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Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama


Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama
Full name Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama

Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill)
Trem Bala da Colina (Bullet train of the hill)
Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express)
Time da Virada (The Comeback Team)

Cruz-maltinos (Team of Maltese Cross)
Founded August 21, 1898 (1898-08-21) (115 years ago)
Stadium Estádio Vasco da Gama (São Januário)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ground Capacity 24,584
President Roberto Dinamite
Head coach Adílson Batista
League Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
2012 5th
Home colors
Away colors
Third colors
Current season

Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvaʃku dɐ ˈɡɐ̃mɐ], Vasco da Gama Rowing Club), usually known as Vasco da Gama, is a famous and traditional Brazilian multisports club from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was founded on August 21, 1898 (although the football department started on November 5, 1915),[1] by Portuguese immigrants, and it is still traditionally supported by the Portuguese community of Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the most popular clubs in Brazil, with more than 10 million supporters.[2]

Its statute defines the club as a "sportive, recreative, educational, assistant and philanthropic non-profit organization of public utility".[3]

Their home stadium is São Januário, with a capacity of 25,000,[4] the third biggest in Rio de Janeiro (after Maracanã and Engenhão), but some matches (especially the city derbies) are played at the Maracanã (capacity of about 80,000). They play in black shirts with a white diagonal sash that contains a Cross pattée (famously, though mistakenly, identified as a Maltese cross), black shorts and black socks.

The club is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.



In the late 19th century rowing was the most important sport in Rio de Janeiro. At this time, four young men – Henrique Ferreira Monteiro, Luís Antônio Rodrigues, José Alexandre d'Avelar Rodrigues and Manuel Teixeira de Souza Júnior – who did not want to travel to Niterói to row with the boats of Gragoatá Club decided to found a rowing club.

On August 21, 1898 in a room of the Sons of Talma Dramatic Society, with 62 members (mostly Portuguese immigrants), the Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Rowing Club) was born.

Inspired by the celebrations of the 4th centenary of the first sail from Europe to India, the founders chose the name of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama to baptise the new club.

Football was included only with the fusion with Lusitania Clube, other mostly Portuguese immigrants club.[5] Beginning in the smaller leagues, Vasco became champion of the league B in 1922 and ascend to league A. In its first championship in League A – in 1923, Vasco became champion with a team formed by whites, blacks and "mulattos" players of different social classes.

Fight and victory against racism

Because of that, in 1924 Vasco da Gama was pressured by the Metropolitan League to ban some players that were not considered adequate to play in the aristocratic League, notably because they were black, mulato and/or poor. After the negative response of Vasco, the big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco to participate unless it complied with the racist demand.

The former President of Vasco, José Augusto Prestes answered with a letter that became known as the Historic Answer (resposta histórica),[6] which revolutionized the practice of sports in Brazil. After a few years, the racism barriers fell. Vasco da Gama had led the move toward a more inclusive soccer culture, forward-thinking not employed by leaders from Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo.

However, the first club to accept a black player was not Vasco, but Bangu in 1905, with Francisco Carregal. This was documented by Mário Filho and researcher Carlos Molinari, including photographs and other evidence, but Vasco was really the first Club to fight for the inclusion of black players and poor in Brazilian football, and perhaps to the entire world. Actually, they paid no labour rights to the poor blacks, it was like slavery.

The Victory Express and the South American Club championship

Between 1947 and 1952, the club was nicknamed Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express), as Vasco won several competitions in that period, such as the Rio de Janeiro championship in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952, and the South American Club Championship in 1948. Players such as Ademir, Moacyr Barbosa, Bellini and Ipojucan defended Vasco's colors during that period.

1998 Copa Libertadores

After winning the Campeonato Brasileiro in 1997, beating Palmeiras in the final, Vasco started its Projeto Tóquio, and invested US$ 10 million to win the 1998 Copa Libertadores. Vasco won the Copa Libertadores, beating Barcelona of Ecuador in the final.

The club would go on to play the Intercontinental Cup and Interamerican Cup losing both matches..

2008 Campeonato Brasileiro

The team finished the championship in a disastrous 18th place and was relegated to the second division of the championship for the first time since its foundation, 110 years before. Up until the relegation, it was one of the only six clubs to have never been removed from the first division, along with Internacional, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Santos and São Paulo,[7] though the last two (even they never played any of the lower divisions), didn't participate in the 1979 Brazilian Championship's 1st division,[7] in order to avoid conflicts with Paulista Championship schedule.

2009 Campeonato Brasileiro

After almost one year out of the first division, Vasco played the second division and on November 7, was promoted to the first division after a victory against Juventude in Maracanã stadium by the score of 2–1.

2011: the Redemption Year

Main article: 2011 CR Vasco da Gama season

After failing to win the Copa do Brasil, Vasco da Gama found success in 2011, lifting that year's trophy. Victory came against Coritiba in the 2011 Copa do Brasil final. Vasco came second in the 2011 Brazilian Série A, enjoying an excellent campaign. The club also ended the year as semifinalists in the Copa Sudamericana, a competition that saw the club defeat Palmeiras, Aurora and Universitario in historic fashion before being eliminated by Universidad de Chile, the other top two team in South America at the time. The season was dubbed the "Redemption Year of Vasco da Gama", with many lauding Vasco as one of Brazilian football's elite teams once again.

Other sports

Although best known as a football, rowing and swimming club, Vasco da Gama is actually a comprehensive sports club. Its basketball section, CR Vasco da Gama Basquete (twice Brazilian champion and twice South-American champion) produced current NBA player Nenê. The club is also the first Brazilian club to play against a NBA team. In 1999, the club played the McDonald's Championship final against San Antonio Spurs. Its rowing team is one of the best of Brazil. Its swimmers regularly represent Brazil in international competitions. And Vasco da Gama is present in many other sports.


Current squad

As of March 28, 2013, according to combined sources on the official website.[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Brazil GK Michel Alves
4 Brazil DF Nei
5 Argentina MF Pablo Guiñazú
6 Peru DF Yoshimar Yotún (on loan from Sporting Cristal)
8 Brazil MF Juninho Pernambucano
9 Brazil FW André (on loan from Atlético Mineiro)
10 Brazil MF Pedro Ken (on loan from Cruzeiro)
11 Ecuador FW Carlos Tenorio
12 Brazil GK Alessandro
13 Brazil DF Cris
15 Brazil MF Fillipe Soutto (on loan from Atlético Mineiro)
16 Brazil MF Francismar (on loan from Boa)
17 Brazil MF Wendel
18 Brazil DF Rafael Vaz
19 Brazil FW Edmilson
20 Colombia MF Santiago Montoya
22 Brazil MF Abuda
No. Position Player
23 Brazil DF Fagner (on loan from Wolfsburg)
25 Brazil GK Diogo Silva
28 Brazil DF Jomar
29 Brazil MF Jhon Cley
30 Brazil MF Marlone
31 Brazil FW Bernardo
33 Brazil DF Renato Silva
35 Brazil DF Baiano
37 Brazil DF Henrique
39 Brazil FW Thalles
41 Brazil FW Robinho
84 Brazil MF Sandro Silva
87 Brazil MF Dakson
91 Brazil FW Reginaldo
93 Brazil FW Willie (on loan from Vitória)
Brazil DF Rodolfo

Coaching staff

Position Staff
Manager Brazil Dorival Júnior
Assistant Manager Brazil Renê Weber
Director Manager Brazil Ricardo Gomes
Director of Football Brazil Ricardo Gomes
Goalkeeping Coach Brazil Carlos Germano
Fitness Coach Brazil Juvenilson de Souza
Youth Team Manager Brazil Sorato

Last updated: January 9, 2013

Last updated: January 9, 2013
Source: [citation needed]

Former head coaches



Champion: 1953[9]


Runners-up (1): 1998


Runners-up (1):: 2000

South American


Runners-up (4): 1968, 1979, 1984, 2011
Runners-up (1): 2006
Runners-up (1): 1965
  • Torneio Rio-São Paulo: 3
    • 1958, 1966*, 1999 (* shared)
Runners-up (5): 1950, 1952, 1953, 1959, 2000
  • Campeonato Carioca: 22
    • 1923, 1924, 1929, 1934, 1936, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003
Runners-up (25): 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1939, 1944, 1948, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001,2004
1965, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
Runners-up (10): 1973, 1982, 1985, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2012
1984, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004
Runners-up (8): 1978, 1987, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012
Champions (2): 1992, 1993
  • Torneios Início do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (10): 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1958
  • Torneios Municipais do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (4): 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947
  • Torneios Relâmpagos do Rio de Janeiro
Champions (2): 1944, 1946
  • Taça Raul Guimarães
Champions (1): 1996
  • Taça José de Albuquerque
Champions (1): 1972
  • Troféu Pedro Novaes
Champions (1): 1973
  • Taça Oscar Wright da Silva
Champions (1): 1973
  • Taça Danilo Leal Carneiro
Champions (1): 1976
  • Taça Manoel do Nascimento Vargas Netto
Champions (1): 1979
  • Taça Gustavo de Carvalho
Champions (1): 1980
  • Taça Ney Cidade Palmeiro
Champions (1): 1981
  • Taça Brigadeiro Jerônimo Bastos
Champions (1): 1998
  • Torneio Erasmo Martins Pedro
Champions (1): 1973

International tournaments

Champions (1):1957
Champions (1):1979
Champions (3):1987, 1988, 1989
Champions (1):1993



Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B

Top scorers

1. Brazil Roberto Dinamite (1970–79), (1980–89), (1990), (1992–93) 702
2. Brazil Romário (1985–88), (1999–02), (2005–06), (2007–08) 324
3. Brazil Ademir (1942–45), (1948–56) 301
4. Brazil Pinga (1953–61) 250
5. Brazil Russinho (1924–34) 225
- Brazil Ipojucan (1944–54) 225
7. Brazil Sabará (1952–64) 165
8. Brazil Vavá (1951–64) 150
9. Brazil Lelé (1943–48) 147
10. Brazil Maneca (1947–55) 137
11. Brazil Edmundo (1991–92), (1996–97), (1999–00), (2003–04), (2008) 136
12. Brazil Valdir Bigode (1992–94), (2001–03) 135

Most goals in a season

  1. Romário – 70 goals in 2000
  2. Roberto Dinamite – 61 goals in 1981.


Vasco da Gama's stadium is Estádio São Januário, inaugurated in 1927, with a maximum capacity of 35.000 people. The National Championship games have a maximum capacity of 15.150 people, for security reasons.[4]


Vasco's biggest rivals are from the same city: Fluminense, Botafogo and Flamengo, with the latter being its biggest rival. The games between Vasco and Flamengo ("Millions Derby") are the most watched in Brazil. The matches are usually played in the Maracanã, and reunite two of the biggest crowds of Rio de Janeiro.[11]

Kit evolution

Vasco da Gama is one of the oldest Brazilian clubs and has had several different kits in its history. Vasco da Gama's first kit, used in rowing, was created in 1898, and was completely black, with a left diagonal sash.

Vasco da Gama's first football kit, created in 1916, was completely black, and was easily identified because of the presence of a white tie and a belt.

In 1929, the club's kit was changed. The tie and the belt were removed. However, the kit remained all-black.

In the 1930s, the home kit's color was changed again. The kit became black with a white right diagonal sash.

In 1945, the kit's color was changed to white, and a black diagonal sash was introduced. The sash was introduced because the club's manager at the time, the Uruguayan Ondino Viera liked the sash used in his previous club's kit, River Plate, of Argentina, and adopted this pattern in Vasco da Gama's away kit. So, both kits had a right diagonal sash.[12]

In 1988, the sash located on the back of the shirt was removed.

In 1998, the kit design was changed again. This kit became very similar to the 1945 one. However, a thin red line was placed around the sash.

Vasco has currently three kits. The home shirt's main color is black, with a white sash. The short and the socks are black. The away kit is similar to the home kit, but the main color is white, the sash is black, and the shorts and socks are white. In 2009–2010 the third kit was all white, with a red "cross of the Knights Templar". In 2010, the away kit changes to black in honor to the 1923's team, which gave up playing for having black players, which were not allowed to play with white players at that time. This was one of the most important steps in the club's history, the fight against racism and discrimination. The nowadays third kit brings the symbol of an open hand with "Respect & Equality" in the left chest, and "Democracy and Equality" in the shirt collar.[13]

Since July 2009, after breaking the partnership with Champs,[14] the official jerseys are produced by Penalty.[15]

Logo and flag

The eight stars on the badge and flag signify: 1- South American Championship of Champions: 1948; 2- Copa Libertadores: 1998; 3- Copa Mercosur: 2000; 4- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 1974; 5- 1989; 6- 1997; 7- 2000; 8- The Unbeaten Championship of Earth-and-sea of 1945.


Vasco's official anthem was composed in 1918, by Joaquim Barros Ferreira da Silva, it was the club's first anthem.[16] There is another official anthem, created in the 1930s, called Meu Pavilhão (meaning My Pavilion), which lyrics were composed by João de Freitas and music by Hernani Correia. This anthem replaced the previous one. The club's most popular anthem, however, is an unofficial anthem composed by Lamartine Babo in 1942.


Vasco da Gama is the second most supported football club in Rio de Janeiro, and varies between the fourth and fifth most supported in Brazil. The club's support is very diverse stretching across social class lines, however the core of most the Vasco da Gama support lies within the working class of the Northern Zone of Rio de Janeiro and Rio outskirt cities like Niterói. Vasco da Gama have significant support in other regions in Brazil notably the Northeastern and North regions as well as stongholds in southern Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and in Santa Catarina (in South Region). Vasco also have a huge support in Distrito Federal.

Vasco da Gama have many celebrity supporters, including Fátima Bernardes (journalist – TV Globo), Rodrigo Santoro (actor), Eri Johnson (actor), Marcos Palmeira (actor), Juliana Paes (actress), Sérgio Loroza (actor), Paulinho da Viola (singer), Roberto Carlos (singer), Erasmo Carlos (singer), Martinho da Vila (singer), Fernanda Abreu (singer), Viviane Araújo (model), Renata Santos (model), Sergio Cabral Filho (Rio de Janeiro governor), Eduardo Paes (Rio de Janeiro mayor), Nelson Piquet (Formula 1 former champion), amongst others.

Vasco da Gama's torcidas organizadas have a strong friendship with torcidas organizadas of Atlético Mineiro, Palmeiras, Grêmio and Bahia. This alliance, having the 25 year friendship of torcidas Força Jovem Vasco, Mancha Verde do Palmeiras and Galoucura do Atlético Mineiro, utilize the code name D.P.A. – Dedos Para o Alto.

  • Torcida Força Jovem Vasco
  • Torcida Organizada do Vasco
  • Kamikazes Vascaínos
  • Pequenos Vascaínos
  • Renovascão Vasco Campeão
  • ResenVasco
  • VasBoaVista
  • Guerreiros do Almirante
  • União Vascaína
  • Ira Jovem Vasco
  • Torcida Expresso da Vitória

Clubs named after Vasco

Due to Vasco's tradition, several clubs are named after it, including Associação Desportiva Vasco da Gama, of Acre state, founded in 1952, Vasco Esporte Clube, of Sergipe state, founded in 1931, Esporte Clube Vasco da Gama, of Americana, São Paulo state, founded in 1958, Vasco Sports Club, which is an Indian football club founded in 1951 and CR Vasco da Gama Football Club, which is a South African football club founded in 1980. Tomazinho Futebol Clube, from São João de Meriti, Rio de Janeiro state, founded in 1930, has a logo strongly inspired by Vasco's logo, and share the same colors.


  • Enciclopédia do Futebol Brasileiro, Volume 1 – Lance, Rio de Janeiro: Aretê Editorial S/A, 2001.

External links

  • Official Site
  • Torcida Força Jovem Vasco
  • Unofficial Home Page
  • Vasco da Gama Unofficial Home Page

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