Rio de Janeiro Football Teams

10 de December de 2013

What’s up guys? Do you like football? Did you know there is a big rivalry between the big four carioca teams (from Rio de Janeiro)? Football teams and the Rio de Janeiro stadium, the Maracanã, are very important in the carioca day-to-day life! Do you know where the Maracanã stadium is located? We have already learned some football vocabulary, so let’s learn more about Rio de Janeiro Football Teams today!

The Most Famous Rio Football Teams

In Rio de Janeiro we have several football teams, but as in any sport, we have some bigger and more famous teams, and some smaller teams. Today we’re going to start talking about the four biggest teams in Rio de Janeiro soccer: Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo and Fluminense. And if you want to feel like a football star after this class, you can join our RioLIVE! football on Copacabana beach!


The Clube de Futebol e Regatas Flamengo was founded in on the 17th of November 1895, and it has the most supporters in all of Brazil. One curiosity about Flamengo is that the player Zico, the most important player in the history of Flamengo, scored 508 goals wearing the ‘sacred cloak’ (that’s what the Flamengo jersey is known as!), he won 13 of the 16 championships played, and still now is the 2nd biggest scorer of the Brazilian championship, with 133 goals. Flamengo always attracts the biggest crowd of all of the important Rio football teams.

Stadium: They like to say that they own Maracanã stadium, but in fact Flamengo’s home ground is Gávea Stadium which is located in the neighborhood called Lagoa, but Flamengo rarely officially plays there. And if you are wondering where Flamengo plays most of their games, your guess was right: the Maracanã!

Stereotype: In Rio, we joke around saying that every Flamengo supporter is a mulambo (someone that dresses badly).

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, incorporated the football team into its sailing club, thanks to the arrival of a group of players coming from Lisbon, in 1913. It was the first team to openly fight for the inclusion of poor and black players in the Brazilian football, and it had its stadium built by their supporters. Vasco had two of the most famous players in Brazil: Roberto Dinamite and Geovani.

Stadium: the São Januário Stadium, has a really nice story behind it! This Rio football stadium is located in a neighborhood named Vasco da Gama, on a hill near the National Observatory of Brazil. Because it is located on a hill, the team earned the nickname “Gigante da Colina” (Giant of the Hill). But this stadium was not only used for soccer in Rio de Janeiro: President Getúlio Vargas historically used it a lot to give his speeches.

Stereotype: In Rio, we call Vasco supporters by the name Vice, since they always get second place.


Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas was officially born in 1942, as the result of the fusion between two teams: the Sailing Club of Botafogo and Botafogo Football Club. The greatest player in the history of the team was Garrincha, who became one of the most famous players in Brazil. A curiosity about Botafogo is that it was created thanks to an exchange of little notes between two friends during math class, from Flávio Ramos to his friend Emanuel Sodré. The note said: “Ithamar has a football club at Martins Ferreira Street. Let’s create our own at Largo dos Leões? We can talk to the Wernecks, Arthur César, Vicente and Jacques”. And that’s how it all started.

Stadium: Botafogo has as their home stadium the Nilton Santos Olympics Stadium. This Rio stadium, is often called Engenhão, was built by the city with the objective of hosting the 2007 Pan American Games. The idea was also to create another large stadium to ease the flow of the Maracanã stadium. The name of the stadium is a tribute to one of the most famous players in the history of Botafogo.

Stereotype: In Rio, we make fun of Botafogo supporters calling them crybabies, since they left the stadium crying after being badly beaten by Flamengo.


Fluminense Football Club was created on the 21st of July 1902, in Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital of Brazil then. A curiosity about the team is that the first Fluminense game ever, was played on the 19th of October 1902, three months after being built. The game was held at the Payssandu pitch (which later became a stadium) and their opponent was a team called Rio Football Club. It was Fluminense’s first big win with the score of 8×0. Fla x Flu is one of the biggest derbies in Rio de Janeiro.

Stadium: Fluminense stadium is not only a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, but also part of the history of Brazilian football. It was in this Laranjeiras Stadium that the Brazilian team played its first official game, in 1914. From that moment on, football in Rio de Janeiro would never be the same again. Even though they have a great rivalry, Fluminense and Flamengo share a common passion, the Maracanã football stadium. Whenever possible, the team prefers to play its official matches there! (Who wouldn’t?)

Stereotype: In Rio, it is said that the Fluminense supporters are homosexuals, because a player from the past used rice powder after shaving.

Minor Teams

Now, let’s take a look at some other minor carioca teams, but that are also incredible on the pitch!

There you go! We already know a bit about the history of Rio de Janeiro football teams and soccer stadium. Before this lesson, could you imagine that the history of Rio de Janeiro stadium was bigger than just Maracana football stadium? Do you have a favorite team in Rio de Janeiro? How about visiting our school in Rio and going to a game at Maracanã stadium with us?

We will see you in our next Dica!

Tchau tchau!         

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