Santos need only minutes to become joint record champions of Brazil

Brazilian football is trying to sort out its club history with Pele and Santos being the first major beneficiaries – even though the former three-times World Cup-winner has had to wait until he is 70 for the formalities to be completed.

Pele has been hailed as a six-times winner of an overall Brazilian championship some 33 years after he retired.

The Brazilian football confederation has confirmed what most football statisticians had taken as a fact that the Copa Brasil (created in 1958) and Torneo Roberto Gomes Pedrosa tournaments between 1959 and 1970 should be recognised as valid national titles.

Santos, spearheaded by Pele between 1956 and 1974, won these state champion play-off competitions six times but at the time there was no national league championship. This did not begin until 1971.

Santos, crowned world club champions in 1962 and 1963 after victories over Benfica and Milan, now hold a record eight national titles, as do Palmeiras, after the CBF’s decision.

Pele received his latest medals from CBF president Ricardo Teixeira. He said: “I think this recognition was deserved. I’m happy to be here in the name of all those players who passed through Santos in that era.”

Santos, who also won the title in 2002 and 2004, are joint record holders with Palmeiras, the team from Sao Paulo who won four prior to 1971 and four more since then. Sao Paulo and Flamengo have thus lost their status as record national champions, slipping to third and fourth places in the overall rankings.

The titles now recognised are as follows: Bahía (1959), Palmeiras (1960), Santos (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965), Cruzeiro (1966), Palmeiras (two titles in 1967), Botafogo (1968), Santos (1968), Palmeiras (1969)and Fluminense (1970).

From Soccer World

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