Vasco da Gama


Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈklubi dʒi ʁeˈɡatɐz ˈvasku ˈɡɐ̃mɐ]; English: Vasco da Gama Club of Rowing), commonly referred to as Vasco da Gama or simply Vasco, is a sports club based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Although originally a rowing club and then a multi-sport club, Vasco is mostly known for its men's football team, which currently competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the top tier of the Brazilian football league system, and in the Campeonato Carioca, the state of Rio de Janeiro's premier state league.

Named after Vasco da Gama 400 years after his European–Asian sea route in 1498, the club was founded in 1898 as a rowing club by Brazilian workers, Portuguese Brazilians and newly arrived Portuguese immigrants. Vasco created its football department in 1915, with professionalism officially adopted in 1933 – pioneer in Brazil. In addition to its main departments of football and rowing, Vasco has other sports departments since the 1910s. Its youth academy, which has brought up international footballers such as Romário, Philippe Coutinho, Hilderaldo Bellini, Roberto, and Edmundo, is well known for its socio-educational methodology.

Due to its history of diversity and mobilization, most notably exemplified by the Resposta Histórica (Historical Response) document and the crowdfunding to build the São Januário stadium in the 1920s, Vasco became a symbol of anti-racism and multiculturalism, inspiring the club's motto of "Respeito, igualdade, inclusão" (Respect, equality, inclusion). However, Vasco's history has been a subject of controversy due to the club's own complex political and administrative disputes, which continues to reflect in the instability of the club's results.

At the national level, Vasco da Gama has won four Brasileirão, three Rio–São Paulo and one Copa do Brasil. In international club football, the club has won one Copa Libertadores, one South American Championship of Champions, and one Copa Mercosur. At the state level, the club has also won 24 Carioca. The golden generation of Vasco da Gama, dubbed O Expresso da Vitória (the Victory Express), won five state titles in the eight year span between 1945–1952, and led Vasco to become the first continental club champion ever with the 1948 South American Championship of Champions title. This team, which included Barbosa, Ademir, Friaça, Danilo, Augusto, and Chico, among others, is considered one of the greatest teams of its generation and of all time.

With fans worldwide, Vasco da Gama is one of the most widely supported clubs in Brazil, the Rio de Janeiro state and the Americas. Vasco plays its home matches in São Januário stadium since its inauguration in 1927. Occasionally, the club has also played their home matches in Maracanã stadium since its inauguration in 1950. Vasco holds long-standings rivalries with Flamengo, Fluminense and Botafogo. Originally from rowing in the 1900s and extending to football in the 1920s as O Clássico dos Milhões (the Derby of Millions), the Vasco–Flamengo rivalry is considered of the main rivalries of Brazilian sports and one of the most prominent football rivalries in the world.