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The Campeonato Paulista de Futebol Profissional da Primeira Divisão - Série A1, simply known as the Campeonato Paulista, is the top-flight professional football league in the Brazilianmarker state of São Paulomarker. The league is contested between 20 clubs and typically lasts from January to April. Rivalries amongst four of the most well-known Brazilian teams (Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos and São Paulo) has marked the history of the competition. The "Paulistão", as the tournament is popularly known, is also the oldest established league in Brazil. It was first held in 1902.


Campeonato Paulista is held annually by the Federação Paulista de Futebol (São Paulo State Football Federation), or FPF, amongst teams residing within the state of São Paulo. 20 clubs compete in the highest level of the championship (Série A1). In a new format for 2007, each team plays the other once in a round-robin format followed by four team playoff with home-and-away series. In addition, teams that finish the regular season in places 5 through 8 (that do not reside within the city of São Paulo or Santos FC) will compete in a playoff for the title of "Campeão do Interior" (Upstate Champion). The four lowest placed teams are relegated to the lower competition (Série A2) for the following year.

Série A2 is competed by 20 teams in 3 separate phases. In Phase One, the teams are split into 2 groups, playing each other twice in a home-and-home series. The bottom two from each group are relegated to Série A3; the top 4 advance to Phase Two. Phase two consists of the eight advancing teams organized into groups, repeating the home-and-home series within the group. The top two placed teams from each group are promoted to Série A1; each top team advances to Phase Three, a single championship game to determine the tournament winner.

Série A3 consists of 20 teams competing in a three phase format similar to Série A-2. Promotion and relegation rules are the same as in this higher level.

The Second Division (Série B) matches are held by minor teams during the Brazilian league. The number of teams involved varies, with 45 participants in 2009. Top four teams are promoted to Série A3.



Charles Miller was responsible for the creation of the first São Paulo state tournament. Miller introduced the football association rules to Brazilmarker upon his return from Englandmarker, where he attended college and discovered the sport. On December 14, 1901, the Liga Paulista de Foot-Ball (Paulista Football League), or LPF was founded, comprising of five initial teams: São Paulo Athletic Club, Internacional, Mackenzie, Germânia, and Paulistano. Between April and October 1902, those teams competed in the first edition of the tournament, with São Paulo AC winning the title and Miller himself as the leading goalscorer. Unlike in Argentinamarker and Uruguaymarker, football was restricted to elitist clubs in its early days in Brazil.

Football popularity grew in following years. Paulistano, a club comprised of the children of the richest families of São Paulo, became the strongest team. However, the popularity base of the sport started to change after a brilliant exhibition tour by the Corinthians, a Londonmarker amateur team, in São Paulomarker and Rio de Janeiromarker. They easily defeated the best Brazilian teams of the time and made a very favorable impression amongst the younger fans. Shortly thereafter, a group of workers were inspired to found the city's first popular team, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.

Growing Pains

Growth of football popularity amongst lower classes generated a rift in the LPF. Their directors had defended that football should remain an elitist sport. This difference in opinion led to creation of another competing league, the Associação Paulista de Esportes Atléticos (Paulista Association of Athletic Sports), [APEA], which promoted the sport among all social classes. Corinthians and Palestra Itália (a new club compound by Italian immigrants), and Paulistano helped to comprise the new league.

The LPF ceased operation in 1917. Until 1926, the APEA remained the only league in São Paulo. Stronger teams, larger crowds and players such Neco (Corinthians) and Friedenreich (Paulistano) contributed to the footballmania that converted football from "foreigner's fun" to Brazil's most popular sport. Debates surrounded the issue of whether football should professionalize or remain a purely amateur endeavor. Paulistano, the most trophied team at the time, refused to become professional and departed in 1925 to create the Liga de Amadores de Futebol (League of Football Amateurs) [LAF]. Competition between the two leagues fueled expansion of the teams, as clubs from upstate began to join.

By 1930, the LAF and Paulistano had folded, and a new era for São Paulo football began. Players became professionals in 1933 when Bandeirante Football League was created. Corinthians and Palestra Itália assumed their positions as the most powerful and popular teams. A new club emerges to compete for the hearts of supporters. Some dissidents from Paulistano, favourable to profissionalization, along with the directors of AA Palmeiras united to form São Paulo Futebol Clube, the third force of the city.

The Modern Era

The APEA had ceased operations in 1938, and after the several name changes, the original Bandeirante Football League officially became the Federação Paulista de Futebol (Paulista Football Federation), [FPF] on April 22, 1941. São Paulo signed Leonidas da Silva in the following year and won five of the next eight championships. Palestra Itália change its name to Palmeiras in 1943 due to a World War II period law that banned Axis Powers's references in sport. Football grows within the state and a second division is created in 1948, allowing upstate teams to take part in major league competition. XV de Novembro from Piracicabamarker was the first team promoted to the top flight.

São Paulo, Palmeiras and Corinthians dominated titles in early fifties. Santos, although having competed consistently, would need waiting few more years to gain top status. 1957 was the year when football saw the birth of its greatest player ever: Pelé. His fantastic goals lead Santos to win nine of the next twelve championships. Pelé was the league top scorer in every year between 1957 and 1965 including a record 58 goals in a single season. Santos won numerous competitions at the state, national, regional and international level. Palmeiras's "Academia" teams were the only ones able to break such dominance in the sixties.

Since 1960s, Brazil began to develop more mature national competitions which competed with the state and regional tournaments for supporter's attention. In 1977, Corinthians' were able to win a title after a 24 year drought, and the early eighties saw the battle between Corinthians (led by Sócrates) and São Paulo's (Serginho Chulapa). The "Corinthians Democracy" won in 1982 and 1983 while introducing a new philosophy in club management, where players participate in all decisions with management. São Paulo became the most successful team of the decade, winning the championship in 1980, 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1989. The last years saw the emergence of players such as Müller and Silas (known as the "Menudos do Morumbi") on that team. Internacional from Limeiramarker accomplished a great upset in 1986 by defeating Palmeiras to win the final.

Bragantino vs. Novorizontino was the final in the 1990 championship in the Paulistão's biggest ever upset. Palmeiras' fans saw their club win the 1993, 1994 and 1996 championships with the greatest Brazilian squad of the decade. Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Edmundo, César Sampaio are among the members of the "Green Machine" which scored 100 goals in the 1996 tournament. Corinthians conquered the trophy five times in the 1995-2003 period, thus becoming the most successful team in the first 100 years of the Campeonato Paulista, with 25 titles.

Since 2000, Campeonato Paulista has lost popularity with each year. The championship that saw the magic of true geniuses such as Friedenreich, Leonidas, Pelé, Ademir da Guia and Sócrates at its peak is now regarded as a secondary tournament. The main São Paulo state teams treat the tournament as tune-ups for the more lucrative Copa Libertadores and Brazilian National Championship. However, the Paulistão, as well as the other state tournaments in Brazil, still hold significance by providing developing talent and sustaining grass-roots soccer within the state.

2009 Série A1

Team - Home City

Past tournaments

Winners and goalscorers

Season Winner Runner-up Top Goalscorer Team Goals
1902 LPF São Paulo Athletic Club (1) Paulistano Charles Miller São Paulo Athletic Club 10
1903 LPF São Paulo Athletic Club (2) Paulistano Alvaro and Boyes CA Paulistano and São Paulo Athletic Club 4
1904 LPF São Paulo Athletic Club (3) Paulistano Charles Miller São Paulo Athletic Club 9
1905 LPF Paulistano (1) Germânia Hermann Friese SC Germania 14
1906 LPF Germânia (1) S.C. Internacional Fuller SC Germania 4
1907 LPF S.C. Internacional (1) Americano and Paulistano Léo SC Internacional 8
1908 LPF Paulistano (2) Germânia Peres CA Paulistano 6
1909 LPF A.A. das Palmeiras (1) Paulistano Bibi CA Paulistano 9
1910 LPF A.A. das Palmeiras (2) Americano Boyes, Eurico, Rubens Sales São Paulo Athletic Club, AA das Palmeiras, CA Paulistano 10
1911 LPF São Paulo Athletic Club (4) Americano Décio SC Americano 7
1912 LPF Americano (1) Paulistano (3) Arthur Friedenreich AA Mackenzie College
1913 APEA Paulistano (3) Mackenzie José Pedro, Luiz Alves, Renato, Whatley, Luiz, Mesquita 4 for AA Mackenzie College, AA das Palmeiras, CA Paulistano 3
1913 LPF SC Americano (2) Ypiranga Décio SC Americano 7
1914 APEA São Bento de São Paulo (1) Paulistano Arthur Friedenreich CA Paulistano 12
1914 LPF Corinthians (1) Campos Elísios Neco Corinthians 12
1915 APEA A.A. das Palmeiras (3) Mackenzie Nazaré AA das Palmeiras 13
1915 LPF Corinthians (2) São Paulo Facchini AA Campos Eliseos 17
1916 LPF Germânia (2) Campos Elísios Aparicio Corinthians 7
1916 APEA Paulistano (4) São Bento de São Paulo Mariano CA Paulistano 8
1917 APEA Paulistano (5) Palestra Itália Arthur Friedenreich CA Ypiranga 15
1918 APEA Paulistano (6) Corinthians Arthur Friedenreich CA Paulistano 25
1919 APEA Paulistano (7) Palestra Itália Arthur Friedenreich CA Ypiranga 26
1920 APEA Palestra Itália (1) Paulistano Neco Corinthians 24
1921 APEA Paulistano (8) Corinthians and Palestra Itália Arthur Friedenreich CA Paulistano 33
1922 APEA Corinthians (3) Palestra Itália Gambarotta Corinthians 19
1923 APEA Corinthians (4) Palestra Itália Feitiço AA São Bento 18
1924 APEA Corinthians (5) Paulistano Feitiço AA São Bento 14
1925 APEA São Bento de São Paulo (1) Corinthians and Paulistano Feitiço AA São Bento 10
1926 LAF Paulistano (9) Germânia Filó CA Paulistano 16
1926 APEA Palestra Itália (2) Auto Heitor Palestra Itália 18
1927 LAF Paulistano (10) Espanha Arthur Friedenreich CA Paulistano 13
1927 APEA Palestra Itália (3) Santos Araken Santos 31
1928 LAF S.C. Internacional (2) Paulistano
1928 APEA Corinthians (6) Santos Heitór Palestra Itália 16
1929 LAF Paulistano (11) S.C. Internacional Arthur Friedenreich CA Paulistano 16
1929 APEA Corinthians (7) Santos Feitiço Santos 12
1930 APEA Corinthians (8) São Paulo da Floresta Feitiço Santos 37
1931 APEA São Paulo da Floresta (1) Palestra Itália and Santos Feitiço Santos 39
1932 APEA Palestra Itália (4) São Paulo da Floresta Romeu Palestra Itália 18
1933 APEA Palestra Itália (5) São Paulo da Floresta Valdemar de Brito São Paulo da Floresta 21
1934 APEA Palestra Itália (6) São Paulo da Floresta Romeu Palestra Itália 13
1935 APEA Portuguesa (1) Ypiranga Figueiredo CA Ypiranga 19
1935 LPF Santos (1) Palestra Itália Teleco Corinthians 9
1936 APEA Portuguesa (2) Ypiranga Carioca Portuguesa 18
1936 LPF Palestra Itália (7) Corinthians Teleco Corinthians 28
1937 LPF Corinthians (9) Palestra Itália Teleco Corinthians 15
1938 LFESP Corinthians (10) São Paulo Eliseu São Paulo 13
1939 LFESP Corinthians (11) Palestra Itália Teleco Corinthians 32
1940 LFESP Palestra Itália (8) Portuguesa Peixe CA Ypiranga 21
1941 Corinthians (12) São Paulo Teleco Corinthians 26
1942 Palmeiras (9) Corinthians Milani Corinthians 24
1943 São Paulo (2) Corinthians Hércules Corinthians 19
1944 Palmeiras (10) São Paulo Luizinho São Paulo 22
1945 São Paulo (3) Corinthians Passarinho, Servilio SPR , Corinthians 17
1946 São Paulo (4) Corinthians Servilio Corinthians 19
1947 Palmeiras (11) Corinthians Servilio Corinthians 19
1948 São Paulo (5) Santos Cilas CA Ypiranga 19
1949 São Paulo (6) Palmeiras Friaça São Paulo 24
1950 Palmeiras (12) São Paulo and Santos Pinga Portuguesa 22
1951 Corinthians (13) Palmeiras Carbone Corinthians 30
1952 Corinthians (14) São Paulo Baltazar Corinthians 27
1953 São Paulo (7) Palmeiras Humberto Palmeiras 22
1954 Corinthians (15) Palmeiras Humberto Palmeiras 36
1955 Santos (2) Corinthians Del Vecchio Santos 23
1956 Santos (3) São Paulo Zezinho São Paulo 16
1957 São Paulo (8) Santos Pelé Santos 17
1958 Santos (4) São Paulo Pelé Santos 58
1959 Palmeiras (13) Santos Pelé Santos 44
1960 Santos (5) Portuguesa Pelé Santos 34
1961 Santos (6) Palmeiras Pelé Santos 47
1962 Santos (7) São Paulo and Corinthians Pelé Santos 37
1963 Palmeiras(14) São Paulo Pelé Santos 22
1964 Santos (8) Palmeiras Pelé Santos 34
1965 Santos (9) Palmeiras Pelé Santos 49
1966 Palmeiras (15) Corinthians Toninho Guerreiro Santos 27
1967 Santos (10) São Paulo Flávio Corinthians 21
1968 Santos (11) Corinthians Téia Ferroviária 20
1969 Santos (12) Palmeiras Pelé Santos 26
1970 São Paulo (9) Palmeiras and Ponte Preta Toninho Guerreiro São Paulo 13
1971 São Paulo (10) Palmeiras César Palmeiras 18
1972 Palmeiras (16) São Paulo Toninho Guerreiro São Paulo 17
1973 Santos (13) and Portuguesa (3) Palmeiras Pelé Santos 11
1974 Palmeiras (17) Corinthians Geraldão Botafogo FC 23
1975 São Paulo (11) Portugesa Serginho São Paulo 22
1976 Palmeiras (18) XV de Piracicaba Sócrates Botafogo FC 15
1977 Corinthians (16) Ponte Preta Serginho Chulapa São Paulo 32
1978 Santos (14) São Paulo Juari Santos 29
1979 Corinthians (17) Ponte Preta Luis Fernando América 27
1980 São Paulo (12) Santos Edmar Taubaté 17
1981 São Paulo (13) Ponte Preta Jorge Mendonça Guarani 38
1982 Corinthians (18) São Paulo Walter Casagrande Corinthians 28
1983 Corinthians (19) São Paulo Serginho Chulapa Santos 22
1984 Santos (15) Corinthians Chiquinho, Serginho Chulapa Botafogo FC, Santos 16
1985 São Paulo (14) Portuguesa Careca São Paulo 23
1986 Inter de Limeira (1) Palmeiras Kita Inter de Limeira 23
1987 São Paulo (15) Corinthians Edmar Corinthians 19
1988 Corinthians (20) Guarani Evair Guarani 19
1989 São Paulo (16) São José Toni, Toquinho São José, Portuguesa 13
1990 Bragantino (1) Novorizontino Alberto, Rubem, Volnei Ituano, Guarani, Ferroviária 12
1991 São Paulo (17) Corinthians Raí São Paulo 20
1992 São Paulo (18) Palmeiras Válber Mogi Mirim 17
1993 Palmeiras (19) Corinthians Viola Corinthians 20
1994 Palmeiras (20) São Paulo and Corinthians Evair Palmeiras 23
1995 Corinthians (21) Palmeiras Bentinho, Paulinho São Paulo, Portuguesa 20
1996 Palmeiras (21) São Paulo Giovanni Santos 24
1997 Corinthians (22) São Paulo Dodô São Paulo 19
1998 São Paulo (19) Corinthians França São Paulo 12
1999 Corinthians (23) Palmeiras Alex Mogi Mirim 12
2000 São Paulo (20) Santos França São Paulo 18
2001 Corinthians (24) Botafogo/SP Washington Ponte Preta 16
2002 Ituano (1) União São João Alex Alves Juventus 17
2003 Corinthians (25) São Paulo Luís Fabiano São Paulo 8
2004 São Caetano (1) Paulista Vagner Love Palmeiras 12
2005 São Paulo (21) Corinthians Finazzi América 17
2006 Santos (16) São Paulo Nilmar Corinthians 18
2007 Santos (17) São Caetano Somália São Caetano 13
2008 Palmeiras (22) Ponte Preta Alex Mineiro Palmeiras 15
2009 Corinthians (26) Santos Pedrão Grêmio Barueri 15

  • LPF — Liga Paulista de Foot-Ball (Paulista Football League)
  • APEA — Associação Paulista de Esportes Atléticos (Paulista Association of Athletic Sports)
  • LAF — Liga Amadores de Futebol (Amateur Football League)
  • LFESP — Liga de Futebol do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Football League)
  • All editions starting in 1941 organized by the FPF — Federação Paulista de Futebol (Paulista Football Federation)

[1] In 2002, the FPF organized the Super Championship with the top 3 teams in the 2002 Rio-São Paulo Tournament (Corinthians, São Paulo and Palmeiras) and the 2002 Paulista Champion (Ituano)

Titles by team

Campeonato Paulista do Interior


The competition, held since 2007, is played in two legged semifinals and final by the four best placed countryside São Paulo state clubs that did not reach the semifinal stage of the Campeonato Paulista.

Past tournaments

Winners and goalscorers

Season Winner Runner-up
2007 Guaratinguetá Noroeste
2008 Grêmio Barueri Noroeste
2009 Ponte Preta Grêmio Barueri

Titles by team

See also


External links

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