CR Vasco da Gama

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Vasco da Gama
Full name Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama
Nickname(s) Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill)

Almirante (Admiral)
Cruzmaltino (Maltese Cross)

Trem Bala da Colina (Bullet Train of the Hill)
Founded August 21, 1898; 120 years ago (1898-08-21) (Rowing Club)
November 5, 1915; 103 years ago (1915-11-05) (Football Club)
Stadium Estádio Vasco da Gama (São Januário)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ground Capacity 21,880[1]
President Eurico Miranda
Football Manager Paulo Angioni
Head Coach Jorginho
League Campeonato Brasileiro Série B
2015 Série A, 18th (relegated)
Website Club home page
Current season
CR Vasco da Gama at Estádio São Januário, September 2008.
Team photo from the 1934 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),[2] 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 20 million supporters.[3]

Its statute defines the club as a "sportive, recreative, educational, assistant and philanthropic non-profit organization of public utility".[4]

Their home stadium is São Januário, with a capacity of 21,880,[1] 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 ascended 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

Football in Brazil back then was a sport for the elites, and Vasco da Gama's racially diverse squad didn't appease them. 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 or mulato and/or poor. After Vasco refused to comply with such a ban, the other big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco from participating unless it complied with the racist demands.

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.

Even though the club was not the first to field black players, it was the first one to win a league with them, which led to an outcry to ban "blue-collar workers" from playing in the league - a move that in practice meant barring blacks from playing.

In 1925 Vasco was readmitted into the "elite" league, with its black and mulatto players. By 1933, when football became professional in Brazil, most of the big clubs had black players in them.

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.

1969 Pelé's 1,000th Goal

Pelé scored his 1,000th professional goal against CR Vasco on 19 November 1969, in front of 65,157 spectators.[7] The goal, popularly named O Milésimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco, when Pelé scored from a penalty kick, at the Maracanã Stadium.[8]

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.

1998 Toyota Intercontinental Cup

By winning 1998 Copa Libertadores, Vasco da Gama challenged the UEFA Champions League champion Real Madrid at 1998 Intercontinental Cup, in Tokyo, Japan. They lost the game 2–1.

2000 FIFA Club World Championship

By winning the 1998 Copa Libertadores, Vasco entered the inaugural 2000 FIFA Club World Championship held in Brazil. They beat Manchester United, Necaxa and South Melbourne in the group stage to reach the final, it finished 0–0 after extra time in an all-Brazilian clash with Corinthians but lost 3–4 in the penalty shootout.

Copa Mercosur

Also in 2000, Vasco won the Copa Mercosur against Palmeiras in a historical match. Losing 0–3 in the end of first-half, with Palmeiras scoring 2 goals in less than a minute. Vasco managed to score 3 goals and drew the game, 3–3. In the 93" Romário scored a decisive goal and Vasco won the match (4-3).[9] Still today the match is considered the best game played in Brazil in history.[10]

2000 Copa João Havelange

Vasco won the Copa João Havelange in 2000. Seen as controversial competition organized by Clube dos 13 rather than CBF, Vasco challenged São Caetano drawing the game by 1–1 when a disaster happened in São Januário Stadium. It won the second game beating São Caetano by 3–1.

Vasco shirt

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,[11] though the last two (even they never played any of the lower divisions), didn't participate in the 1979 Brazilian Championship's 1st division,[11] 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

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 15 November 2015, according to combined sources on the official website.[12]

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

No. Position Player
Brazil GK Gabriel Félix (youth player)
Brazil GK Jordi
Uruguay GK Martín Silva
Brazil DF Aislan
Colombia DF Alexis Barreiro
Brazil DF Anderson Salles
Brazil DF Bruno Ferreira
Brazil DF Henrique
Brazil DF Jomar
Brazil DF Kadu Fernandes (youth player)
Brazil DF Júlio César
Brazil DF Luan
Brazil DF Mádson
Brazil DF Nei
Brazil DF Rafael Vaz
Brazil DF Rodrigo
Brazil DF Yago Pikachu
No. Position Player
Brazil MF Andrezinho
Brazil MF Andrey (youth player)
Brazil MF Bruno Gallo
Brazil MF Diguinho
Brazil MF Evander (youth player)
Paraguay MF Julio dos Santos
Brazil MF Índio (youth player)
Brazil MF Mateus Vital (youth player)
Brazil FW Éder Luís
Argentina FW Germán Herrera
Brazil FW Jorge Henrique
Brazil FW Nenê
Brazil FW Renato Kayser (youth player)
Colombia FW Duvier Riascos (on loan from Cruzeiro)
Brazil FW Thalles (youth player)
Brazil FW William Barbio

Reserve squad

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

No. Position Player
Brazil GK Diogo Silva
Brazil DF Erick
Brazil DF Lorran (youth player)
Brazil DF Nikolas Mariano
No. Position Player
Brazil MF Sandro Silva
Brazil FW Caio (youth player)
Brazil FW Erick Luis

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
Brazil MF Guilherme (on loan to Boavista-RJ)
Colombia MF Santiago Montoya (on loan to Portugal V. Guimarães)
Brazil MF Victor Bolt (on loan to Vila Nova)
No. Position Player
Brazil FW Emerson Carioca (on loan to Friburguense)
Brazil FW Leandrão (on loan to Boavista-RJ)
Brazil FW Yago (on loan to Macaé)

Former head coaches


10px Unbeaten Champions

Competition Títles Seasons
Torneio Octogonal Rivadavia Corrêa Meyer 1 1953 10px

Organized by CBD, authorized FIFA,[13] successor of[14] Copa Rio.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

Competition Títles Seasons
Sulamericano1948.jpg Campeonato Sul-Americano de Campeões[21] 1 1948 10px
Copa Libertadores da América 1 1998
Copa Mercosul 1 2000
Competition Títles Seasons
Cbf brazilian championship trophy 02.svgCbf brazilian championship trophy.svg Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 4 1974, 1989, 1997 e 2000
CBF Brazilian Cup.png Copa do Brasil 1 2011
B Series Brazilian Championship Trophy.png Campeonato Brasileiro Série B 1 2009
Competition Títles Seasons
Rio-SãoPaulo.png Torneio Rio-São Paulo 3 1958, 1966¹ e 1999
(1) - Divided among Botafogo, Corinthians e Santos.
30px Copa dos Campeões Estaduais Rio-São Paulo 1 1937 10px
30px Torneio João Havelange[22][23][24] 1 1993
Competition Títles Seasons
Rio de Janeiro (state) Campeonato Carioca 23 1923, 1924 10px, 1929, 1934, 1936, 1945 10px, 1947 10px, 1949 10px, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1988, 199210px, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003 e 2015
Rio de Janeiro (state) Taça Guanabara (edições disputadas como torneio independente do Campeonato Estadual) 1 1965
Rio de Janeiro (state) Copa Rio 2 1992 10px e 1993
Rio de Janeiro (state) Torneio Início 10 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948 e 1958
Rio de Janeiro (state) Taça Guanabara (edições disputadas como turnos do Campeonato Estadual) 10 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1990 10px, 1992 10px, 1994 10px, 1998, 2000 10px e 2003
Rio de Janeiro (state) Taça Rio (segundo turno do Campeonato Estadual) 9 1984, 1988, 1992 10px, 1993, 1998, 1999 10px, 2001 10px, 2003 10px e 2004
Rio de Janeiro (state) Turnos do Campeonato Estadual disputados com outros nomes 9 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1988 e 1997
Rio de Janeiro (state) Campeonato Carioca - Série B 1 1922
Rio de Janeiro (state) Campeonatos Cariocas de Aspirantes/Reservas ou Amadores[25][26] 15 1924, 1928, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966 e 1967
Competition Titles Season
Bandeira da cidade do Rio de Janeiro.svg Torneio Municipal do Rio de Janeiro 4 1944, 1945 10px, 1946 e 1947
Bandeira da cidade do Rio de Janeiro.svg Torneio Relâmpago do Rio de Janeiro 2 1944 10px e 1946
Bandeira da cidade do Rio de Janeiro.svg Torneio Extra[27] 2 1973 10px e 1990 10px
Competition Títles Seasons
Brazil Torneio Luís Aranha 1 1940 10px
Brazil Quadrangular Internacional do Rio de Janeiro 1 1953 10px
Brazil Troféu IV Centenário da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro 1 1965 10px
Chile Torneio Triangular Internacional do Chile 1 1957 10px
Chile Torneio Internacional de Santiago 1 1953 09px
Spain Troféu Teresa Herrera 1 1957 10px
Spain Troféu Festa de Elche 1 1979 10px
Spain Troféu Colombino 1 1980 10px
Spain Troféu Ramón de Carranza 3 1987 10px, 1988 10px e 1989 10px
Spain Troféu Cidade de Barcelona 1 1993 10px
Spain Troféu Cidade de Palma de Mallorca 1 1995 10px
United States Los Angeles Golden Cup 1 1987 10px
United States Copa TAP 1 1987 10px
Italy Troféu Bortolotti 1 1997 10px



Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B

Top scorers

Updated November 2015

Top scorers
Pos. Player Goals
1 Brazil Roberto Dinamite (1970–79), (1980–89), (1990), (1992–93) 702
2 Brazil Romário (1985–88), (1999–02), (2005–06), (2007–08) 326
3 Brazil Ademir Menezes (1942–45), (1948–56) 301
4 Brazil Pinga (1953–61) 250
5 Brazil Russinho (1924–34) 225
Brazil Ipojucan (1944–54) 225
7 Brazil Vavá (1951–64) 191
8 Brazil Sabará (1952–64) 165
9 Brazil Lelé (1943–48) 147
10 Brazil Valdir Bigode (1992–94), (2001–03) 143
11 Brazil Edmundo (1996–97), (1999–00), (2003–04), (2008) 138
12 Brazil Maneca (1947–55) 137

Most goals in a season

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


Estádio do Vasco da Gama.jpg

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 21.880 people, for security reasons.[1]


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.[28]

Kit evolution

Vasco da Gama's 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.[29]

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 2009–10 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.[30]

Since July 2009, after breaking the partnership with Champs,[31] the official jerseys are produced by Penalty.[32]

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.[33] 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 third 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.

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.
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  3. "Flamengo e Corinthians lideram levantamento de torcidas no país – UOL Esporte". Retrieved March 27, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  21. Reconhecido pela Conmebol como antecedente da Copa Libertadores da América. História da Copa Libertadores no site da Conmebol. Acesso em 07/06/2013.
  22. Segundo O Estado de S. Paulo de 18 de agosto de 1993, página 23, o Torneio João Havelange de 1993 foi organizado pela CBF, como comprovado pelo Vasco ter chegado à final após a CBF ter mudado o regulamento do torneio.
  23. RSSSF: Torneio João Havelange 1993
  24. Não confundir com Copa João Havelange de 2000, o Campeonato Brasileiro realizado no ano 2000.
  25. RSSSF: Sobre o Campeonato Carioca de Aspirantes/Reservas
  26. RSSSF: Sobre o Campeonato Carioca de Amadores
  27. RSSSF: Torneio Extra do Rio de Janeiro
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External links