Cultural soccer’s history in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil is known worldwide as the “soccer country”. And here in Rio de Janeiro we have 4 of the 12 big clubs of the country: Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama. As Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil until 1960 and the city is surrounded by water, rowing was the most popular sport in the country until the early 20th century and 3 of the 4 major Rio de Janeiro soccer clubs were born to practice rowing: Flamengo, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama. Fluminense being the only one to have been founded directly for football. Flamengo is the most popular club in Brazil, and of the whole world, according to FIFA. Over 40 million fans spread throughout Brazil. Flamengo has most fans in all social classes, but for having the highest percentage in the lower classes, as in the Favelas, is known as the team of people. Flamengo is the record of public club in the history of Brazilian football, having put on several occasions over 200,000 people at the Maracana to watch their matches. It is also the biggest winner of national titles in football and the club with the most titles in the world considering the practice of other sports. His great idol, known as “White Pele”, is Zico, most Maracana scorer with 333 goals, and who coached Japan’s selection in the World Cup 2006.
Botafogo historically has been considered the strongest team in Brazil in the 50s and 60s, with Santos of Pelé, the greatest athlete of the 21st century. Botafogo is the team that had more players called for the Brazilian selection until nowadays. Today, fans of other clubs locals pull pranks on Botafogo’s fans for being long without winning a title of expression. The greatest player in the history of the club was Garrincha. But there are so many others to be cited as: Nilton Santos, Didi, Amarildo, Jairzinho. Fluminense is considered the elite team of Rio de Janeiro, to have the most fans entered in the high income of Rio society classes.
Headquartered in the neighborhood of Laranjeiras (orange tree), is located next to the City Palace, where lives the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Your current big idol is Fred, but historically Rivelino and the paraguayan Romerito are considered the greatest players in the club.
Vasco da Gama, founded by Portuguese, still holds today its tradition of having fans of the Portuguese community in Rio. It is the only club from the 4 big clubs of Rio to have its headquarters located in northernzone of Rio, where are most of the poor neighborhoods of city. It was the first Brazilian club to accept black players when the sport was still practiced by the brazilian elite. Roberto Dynamite is considered by many the greatest player in the club’s history. Romario, world champion with Brazil in the World Cup of 1994, is another big name who began his career at Vasco da Gama.
Rio Cultural Secrets offers private tours showing the history of soccer in Rio de Janeiro with comfort and style!