Vasco da Gama


Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈklubi dʒi ʁeˈɡatɐz ˈvasku ˈɡɐ̃mɐ], meaning 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 top state league of Rio de Janeiro.

Named after Vasco da Gama 400 years after he made the voyage to open the European–Asian sea route in 1498, the club was founded in 21 August 1898 as a rowing club by Brazilian (mostly Luso-Brazilians of self-perceived Portuguese ancestry) and Portuguese immigrant workers who had arrived more recently to the country. Vasco created its football department in 26 November 1915, being the professionalism adopted in 1933 – pioneer in Brazil. In addition with its main departments of football and rowing, Vasco has other sports departments since 1910s. Its youth academy, where did came from international footballers such as Romário, Philippe Coutinho, Hilderaldo Bellini, Roberto, and Edmundo, is well known for its socio-educational methodology. Vasco also has social club activities since its foundation, and social services including school and philanthrophy.

Due to its history of diversity and mobilization, most notably A Resposta Histórica document and the crowdfunding to the build of São Januário stadium in 1920s, Vasco da Gama became a sports club symbol of anti-racism and multiculturalism, hence the motto "Respeito, igualdade, inclusão" ("Respect, equality, inclusion"). Although, Vasco is historically subject of controversy due to its own complex political and administratives disputes, which reflects in sportive instability.

In national football, Vasco da Gama has won 4 Brasileirão, one Copa do Brasil, and 24 Carioca. In international club football, the club has won one Copa Libertadores, and one South American Championship of Champions. The golden generation of Vasco da Gama, dubbed O Expresso da Vitória, won five Carioca in the 1945–1952 eight years span, and did Vasco the first continental club champion ever by the 1948 South American Championship of Champions title. This team, which included Barbosa, Ademir, Friaça, Danilo Alvim, Augusto, and Chico, among others, is considered one of the greatest teams of its generation and 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 their home matches in São Januário stadium since its inauguration in 1927. Occasionally, the club also plays their home matches in Maracanã stadium since its inauguration in 1950. Vasco holds many long-standings rivalries, most notably with Flamengo, Fluminense and Botafogo. Originally from rowing in 1900s and extended to football in 1920s as O Clássico dos Milhões, the Vasco–Flamengo rivalry is considered the main rivalry of Brazilian sports.