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Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama, usually known as Vasco da Gama or simply Vasco, (after the famous Portuguese explorer of the same name) is a famous and traditional Brazilianmarker multisports club from Rio de Janeiromarker in Brazil, founded on August 21, 1898 (although the football department started on November 5, 1915). It was founded by Portuguesemarker immigrants, and it is still the team traditionally supported by the Portuguese community of Rio de Janeiro and one of the most popular in Brazilmarker, with more than 16,5 million supporters.

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

Their home stadium is the São Januáriomarker, capacity almost 18,000, the biggest in Rio de Janeiromarker after Maracanãmarker and Engenhãomarker , but some matches (especially the city derbies) are played at the Maracanãmarker (capacity 95,000). They play in white shirts with a black diagonal sash that contains an Order of Christ cross, white shorts and white socks.



In the late 19th century rowing was the most important sport in Rio de Janeiromarker. 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 Niteróimarker 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 Indiamarker, 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 ( 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 the 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 and racist teams, Fluminense, Flamengomarker e Botafogomarker, 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), which revolutionized the practice of sports in Brazil. After a few years, the racism barriers fell. Vasco da Gama had defeated the racist people from Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo.

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 Tokyo Project, and invested US$ 10 million to win the Copa Libertadores 1998, and thus be eligible to play in the Intercontinental Cup in Japan. Vasco successfully won the Copa Libertadores, beating Barcelona of Ecuador in the final, but the club was defeated by Real Madrid of Spain 2-1 in the Intercontinental Cup.

Campeonato Brasileiro 2008

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 ago. Up until the relegation, it was one of only four clubs to have never been removed from the first division, along with Internacional, Cruzeiromarker and rivals Flamengo.

Campeonato Brasileiro 2009

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 Maracanãmarker stadium by the score of 2-1.

Other sports

Although best known as a football, rowing and swimming club, Vasco da Gama is actually a comprehensive sports club. Its basketball section (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 October 10, 2009, according to combined sources on the official website.



Intercontinental Cup
* Runners-up (1): 1998
FIFA Club World Cup
* Runners-up (1): 2000
Copa Libertadores
* Winners (1): 1998
Copa Mercosur
* Winners (1): 2000
South American Club Championship
* Winners (1): 1948


Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
* Winners (4): 1974, 1989, 1997, 2000
* Runners-up (2): 1979, 1984
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B
* Winners (1): 2009
Taça Brasil
* Runners-up (1): 1965
Copa do Brasil
* Runners-up (1): 2006
Supercopa do Brasil
* Runners-up (1): 1990
Torneio Rio-São Paulo
* Winners (4): 1958, 1966, 1999
* Runners-up (7): 1950, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1959, 1965, 2000


Campeonato Carioca
* Winners (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
Copa Rio
* Winners (2): 1992, 1993

Brazilian League record

Year Position Year Position Year Position Year Position
1971 10th 1981 5th 1991 11th 2001 11th
1972 5th 1982 9th 1992 3rd 2002 15th
1973 13th 1983 5th 1993 11th 2003 17th
1974 1st 1984 2nd 1994 13th 2004 16th
1975 19th 1985 9th 1995 20th 2005 12th
1976 7th 1986 9th 1996 18th 2006 6th
1977 5th 1987 11th 1997 1st 2007 10th
1978 3rd 1988 5th 1998 10th 2008 18th
1979 2nd 1989 1st 1999 5th 2009 -
1980 5th 1990 14th 2000 1st 2010

Top five scorers

1. Roberto Dinamite 702
2. Romário 322
3. Ademir 301
4. Pinga 250
5. Russinho 225

Most goals in a season

  1. Romário - 65 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 18,000 people.


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.

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 Uruguayanmarker Ondino Viera liked the sash used in his previous club's kit, River Plate, of Argentinamarker, and adopted this pattern in Vasco da Gama's away kit. So, both kits had a right diagonal sash.

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 white, with a black sash. The short and the socks are white. The away kit is similar to the home kit, but the main color is black, the sash is white, and the shorts and socks are black. The third kit is similar to the one used in 1929, being all-black, without the sash. The color of the player names and numbers is gold.

Currently, Champs is the official producer of jerseys. But the club recently mentioned that it is not interested in maintaining the partnership, because of lack of commitment of stock.

Logo and flag

The eight stars on the crest and flag signify: 1- South American Club Championship: 1948; 2- Libertadores Cup: 1998; 3- Mercosur Cup: 2000; 4- Brazilian National Championship: 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. 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:

Vamos todos cantar de coração Let's all of us sing by heartA cruz de Malta é o teu pendão The Maltese cross is your flagTens o nome do heróico português You are named after the Portuguese heroVasco da Gama ... tua fama assim se fez Vasco da Gama ... your fame was raised

Tua imensa torcida é bem feliz Your supporters are all happyNorte-Sul, Norte-Sul deste país North-South, North-South of the countryTua estrela, na terra a brilhar Your star, shining on earthIlumina o mar Lights the sea

No atletismo és um braço In track and field is an armNo remo és imortal In rowing is immortalNo futebol és um traço In football is a signalDe união Brasil-Portugal Of union of Brazil and Portugal


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 Americanamarker, São Paulo statemarker, founded in 1958, Vasco Sports Club, which is an Indianmarker 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 Meritimarker, Rio de Janeiro statemarker, 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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