Taubate Esporte Clube

Cruzeiro Esporte Clube

This article is about the football (soccer) team. For the currency, see Brazilian cruzeiro.

Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team, from the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, founded on January 2, 1921.

Even though the club's main focus is football, Cruzeiro also supports semi-professional teams as well, these include track and field, bocha, and bowling.


Palestra years

Early Palestra years

Cruzeiro was born off a political administrative crisis at Yale, one of the first sporting clubs of Belo Horizonte, a city where already some Italian immigrants militated. The Italians in Belo Horizonte, wanted to follow the example of the Italians in São Paulo, who had established a football club, the Palestra Itália, now Palmeiras. The people of Belo Horizonte wanted the Italian colony in Minas Gerais to have its own club as well.

Yale, formed in 1910, competed in the Campeonato de Belo Horizonte (Belo Horizonte Championship) up to 1925, when it gave up football. The majority of the players of Yale were of Italian origin and when the Palestra Itália was created, had a total bond to the new club. With the disagreement in Yale, in a rainy night on December 1920, Yale separated and the Palestra Itália (of Belo Horizonte) was born, also known as Palestra Mineiro.

Later Palestra years

The initiative was taken by Null Savini, Spagnuolo Sundays, Sílvio Pirani, Júlio Lazarotti, Hamleto Magnavacca, Henriqueto Pirani, Marguerite Funatino and João Ranieri. Other Italians had promised to help in what was necessary, especially financially. Some years later, Yale ended, but in the same time its still lives, through Cruzeiro. On December 20, 1920, the Italian Consul of Belo Horizonte decided on a meeting, which had the presence of 195 people, of which 92 had signed an act. Some proposals had been made and approved, marking a new meeting to be held on January 2, 1921, at the same time and place. On this day, January 2, 1921, about 250 Italians had appeared for the great event, the foundation of the Sociedade Esportiva Palestra Itália, or Societá Sportiva Palestra Itália. The adopted colors, as it could not be otherwise, were the same ones of the Italian flag: green, red, and white (in 2005 the colors reappeared in the training uniforms). The first uniform of the club was a green jersey, white shorts and red stockings. On the shield, in the form of a rhombus, were the initials SSPI. The club only allowed participation of men from the Italian colony, until 1925, when it opened its doors for sportsmen of any nationality

The debut of the Palestra in the lawns of Belo Horizonte was in the Stadium of the Prado Mineiro. It was in a friendly, on April 3, 1921, against a combination from Nova Lima, uniting players of Villa Nova, which was the club of the English, and Palmeiras, another team form that city. The Palestra won 2 v 0. The goals were from Nani (Lazarotti João), in the 16 minute of the first half and in the 7 minute of the second half. The Palestra team was formed by: Nullo, Polenta and Ciccio; Checchino, Américo and Bassi; Lino, Spartaco, Nani, Henriqueto and Armandinho. Nova Lima: Ferreira, Marcondes, Ruanico, Christovão, Bahiano, Oscar, Raymundo, Gentil, Badu, Damaso e Juá.

The first official presentation of the Palestra to the sporting public of Belo Horizonte was in a game against Clube Atlético Mineiro, where the Palestra won 2 to 0. The team of the Palestra contained: Nullo, Henriqueto and Polenta; Grande, Gallo and Checchino; Pederzoli, Parizi, Nani, Attílio and Armandinho.

Finally Cruzeiro EC

In January 1942, Brazil entered the Second World War and a decree of the Federal Government forbade the use of terms from enemy nations in entities, institutions, establishments, etc. With this, the Italian name was removed and the directors of the club took 10 months to create a new name and symbol for the club that was entirely Brazilian. The name was changed to Ypiranga, but this name did'nt got the affection of the congress of the Advice, so this name was removed. In October a consensus of the directors approved the name Cruzeiro Esporte Clube. Cruzeiro is the constellation of the Southern Cross, and can only be seen from the southern hemisphere, therefore, not related to Italy. The uniform also switched to a blue shirt and stockings, and white shorts, (vice-versa when away).

Only, however, in November 1942, did Cruzeiro Esporte Clube make its first presentation to the world, using the blue-starred shirt, erasing themselves, of the existence of the glorious Palestra Itália. The first presentation as Cruzeiro Esporte Clube happened in November 11, 1942, in the fields of América, a game refereed by João Narciso. Cruzeiro Esporte Clube won 1 to 0 over America, with a goal by Ismael, in the 38 minutes of the first half. Cruzeiro‘s team that day was: Geraldo II, Gerson and Azevedo; Rizão, Juca and Caieirinha; Nogueirinha, Orlando Fantoni, Niginho, Ismael and Zezé Papatela. Manager: Bengala. America: Aldo, Lulu, Pescoço, Cabral, Célio Bizzoto, Du, Coquinho, Alfredinho, Gabardinho, Gerson and Cara Larga. Manager: Jacyr de Assis.

With the inauguration of the Mineirão, the Giant of Pampulha, in 1965, Cruzeiro transformed itself, permanently. It became a national football power, and became well known. The “celestial team” introduced Brazil and the world to stars such as Tostão, Piazza, Natal, Dirceu Lopes, and many others. Cruzeiro became the first great football force in Brazil, aside from the Rio-São Paulo teams.

Golden era

Cruzeiro started to have national prominence in the 60s, when a team with players such as Tostão, Wilson Piazza and Fontana took the club to win five Campeonato Mineiro titles in a row, and the conquest of Taça Brasil on top of Santos of Pelé (winning 6x2 in the Mineirão and 3x2 in São Paulo).

In 1976, Cruzeiro conquered its first Copa Libertadores de América, over River Plate of Argentina, being vice champions of the same competition in 1977, defeated by Boca Juniors of Argentina. In the Campeonato Brasileiro, in 1974 Cruzeiro were vice champions for the first time, after losing a very confusing, decisive match against Vasco. Later in 1975 once again they were vice champions this time it was a loss to International. In the 1970s Cruzeiro was successful in other championships, like in 1976, one of their finest moments, they were in the Intercontinental Cup, now renamed as the FIFA Club World Championship, for the first time and faced a strong Bayern Munich side who defeated them 2-0 on aggregate (it stayed 0-0 at the Mineirão).

The 80s were not very positive for the club, since the club did not have much success nor won many titles, although the drought did not last long.

Among the top Brazilian football clubs, Cruzeiro has an impressive list of titles that can only be compared to a few others in Brazil. It is undoubtedly the most successful club in present-day Minas Gerais. In 1990 the clubs drought vanished and it initiated a sequence of 15 years earning at least one title per year. That included, two Supercopa Sudamericana (1991, 1992), a South American Recopa (1998), four Copa do Brasil (1993, 1996, 2000, 2003), a Copa Oro (1995), a Supercopa Masters (1995), two Copa Sul-Minas (2001, 2002), nine Campeonato Mineiro (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997,1998, 2003, 2004), a Copa Centro-Oeste (1999), Supercampeonato Mineiro (2002), a second Copa Libertadores de América (1997) and the Campeonato Brasileiro (2003) and many other titles not listed.

In this period the Cruzeirense earned some idols as well, between them Charles, Boiadeiro, Douglas, Ademir, Ronaldo, Nonato, Dida, Ricardinho, Marcelo Ramos, Alex Alves, Sorín, Fred, and Alex.

Rivalry with Atlético

Like every state or region there are two main football force and through out time they become great rivals. Atlético and Cruzeiro are no exception. It’s the biggest derby in Minas, and besides Rio and São Paulo derbies, it’s one of the biggest in Brazil.

There is always a big feud between the two fans, some claiming one is stronger and the other claiming the other is stronger. Overall, Atlético has managed to win 169 derby matches, Cruzeiro has won 139 and there have been 113 draws, out of 420 derbies. Cruzeiro has won over 106 titles (official and nonofficial).

But when the two play it seems like history or statistics mean nothing to the players, because every time the two play a show is truly put on for their fans.

Modern age: 2003-Present

The biggest exploit of the last decade happened in 2003, when Cruzeiro under the command of the respected coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and captained by Alex conquered the triple crown. For years Cruzeiro struggled to win the Brazilian League, without success. After a few second places, in 2003 they were finally able to win the only title it did not have until then. With 100 points won during the season, and just over 100 goals scored, it will be a long time until another club achieves the same success as Cruzeiro did in 2003. In 2003, besides winning the Brazilian League, Cruzeiro also won the Brazilian Cup and the State Championship to become the first Brazilian team to win the triple crown.

In 2004 Cruzeiro continued to do well, they won the Belo Horizonte Youth Cup, and, with stars such as Argentine Juan Pablo Sorín, won the Campeonato Mineiro. After much glory, in 2005 Cruzeiro did not win a major title, something they’ve been doing since 1990. Not only did they not win a title they fell to 8th in the league in 2005, a bad performance for them. In 2006 with a combination of young and experienced talent, they got of to a good start winning the Campeonato Mineiro, their 34th, now only 4 titles away from archrivals Atlético. They have also got off to a good start in the league table, making some believe they might have a good placement in the table, this year.



Fernando Pieruccetti, more popularly known as Mangabeira, created the club's mascot. The mascot is a fox (raposa, in Portuguese). The club is widely known in the country for their mascot, it appears on TV and on websites that have to do with Cruzeiro.

Mangabeira was inspired by the clubs' ex-president, Mario Grossa, celebrity known for being very smart and cunning, and he thought the fox was perfect. "He was a guy who never let anyone trick him. He was so sly, crafty, intelligent and clever just like a fox", observed the cartoonist.


The evolution of Cruzeiro’s crest has followed the transformation of their uniforms. The club was born as Societá Sportiva Palestra Itália and so the crest was a rhombus with the initials SSPI. In 1943 however in a game against São Cristóvão, the club started to use a new crest which was a blue circle with five white stars in it, symbolizing the Southern Cross. Cruzeiro used this crest on their jerseys, alternatively switching to loose stars on the shirt many times. As in 2004 the crest has been on the shirts rather than just loose stars. They also changed their crest from just a circle with five stars to having CRUZEIRO ESPORTE CLUBE being written around it. Lately they have been adding features to the crest, like in 2003 when the it had two trophies on its sides, representing two Libertadores conquers. In 2005 they added a crown to the crest along with the two trophies, representing the triple crown title of 2003. In 2006 they dropped the two trophies and just kept the crown on top.


See the complete article Historic Evolution of Cruzeiro EC Uniforms


  • Aurélio Noce (1921-1922)
  • Alberto Noce (1923-1924)
  • Américo Gasparini (1925-1926, 1928)
  • Antonio Falci (1927, 1929-1930)
  • Braz Pelegrino (1927-1928)
  • Lidio Lunardi (1931-1932)
  • José Viana de Souza (1933)
  • Miguel Perrela (1933-1936)
  • Romeo de Paoli (1936)
  • Osvaldo Pinto Coelho (1936-1940)
  • Ennes Cyro Poni (1941-1942)
  • Together: João Fantoni, Wilson Saliba, Mario Torneli (1942)
  • Mário Grosso (1942-1947)
  • Fernando Tamietti (1947, 1950)
  • Antônio Cunha Lobo (1947-1949)
  • Antônio Alves Simões (1949)


  • Manoel F. Campos (1950)
  • Divino Ramos (1951)
  • José Greco (1952-1953, 1955)
  • Wellington Armanelli (1954)
  • José Francisco Lemos Filho (1954)
  • Eduardo S. Bambirra (1955-1956)
  • Manoel A. de Carvalho (1957-1958)
  • Antonio Braz Lopes Pontes (1959-1960)
  • Felicio Brandi (1961-1982)
  • Carmine Furletti (1983-1984)
  • Benito Masci (1985-1990)
  • Salvador Masci (1990)
  • César Masci (1991-1994)
  • José Perrela de Oliveira Costa (1995-2002)
  • Alvimar Perrela (2003-)

Cruzeiro anthem

See also: Jadir Ambrósio

The club's anthem, Hino ao Campeão, was written by Jadir Ambrósio in 1966, in homage to the team of his heart. He never meant for it to become the official anthem, but once fans started hearing it they liked it enough to adapt it as the new anthem. Cruzeiro have also had another anthem that was originally written by Arrigo Buzzacchi and Tolentino Miraglia when the club was still Italian, (-1925), and when it was still called the Palestra Itália. The anthem was published in newspapers in Brazil on May 5, 1922 it was called Hino ao Palestra

Current squad

As of July 31, 2008. Sources from official website.

Out on loan

Notable players


Records & Statistics

Statistics 2002/03 Historic Season

First Division Position Pts Matches played Wins Draws Loses Goals scored Goals took
Cruzeiro EC 1 100 46 31 7 8 102 47

Brazilian League Record

Year Position Year Position Year Position Year Position
1971 8th 1981 19th 1991 16th 2001 21st
1972 6th 1982 21st 1992 8th 2002 9th
1973 3rd 1983 17th 1993 15th 2003 1st
1974 2nd 1984 33rd 1994 22nd 2004 13th
1975 2nd 1985 29th 1995 3rd 2005 8th
1976 19th 1986 8th 1996 5th 2006 10th
1977 16th 1987 4th 1997 20th 2007 5th
1978 10th 1988 8th 1998 2nd 2008
1979 6th 1989 3rd 1999 5th 2009
1980 10th 1990 10th 2000 3rd 2010

Top Appearances

# Name Career Appearances
1 Zé Carlos 1965–1977 619
2 Dirceu Lopes 1966–1977 601
3 Piazza 1964–1977 559
4 Raul 1966–1978 558
5 Joãozinho 1972–1986 482
6 Palhinha 1968–1977, 1983–1984 448
7 Ademir 1986–1991, 1993–1995 439
8 Ricardinho 1994–2002 415
9 Nelinho 1973–1982 410
10 Nonato 1990–1997 392
11 Tostão 1963–1972 378
12 Dida 1994–1998 304

Top Scorers

# Name Career Goals
1 Tostão 1963–1972 248
2 Dirceu Lopes 1963–1977 224
3 Niginho 1926–1930, 1936–1937, 1939–1947 207
4 Bengala 1925–1939 166
5 Ninão 1923–1924, 1925–1930, 1936 163
6 Palhinha 1969–1977, 1982–1985 155
7 Alcides 1934–1946 152
8 Marcelo Ramos 1994–1996, 1998–2000 151
9 Roberto Batata 1969—1976 118
10 Joãozinho 1974–1981 116





Notes and References

External links

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