Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
Infobox football league
country = Brazil
confed = CONMEBOL|
teams = 20
relegation = Série B
levels = 1|
Copa do Brasil
Copa Libertadores Copa Sudamericana|
champions = São Paulo
season = 2007|
website = http://www.cbf.com.br/
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 2008The Série A (informally called Brasileirão) is the highest division of Brazilian football. It is composed of 20 teams; currently, the bottom four teams in Série A are relegated and the top four teams in Série B are promoted.
Due to its large continental size and historical peculiarities, Brazil has a short history of national competitions. The modern Campeonato Brasileiro only started in
1971, supported by the then military regime and made easier by the advancements in in civil aviation and air transport. Therefore, unlike other football nations, every state of Brazil has its own state competition which are generally regarded as important as the national competitions.
Controversies aside, the CBF do not officially recognize the national tournaments from 1959 to 1970. This includes the
Taça Brasiland Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, counted as national title, although these 2 tournaments had teams from all regions of Brazil.
All the big clubs from
São Paulo, except Palmeiras, withdrew from the 1979 competition. They protested against the odd system of tier qualification which made their rivals, Palmeiras and Guarani, enter only in the final phase (due to them being previous-year finalists) and also asking for the same privileges. Indeed oddly enough, Guarani finished in the top 12 playing only 3 games and Palmeiras finished third despite playing only 5 games in a tournament with 96 entrants.
In 1984, Juventus, a small club from São Paulo, managed to qualify for the Série A. Participants of that year could be promoted from and relegated to Série B in the middle of the tournament. Juventus thus started the tournament in the premiership, was relegated in the middle of the tournament but eventually managed to clinch the Série B title. Despite this the team was not promoted to Série A in the following year and failed to qualify to it from the state championship.
In 1999, an averaging relegation system similar to the one used in the
Primera División Argentinawas adopted. The two clubs with the worst point results in the first stage of the two previous seasons were to be relegated. However, this system only lasted for a single season.
In 2005, each team played 42 games, 21 home and 21 away, for a total of 462 games. The champion and runner-up automatically qualified for the 2006 Copa Libertadores. The third and fourth placed teams may also represent Brazil in the Libertadores by defeating foreign clubs to be determined by
CONMEBOLin pre-tournament trials. The champion and 5th through 11th placed teams also win the right to represent Brazil in the Copa Sudamericana, another South American championship of lower stature. The four lowest ranked teams (19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd) were relegated to the following year's Série B.
Eleven matches of the 2005 competition were annulled due to a match-fixing scandal and had to be replayed.
The seasons with the largest number of entrants of the competition were: 2000 (116 entrants), 1979 (94 entrants) and 1986 (80 entrants).
Format and competition rules
Since 2003, the Série A has been contested in a double round-robin format and the team with most points is declared champion. There is no final match, which is a very controversial subject. Prior to 2003, the Brazilian championship had traditionally been decided with some type of playoff format (most commonly the "Octagonal", where the top 8 regular season teams comprise a single elimination tournament), rather than the European model of points accumulation over a season. Although some purists complain that this system lacks the dramatic scenes of playoffs and finals, the competition has so far shown to be well balanced, without a small number of clubs dominating the league, a phenomenon often found in many European leagues.
For the 2006 season, the number of contestants was reduced to 20 and CBF claims it to be the "definitive" format. In 2006, a limit on the number of foreign players was set, such that no team can have more than 3 foreign players on the field or on the bench in a single match.
The only club to win a championship undefeated was Internacional, in 1979, with 15 wins and 7 draws. Also, in a match between Goiás and Cruzeiro, in the same year, 14 players were sent off.
Roberto Dinamiteis the player with most goals scored in Campeonato Brasileiro history. Dinamite scored 190 in 20 seasons (1971-1989).
Teams currently playing Série A
There are 20 teams playing the Série A in 2008:
Titles by team
Below are the titles by team, according to the Brazilian Football Confederation, thus excluding the 1987 Copa União, won by Flamengo:
Titles by state
Below are the titles by state, according to the Brazilian Football Confederation, thus excluding the 1987 Copa União, won by Flamengo of Rio de Janeiro state:1The championship of 1987 was controversial as CBF faced scission from
Clube dos 13which decided to organize the 1987 premiership on its own. The latter, dubbed Copa União, had Flamengo and Internacional as champion and runner-up. Despite signing an agreement with CBF in order avoid being banned by FIFA, both teams backed by Clube dos 13 decided not to match their title with CBF's tournament winners in order to unify the title. As a result, the CBF disqualified the two teams from the finals and awarded the title to Sport, who had won the yellow module, organized by the confederation.2 The championship was not organised by CBF because Gama, in the 1999 championship, contested and won in a common justice court and reverted its relegation. CBF was thus legally impeached of organizing it without including Gama and asked Clube dos 13 to act as a proxy while backing the competition. The rules reproduced roughly previous tournaments with a regular season and play-offs, though all teams legally had to be able to dispute, thus 1999 clubs were not relegated. Due to another justice decision, Gama was included in the championship. The competition was officially recognized by the Brazilian Football Confederation.
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, the second division of Brazilian football
Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, the third division of Brazilian football
Campeonato Brasileiro Série D, the fourth division of Brazilian football
Campeonato Brasileiro Sub-20, the official U-20 national football tournament
Brazilian Football State Championship, the football competitions in the 26 states of Brazil and the Federal District
Copa do Brasil, the national cup competition
Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa, the national tournament from 1967 to 1970
Taça Brasil, the national tournament from 1959 to 1968
Football in Brazil
* [http://cbfnews.uol.com.br/ CBF] Confederação Brasileira de Futebol - Brazilian Football Confederation
* [http://planeta.terra.com.br/esporte/rsssfbrasil/historical.htm#brasileiro RSSSF Brazil links]
* [http://www.zerozero.pt/uk/edicao.php?id_edicao=1425 zerozero.pt]
* [http://www.footiemap.com/?co=brasil Map of Serie A club locations]
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