Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is the history of the greatest team in the Americas as told at the official Santos FC website. You can visit it here.

Santos FC was established on April 14th, 1912 through the initiative of 3 sports enthusiasts of the city (Raymundo Marques(photo), Mário Ferraz De Campos and Argemiro de Souza Júnior). They met in the headquarters of the Clube Concórdia to create a new soccer team. During the historic meeting many names were suggested for the new club: Concórdia, Euterpe ou Brasil Atlético. But they immediately got to an agreement when Edmundo Jorge Araújo came up with “Santos Foot-Ball Club”.

Their first game was on September 15th that same year. Santos beat Santos Athletic Club 3-0. However Guillermo Gomez Guarche, who is a researcher and a counselor at Santos FC, believes that their first game actually took place on June 23rd, 1912 against a local opponent named Thereza Team. The official club historian, Francisco Mendes Fernandes, claims that this game was just a training session with no official result. Either way Santos won their first game as the team defeated Thereza Team 2-1, with goals scored by Anacleto Ferramenta and Geraule Ribeiro. Santos formation then was Fauvel, Simon, Ari, Bandeira, Ambrósio, Oscar, Bulle, Geraule, Esteves, Fontes and Anacleto.

Rosario Street, Club's foundation address.

For the first official game on September 15th, the opponent was Santos Athletic Club, also known at the time as the ‘Clube dos Ingleses’. Santos first official goal in the history of the club was scored by Arnaldo Silveira.

In the beginning of 1913, Santos received an invitation from the São Paulo Football League to compete in the state championship. This was Santos’ first official competition and the debut happened on June 1st, against Germânia. The result was not a very good one, as the team was defeated 8 - 1. Santos formation at that match was Durval Damasceno, Sebastião Arantes, Sydnei Simonsen; Geraule Ribeiro, Ambrósio Silva, José Pereira da Silva; Adolfo Millon, Nilo Arruda, Anacleto Ferramenta, Harold Cross and Arnaldo Silveira.

Three weeks later, on June 22nd, Santos won their first match in an official competition against a team who would become the club greatest rival, Corinthians. Santos won 6-3 in a full Parque São Jorge, Corinthians’ home.

In 1913, the Campeonato Santista de Futebol took place for the first time, and the teams taking part of it were Santos, América, Escolástica Rosa and Atlético. The Alvinegro (the “black and white” as Santos is also called by fans) was crowned the champion, having six victories in six games, 35 goals for and only seven against. This was the very first achievement in the history of the club.

Since their very first years Santos was always very successful, as much in local games as in international ones. Santos won Paulista championship (state tournament) for the first time in 1935, after going through two unsuccessful years, due to the change of soccer to a professional sport.

1935 São Paulo Champion team

In 1955, after 20 years without being champion, Santos defeated Taubaté and could finally get a title again. The formation of the team was: Manga, Hélvio, Feijó; Ramiro, Formiga, Urubatão; Tite, Negri, Álvaro, Del Vecchio and Pepe.

The following year, Valdemar de Brito would invite a 15 year old boy named Pelé to the club. Pelé would change the club forever taking Santos to a new phase in its history. He would help the club get achievements that would exalt Brazilian soccer worldwide. Santos’ team popularity during its golden age was enormous, even abroad. Santos traveled all over the world enchanting supporters with its magical style. The offensive players at that time were: Dorval, Mengávio, Coutinho, Pelé and Pepe. During this period, the golden years, Santos won twice the Intercontinental Cup (1962/1963), twice the Copa Libertadores da América (1962/1963), among other glories.

Pelé at the beggining of his carreer

After Pelé Era, Santos Futebol Clube kept on its way to glories. In 1978 it again formed a winning team. The Meninos da Vila (literally, the boys from the vila, as they were nicknamed because the athletes were really young) won the Paulista Championship in 1978. Juari, Pita, Ailton were a stand out among others.
After that the team got some more titles such as, Paulista Championship in 1984 and the Conmebol Cup in 1998.

When the club was going to turn 90 years old, in 2002, Santos conquered for the seventh time the most important national title, Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship). The athletes forming the team were from Santos Youth Divisions. The Meninos da Vila were in the spotlight. All over Brazil Diego and Robinho became a symbol of a joyful and impressive way of playing. The following year the team was the runner-up in Copa Libertadores da América and also in the Brazilian Championship.

Robinho, in 2002, performing his famous step overs in the final match

In 2004, Peixe (literally “Fish”- as it is nicknamed by its fans) won another significant competition. Overcoming the loss of key players such as Diego and Robinho during the Brazilian Championship, Santos was the champion of this tournament again, but this time under the coaching of Vanderlei Luxemburgo. The most important players for the team at that time were Robinho, Elano, Ricardinho and Léo.

The stakes were high for 2005. The team could manage to keep the most talented players and Vandelei Luxemburgo, who was still the coach at that time, was focusing his work on Copa Libertadores da América. However, the Spanish team Real Madrid made a very tempting offer to the coach who decided to leave to Europe.

August 2005; Santos FC was part of the greatest soccer negotiation in Brazil that far, in which Real Madrid bought Robinho. By the end of that year Vanderlei Luxemburgo returned to Santos FC after spending a season as the coach of the Spanish team.

During the first tournament played in 2006 the team already showed its competitiveness by winning the Paulista championship again after 22 years. By defeating Portuguesa de Desportos 2-0 at the Vila Belmiro Stadium, Santos’ team won a championship in its hometown, something that hadn’t taken place since 1965. In October, 2006 the club’s direction decided to buy Zé Roberto, the midfielder for the National Team during 2006 World Cup campaign.

Moraes celebrating the 2007 championship's goal next to Zé Roberto

Zé Roberto’s experience and skill were key ingredients for Santos FC to achieve Paulista Championship for the second time in a row. In a memorable match Santos FC defeated São Caetano becoming the state champion. Moraes, a young player who came from Santos Youth Divisions, scored the winning goal. The last time Alvinegro Praiano (Black and White from the beach, as it is also informally called by fans) had been the state champion for two-times in a row had been 39 years before that.

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