for the club in 2007, and the club came close to achieving one of the top four positions in Série A but fell short in the tournament's final round.

Palmeiras signed a sponsorship deal with Traffic, a sports marketing agency, in 2008.

The club spent a lot of money on new players as well as coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo. With a 5–0 victory over Ponte Preta in the second leg of the final, the 22nd Paulista Championship was won. Palmeiras finished fourth in the Campeonato Brasileiro, qualifying them for the Copa Libertadores 2009.

A place to call home

And here we are at the last part of

Palmeiras club history

! Palmeiras played at Estádio Palestra Itália from 1917 to 2010. Because the land was a park established by the Antarctica Paulista Brewing Company in the early twentieth century before being acquired by Palmeiras in 1920, the venue was also known as Parque Antártica.

Its previous capacity was stated to be 35,000 spectators. Despite the fact that its grandstands were extended in the late 1990s, it only holds 27,640 people due to safety and comfort standards.

Given the number of critical and important matches played there, it was one of Brazil's most important venues. The 1999 Copa Libertadores final, the Copa Mercosur finals of 1998, 1999, and 2000, the 1996 Copa do Brasil final, and multiple Campeonato Paulista finals are all examples of matches played in Palestra Itália.

The stadium's last official match was a friendly against Boca Juniors on July 9, 2010, while the last match was a Série A encounter against Grêmio on May 22, 2010. There are 14,888 upper-deck seats and 3,430 cabin seats.

The stadium was designed to host a variety of events. Other amenities include an expanded parking space, a VIP area, a media center with seating for up to 1,000 journalists, three restaurants and bars, and a heliport.

On November 19, 2014, the first official game at Allianz Parque took place between Palmeiras and Sport in the Brazilian Série A, with hosts Palmeiras losing 0–2 to Sport Recife. Ananias scored the first official goal of the stadium. Palmeiras defeated Fluminense 2–1 in their inaugural Brasileiro encounter at Allianz Parque on June 14, 2015. Thx for reading Sportmob's article about Palmeiras club history.

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