Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas is a Brazilian multi-sport club from Rio de Janeiro. Its football team, placed 12th in FIFA Clubs of the 20th Century. The club symbol is the lone star, represented on its badge. Botafogo means (he who) sets fire and is also the name of the neighbourhood where the club has its origins (Botafogo Beach). It is nicknamed "Fogo", "Bota" (breakdowns of the club's name), "Fogão" (augmentative of "Fogo", largely used), "Alvinegro" (White-black), "O clube da Estrela Solitária" (The Lone Star club, reference to the club's major symbol), and "O Glorioso" (The Glorious, nickname given after 1910's astonishing campaign)
Botafogo FR is one of the biggest clubs in Brazil and one of the four major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro along with Flamengo, Fluminense (most ancient rivalry in Brazil: October 22, 1905), and Vasco.
After winning the Rio de Janeiro Championship in 1989, 1990, and 1997, the international Copa Conmebol (now called Copa Sudamericana) in 1993, and the Brazilian League in 1995, Botafogo would be relegated to the Second Division after ranking last in the Brazilian League of 2002. In 2003, Botafogo ranked second in Brazil's Second division (after Palmeiras) and returned to the First Division.
Despite its origins, the club had played in the neighbouring city of Niterói (much like some "New York" teams actually play in New Jersey) since it rented the Caio Martins stadium (or Mestre Ziza stadium, a modest venue with 15,000 seats) until 2003. This stadium is currently used for some training sessions. In 2007, the club got state-of-the-art João Havelange Olympic Stadium, simply know as Engenhão. The stadium, build to Rio 2007 PanAm Games and then conceded to Botafogo FR, is widely considered the best in all South America.
On July 1, 1894, the Club de Regatas Botafogo, a rowing club, was founded. The name was meant to evoke neighbourhood where the club was. The colours of the club were black and white, and its symbol the Lone Star, or the "Estrela D'alva", the first star to appear on the sky (not really a star , but the planet Venus). It soon became one of the strongest sides in Rio de Janeiro, winning several competitions, along with sea rivals such as Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Guanabara, Icaraí and São Cristóvão.
About ten years later, on August 12, 1904, another club was founded in the neighbourhood: the Electro Club, first name given to the Botafogo Football Club. The idea came during an algebra lesson, in the college Alfredo Gomes, when Flávio Ramos wrote to friend Emmanuel Sodré: "Itamar has a football club in Martins Ferreira Street. Let's establish another one, in Largo dos Leões, what do you think? We can speak to the Wernecks, to Arthur César, Vicente and Jacques". And so the Electro Club was founded. But this name wouldn't last. After a suggestion from Dona Chiquitota, Flávio's grandmother, the club finally became the Botafogo Football Club, on September 18 of the same year. The colours'? Black and white, just like Juventus FC, the team of Itamar Tavares, one of the club's founders. And the badge, drawn by Basílio Vianna Jr., in Swiss style with the BFC monogram. The Botafogo Football Club would soon became one of the strongest football teams in Rio de Janeiro, winning the championships of 1907, 1910, 1912 and more.
The same name, the same location, the same colours and the most important thing: the same supporters. It seemed that the destiny of both clubs was to become one. And so it happened: on December 8, 1942 they finally merged together. It was after a basketball match between both clubs, when Botafogo Football Club player Armando Albano died suddenly, that the idea began to become truth. At the tragic occasion, the president of Club de Regatas Botafogo, Augusto Frederico Schmidt (also a major Brazilian poet) spoke: "At this time, I declare to Albano that his last match ended with the victory of his team. We won't play no longer the time left on the clock. We all want the young fighter to leave this great night as a winner. This is how we salute him". Eduardo Góis Trindade, Botafogo Football Club's president said: "Between the matches of our clubs, only one can be the winner: Botafogo!". And then Schmidt declared the fusion: "What else do we need to our clubs become one?". And so they did: Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas finally became true. The Football Club's badge became black, and the monogram substituted by Clube de Regatas' lone star. This badge, according to the club's statute, can never be modified. The water sports maintained the Clube de Regatas' uniform, all black, while the terrestrial sports maintained Football Club's one, vertical-striped black and white jersey with black shorts.
Botafogo's first moment of glory was just after its foundation. The team won Rio de Janeiro State Championship in 1907, 1910 and 1912. The team used to win its games by large margins, like 24 - 0 over Mangueira Sport Club (the highest score in Brazilian soccer). For that reason, Botafogo was nicknamede "O Glorioso" (The Glorious One). Nevertheless, the black and white side endured an 18-year losing streak until, in 1930, Botafogo won its fourth state championship. It soon won an unheard-of and unmatched four consecutive times: 1932, 1933, 1934 and 1935. In that team were Carvalho Leite, Pamplona, Nilo Murtinho Braga, Patesko, and Leonidas da Silva. Those years, Botafogo gave to Brazil national football team four players for the 1930 FIFA World Cup, nine for the 1934 FIFA World Cup and five for the 1938 FIFA World Cup. To date, Botafogo has given the most players to Brazil's squad: 97, 46 of whom have gone to the World Cup.
In the 40's, after the creation of "Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas", the best player of the team was Heleno de Freitas. However, Heleno did not win a championship for Botafogo. He scored 204 goals in 233 matches but went to Boca Juniors in 1948, the year Botafogo won its 9th state championship.
In the 50's and the 60's, Botafogo had its best moment. With Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Didí, Amarildo, Mário Zagallo, Manga, and Quarentinha, Fogão won Rio de Janeiro State Championship in 1957, 1961 and 1962 and the Rio-São Paulo Tournament in 1962, 1964 and 1966. Club increased a great rivalry with Santos Futebol Clube, the team of Pelé. Botafogo lost the final of Brazil Trophy in 1962 for this team. Also, was eliminated of the semi-final of Copa Libertadores of the same year by Santos. Botafogo were the base of Brazil's squad in 1958 FIFA World Cup and 1962 FIFA World Cup.
When these players retired, new ones where ready to continue Botafogo's victories. Jairzinho, Paulo César Lima, Gérson, Rogério, Roberto Miranda, Sebastião Leônidas and Carlos Roberto were some of the players who won the Campeonato Carioca in 1967 and 1968 and the Brazil Trophy in 1968.
So, the club get along 21 years without winning a title of relevance. Until 1989, when the club won the state championship over Flamengo. One year later, the team won it again, this time over Vasco da Gama.
In the 90's, Botafogo won Copa CONMEBOL in 1993, Brazilian Championship in 1995, Teresa Herrera Trophy and Municipal Tournament in 1996, Rio de Janeiro State Championship in 1997 and Rio-São Paulo Tournament in 1998. The team also lost the final of Brazil Cup in 1999 for Juventude.
Botafogo would be relegated to the Second Division after ranking last in the Brazilian League of 2002. In 2003, Botafogo ranked second in Brazil's Second division (after Palmeiras) and returned to the First Division.
In 2006, the club won for the 18th time the Rio de Janeiro State Championship. Nowadays, Botafogo is the only club to win titles in three different centuries. Won the state championship of row in 1899, many in XX Century and now in XXI Century.
The first stadium used by Botafogo was located in Voluntários da Pátria street. It was used between 1908 and 1911. The following year, the club had to play the matches in a field in the São Clemente street. Also in the neighborhood of Botafogo, Fogão finally find his own place. Named General Severiano because of the street which accessed the stadium, Botafogo started to use this stadium in 1913. Some other improvements were made to build a social area in 1928 and expand with cement material the stadium space in 1938.
However, the club lost ownership of General Severiano in 1977 due to a large amount of debts. The stadium was sold to Companhia Vale do Rio Doce and demolished. Botafogo moved to suburb Marechal Hermes and there build a new stadium, named Mané Garrincha, in 1978 to play casual games.
Botafogo also rented Caio Martins, a small stadium in Niterói city, in the begging of 90's. By 1992, the club finally got General Severiano back, inaugurated only in 1994 not anymore a stadium, but a new swimming pools, gymnasium and soccer field.
After years using Caio Martins and Maracanã as home stadiums, Botafogo started training at General Severiano after a big reform and Caio Martins, which stopped being used in 2004. Maracanã, property of the State Government, was defined as home of the team since 2006.
The first mascot was Donald Duck, abandoned due to royalties issues. Nowadays, the club's mascot is the Manequinho a replica of the Manneken-Pis situated in front of the club. However, Botafogo's fans have largely adopted the dog Biriba as a mascot. The idea of officializing it is being studied by the club's owner. Biriba was Botafogo's talisman in the late 40's, considered lucky by the fans.
* Without losing.
Presidents of CR Botafogo
Presidents of Botafogo FC
* Paulo Antônio Azeredo asked for leave of absence in 1935, being replaced by Rivadávia Corrêa Meyer (Riva)
|1.||Nílton Santos||723||11||1948 to 1964|
|2.||Garrincha||612||243||1953 to 1965|
|3.||Waltencir||453||6||1967 to 1976|
|4.||Quarentinha||444||306||1954 to 1964|
|5.||Manga||442||394*||1959 to 1968|
|6.||Carlos Roberto||442||15||1967 to 1976|
|7.||Geninho||422||115||1940 to 1954|
|8.||Jairzinho||413||186||1962 to 1974 and 1981|
|9.||Wágner||412||503*||1993 to 2002|
|10.||Osmar||387||4||1970 to 1979|
|11.||Juvenal||384||12||1946 to 1957|
|12.||Gérson dos Santos||371||2||1945 to 1956|
|13.||Wilson Gottardo||354||13||1987 to 1990 and 1994 to 1996|
|14.||Roberto Miranda||352||154||1962 to 1973|
|15.||Pampolini||347||27||1955 to 1962|
|16.||Mendonça||340||116||1975 to 1982|
|4.||Heleno de Freitas||209||235||0,88|
|10.||Dino da Costa||144||176||0,81|