Wed 25 May 2022 | 4:30

Cruzeiro club history

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

Welcome to Sportmob's article about

Cruzeiro club history!

Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian sports club based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Cruzeiro is well known for its association football team, though they compete in a variety of sports. It competes in both the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, the second tier of the Brazilian football league system, and the Campeonato Mineiro, the primary state league of Minas Gerais.

The club was founded on January 2, 1921, by sportsmen from the Italian colony of Belo Horizonte, some members of Yale Atlético Clube, and many Italian immigrant workers who decided to form a new club called Societá Sportiva Ypiranga, later changing its name to Palestra Mineiro and then to Palestra Itália after only one game.

In 1942, the Brazilian federal government banned the use of any symbols referring to the Axis powers as a result of the Second World War. The club's board of directors renamed it after a prominent national symbol: the constellation of the Cruzeiro do Sul.

Cruzeiro's home games are held in the Mineiro stadium, which has a capacity of 62,547 spectators. Cruzeiro's standard uniform consists of blue shirts, white shorts, and white socks. Cruzeiro, despite its youth, is one of Brazil's most successful clubs. After defeating Santos' Os Santásticos in the final series, it won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A for the first time in 1966.

Cruzeiro club history, a multi sport club with big dreams

Cruzeiro has won the Brasileiro three times, in 2003, 2013, and 2014, and has the best campaign in the competition's current format. Cruzeiro has also won the Campeonato Mineiro 39 times and has a record six Copa do Brasil titles.

Cruzeiro won the Taça Minas Gerais five times, the Copa dos Campees Mineiros twice, the Copa Sul Mineiros twice, the Torneio Incio ten times, and the Supercampeonato Mineiro once in the now-defunct state competitions.

A Raposa also won two Libertadores, two Supercopa Libertadores, one Recopa Sudamericana, one Copa de Oro, and one Copa Master de Supercopa on the international stage. Cruzeiro is one of just two Brazilian clubs to win the Domestic Treble, which they did in 2003 after winning the Campeonato Mineiro, Copa do Brasil, and Brasileiro.

Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro have a long-standing rivalry. Piazza, Tostinho, Nelinho,


, Luiso, Alex, Maicon, Cris, Jairzinho,


, and Edlson are just a few of the players that have contributed to Brazil's FIFA World Cup squads. Now let's start our 

Cruzeiro club history

with club's birth story.

Cruzeiro birth

Cruzeiro's origins may be traced back to the Italian population in Belo Horizonte, a city where some Italian immigrants had previously settled, and their ambition to establish a football club. The residents of Belo Horizonte, like the Italians of So Paulo, wanted the Italian colonies in Minas Gerais to have their own club.

It was determined in Augustine Ranieri's sporting goods and footwear factory on Caetés Street that the club's foundation should target three main capitals: Atlético Mineiro, America-MG, and Yale. The Società Sportiva Palestra Italia, founded on January 2, 1921, was born at that time.

95 founders were present at the conference, with a shield and uniform that referenced Italian colors and whose SSPI description would be recorded in the central shell. Another decision was that the garment could only be worn by members of the Italian colony. The first President, Aurelio Noce, was elected.

The Palestra Italia formed as the Italian colony's representative. Palestra stood out as a team of Italian heritage that also included members of the Belo Horizonte working class, in contrast to Atlético and América, which had a roster made up of college students from powerful and wealthy families in the city.

When Yale, a local sports team, faced an administrative problem, the idea for the club made a huge step forward. When several players left Yale due to a disagreement, they formed the all-Italian Sociedade Esportiva Palestra Itália of Belo Horizonte. Despite other teams in the country embracing people of all skin colors and races, the club would only allow Italian men to play until 1925.

Palestra made its Prado Mineiro Stadium debut on 3 April 1921, defeating a Nova Lima combo 2–0 in a friendly. The Nova Lima team was made up of players from two different teams in the city: Villa Nova and



Palestra's first official match was a 3–0 victory over future archrival Clube Atlético Mineiro in a friendly match. When Brazil entered World War II in January 1942, the federal government issued a decree prohibiting the use of terminology from hostile states in entities, institutions, and enterprises.

The club could no longer call itself Palestra Italia because the Italian name had been eliminated. The name of the organization has been changed to Sociedade Esportiva Palestra Mineiro.

Six months later, Ennes Cyro Poni, the president, held a general assembly for October 7 and recommended the name Ypiranga. The new name was announced in the local media between October 3 and 7, with the expectation that it would be approved.

The counselors and associates maintained a professional method in assembly and supported changing the club's name and colors. Although Yale and Ypiranga were considered, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube was picked to honor Brazil's most famous symbol, the Crux constellation.

Oswaldo Pinto Coelho came up with the concept. However, until 1943, when the local Federation ratified the revised statutes, the club continued to play as "Palestra Mineiro."  Blue and white were chosen as a compromise to placate the Italian factions within the club management, as they represented both the Brazilian flag and the

Italian football national team


The ups and downs

Cruzeiro began one of the most successful eras in its history in 1965, when it won five consecutive Campeonato Mineiro titles and went on to win its first national title, the 1966 Taça Brasil, defeating


of Pelé in the final. Cruzeiro triumphed 6–2 at Mineiro and 3–2 in So Paulo in the opening leg.

After losing to Vasco in the finals of the 1974 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Cruzeiro finished second for the first time. Cruzeiro finished second in the Campeonato Brasileiro again in 1975, this time to Internacional. Cruzeiro defeated River Plate of Argentina in the 1976 Copa Libertadores de América final.

Cruzeiro finished second in the same competition in 1977, losing in the final against

Boca Juniors

, also from Argentina. After winning the 1976 Copa Libertadores, they competed in their inaugural Intercontinental Cup, currently known as the FIFA Club World Championship, and tied Bayern Munich 0–0 at the Mineiro before losing 2–0 at the Olympiastadion.

Cruzeiro went through a gloomy spell in the 1980s after experiencing success in the 1960s and 1970s. The club won no other championships in the 1980s, with the exception of a handful of Campeonato Mineiro victories, and had its worst finishes in the Campeonato Brasileiro, finishing 33rd in 1984 and 29th in 1985.

 Since the tournament's inception in 1960, the 1980s were the only decade in which Cruzeiro did not compete in the Copa Libertadores. Celtic, a Scottish team, invited the club to Europe in 1988 to play a friendly as part of the Glasgow club's centenary celebrations.

A new era began in the 1990s, with a 15-year sequence of at least one title per year. Six of the club's seven international titles, as well as a Campeonato Brasileiro, were won during this period (2003). Cruzeiro was also named Brazilian champion of 1966 by the CBF in December 2010, after defeating Pelé's Santos 6–2 in Belo Horizonte and 2–3 in So Paulo.

The club's greatest achievement in the twenty-first century was winning the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. It was one of the most successful seasons ever by a club in a Brazilian championship, with 100 points collected and just over 100 goals scored in 46 matches.

Cruzeiro became the first Brazilian team to win the triple crown in 2003, capturing the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the Copa do Brasil, and the Campeonato Mineiro. Let's talk about the dark ages in Cruzeiro club history

The dark age

Cruzeiro only won one major competition from 2003 to 2012: the Campeonato Mineiro. In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, the club finished in the top five of the Campeonato Brasileiro, ensuring a place in the Copa Libertadores for four years in a row. Cruzeiro finished second in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A in 2010 and qualified for the Copa Libertadores da America the following year.

Cruzeiro's most recent achievement was reaching the finals of the 2009 Copa Libertadores, where they were defeated 2–1 by Estudiantes de La Plata. Gilvan Tavares was elected president for the 2012-2013-2014 triennium after a catastrophic 2011 season in which the club narrowly avoided relegation after a triumphant 6–1 over arch-rival Atlético.

Cruzeiro did slightly better in 2012 than in 2011, although no titles were won. Cruzeiro lost the Campeonato Mineiro again in 2013, despite playing well against weaker clubs. The Copa do Brasil got off to a good start, but Cruzeiro was knocked out in the quarterfinals by future champion Flamengo.

Cruzeiro went all-in for the Campeonato Brasileiro after their elimination and was crowned champion for the third time, this time four rounds before the championship ended, after playing an offensive and intense game that led many, including the press and runners-up, to attribute the title many rounds before the mathematical confirmation.

The symbols of Cruzeiro 

It's time to talk about symbols in this part of our Cruzeiro club history. When Cruzeiro was still known as Palestra Italia, the home shirt color was green. The initial home kit was an improvised dark green shirt, with white shorts and green stockings. Cruzeiro used this shirt in their first professional game on 3 April 1921, in the Prado Mineiro Stadium, with a 2–0 win over the Villa Nova/Palmeiras joint club, of Nova Lima.

In 1928 the shirt became a brighter tone of green, with a white-collar pattern and red cuffs. The shorts continued to be white, but the green stockings now included red and white accents, similar to that of the Italian flag. This exact outfit was worn up until 1940.

The pale green hue of the jersey would subsequently earn the squad the moniker "periquito", Portuguese for a parakeet. In 1940 there was a huge alteration to the shirt. The shirt began to include horizontal stripes, with the club symbol in the middle.

This was the shirt worn to win the 1940 Campeonato da Cidade – now known as the Campeonato Mineiro – after the team had been unable to win the competition for ten years. The club also began to be nicknamed "tricolor" instead of "periquito".

In 1943 Cruzeiro played their first game under its present name. The shirt used then was an all-blue shirt with a huge white v-neck (scapular) pattern. The shorts and stockings were white. In 1950, due to insufficient stadium illumination, Cruzeiro began to adopt an all-white .uniform during night games

The shirt, which included blue accents and blue shorts, and white stockings, was used for nine years. In 1956, Cruzeiro adopted, for a brief period, a new shirt that was made up of white and blue horizontal stripes. The outfit was not used in many games.

There was a modification to the shirt in 1959; the garment became completely blue, a design that would inspire succeeding shirts. In the 1959 jersey, instead of utilizing its customary crest


just utilized the five stars, in the crest, loose on the shirt. The shirt made its debut in the Estádio dos Tecelões, in a friendly match against Renascença, on September 19.

The crest of the club

The Southern Cross or Crux is popular on a number of other flags and symbols. The initial Palestra Itália crest was a rhombus whose top half was red and the bottom half was green. In the middle of the crest was a white circle with the letters P and I inside it.

 The next year, 1922, the club's crest kept its rhombus design, but was now fully white, with the word P, S, and I, imprinted within it in green. In 1923, the crest lost its rhombus design and now merely had the green letters S, P, and I. From 1928–to 1939 the crest was similar to the previous crest in 1921.

Just one year later the crest became a bit different: the top half was green and the bottom half was red, identical to the crests from 1921 and 1929–1939, but instead of green letters in its center, it now contained the letters S, P and I in yellow. The crest established in 1940 would be the last for Palestra, for the team would shortly become Cruzeiro.

Cruzeiro's initial crest was created in 1950 and was extremely simple: a blue circle, with a white border, within of which, were five white stars, positioned to appear like the Southern Cross. This original crest was used for approximately nine years, until 1959.  This version of the crest was utilized until 1996, making it the longest-used crest of Cruzeiro.

In the same year, Cruzeiro deleted BELO HORIZONTE from the crest; this format was used until 2005. In 2006 to remember its victorious 2003 season, a crown was put on top of the crest, to signify the triple crown.

Cruzeiro has not always utilized its official emblem on their jersey. In 1959, instead of utilizing its emblem, the club elected to simply place the five stars from the Southern Cross on its shirt. This was done until 2000 when the genuine crest was again utilized.

In 2002 and in part of 2003 the loose stars were utilized. Partway through 2003, a new shirt that carried the genuine crest was produced, however, instead of just utilizing the ordinary crest, the shirt displayed two Copa Libertadores titles on top of the crest.

In 2004 a similar design was utilized, but it featured a crown, symbolic of the Triple Crown on top of the two trophies. Since 2007 the club has utilized the "loose stars" motif on home jerseys. None of these designs actually became the official club crest.

Team's Mascot

Finally, it's time to finish Cruzeiro club history! Cartoonist Fernando Pieruccetti, more generally known as "Mangabeira", developed the club's mascot, a Raposa in the 1940s, as he did for other football clubs from Minas Gerais state league.

 Mangabeira received inspiration from the club's ex-president, Mario Grosso.

"He was a director who let no one deceive him. He was sneaky, nimble, bright and skilled like a fox." In the 2000s, Cruzeiro has made Raposão (Big Fox) its largest mascot, appearing at all home games and applauding with the crowd while donning the club's colors.

On 2010, Raposão won Rede Globo's Competição de Mascotes (Mascot Competition), aired in their Sunday sports show Esporte Espetacular. The show combined 20 mascots from the top Brazilian clubs and had them participating in a series of tasks. Raposão won all of the competitions and was named Brazil's Best Mascot. In 2012, Cruzeiro developed a "junior mascot", dubbed "Raposinho" (Little Fox), a smaller version of "Raposão". Thanks for reading Sportmob's article about 

Cruzeiro club history


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