Brazil soccer clubs: best teams, most successful & rivalry in Brazil football history.
Brazil Serie A or the Brazilian league houses most of the best football teams in Brazil since its inception as a national competition.
Which football club is best in Brazil? Palmeiras (domestic trophies) and São Paulo (international trophies) are the two best football clubs in Brazil.
What is the biggest football club in Brazil? Atlético Mineiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Fluminense, Grêmio, Internacional, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo and Vasco da Gama are the biggest.
Brazil has a short history of a national football league which could attributed to the geographical features of the country making it difficult for teams to travel round the country.
As a result, the State Leagues were adopted at the time. Today, the State Leagues are still relevant and treated almost at same level with the Série A.
Established in 1959, the Brazilian league is considered one of the best football leagues in the world and one of the strongest based on the competition.
After Argentina, brazil was the next country to established a Soccer League even though it mainly regional.
In 1967, Torneio Rio-São Paulo was expanded to include teams from other states and was eventually considered a national tournament.
The first domestic competition was held in 1959 as Taça Brasil and in 1971, the current Brazilian Série A was born.
Since 2006, the Brazilian soccer league has been contested by 20 teams with the bottom-placed four clubs at the end of every season relegated to the Brazilian Série B.
The performance of Brazilian clubs in South America has been enormous.
Teams from the Brazil have emerged winners of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana.
The lucrative nature of the league was also enormous and in 2012 it was ranked among the richest in the world valued at around US$1.43 billion, with an annual revenue of over US$1.17 billion.
Competition in the league have been consistent with over seventeen different teams already lifted the league title
Best football clubs in Brazilian and the most successful teams in history
In terms of the performance of the brazilian states when it comes to soccer, São Paulo is the most successful state with over 32 league titles shared among five different clubs.
The Big Twelve (G-12) of Brazilian Football
Who are the Big Twelve of Brazilian football? The group of football clubs considered to be the most popular and successful sides in Brazilian football.
This group of clubs won six editions of the Brasileirão between them since the inception of the tournament till today.
The list of Brazil Big Twelve clubs
Clubs – Supporters
- Atlético Mineiro – 7.0 million
- Botafogo – 3.4 million
- Corinthians – 27.3 million
- Cruzeiro – 6.2 million
- Flamengo – 32.5 million
- Fluminense – 3.6 million
- Grêmio – 6.0 million
- Internacional – 5.6 million
- Palmeiras – 10.6 million
- Santos – 4.8 million
- São Paulo – 13.6 million
- CR Vasco da Gama – 7.2 million
All-time most successful Brazilian football clubs in history
1. São Paulo Football Club
Full Name: São Paulo Futebol Clube
Nickname: Tricolor Paulista (Paulista Tricolour)
Colours: White, Black and Red stripes
Copa Libertadores: 3
FIFA Club World Cup: 1
Copa Sudamericana: 1
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 6
Campeonato Paulista A1: 22
Copa do Brasil: 1
São Paulo’s league dominance includes three consecutive titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
According to statistics, the club has a fan base in the country of about 16 million expected to grow.
São Paulo is a Brazilian professional football club based in São Paulo and competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Campeonato Paulista A1, São Paulo State Premier League.
When it comes to soccer in brazil, São Paulo is the most successful team most especially performance on the international scene with about twelve titles.
In the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Palmeiras are ahead with 10 titles while São Paulo has won only six.
The historical peculiarities of teams in the country have also made it, even more easier for the club.
The club have won six league titles, one Copa do Brazil, three Copa Libertadores, one Copa Sudamericana, one FIFA Club World Cup, two Intercontinental Cup alongside other notable International titles.
This makes the club stand out as the most successful team in Brazil. In the country, the State League is valued at almost the same level with the Série A.
In the State of São Paulo, São Paulo FC has won a record twenty-two titles.
Choque-Rei: São Paulo vs. Palmeiras
This clash is also referred to as the Kings’ Clash and is contested by Palmeiras and São Paulo.
It is one of the most iconic derby in brazil which has turned out fierce between the two teams and is currently regarded the third-best derby in the city of São Paulo.
San-São: São Paulo vs. Santos
Because of the history between Santos and São Paulo FC, the clash between the two clubs is considered one of the biggest soccer derby in the City of São Paulo.
The two teams participates in the State League and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Clássico Majestoso: São Paulo vs. Corinthians
Clássico Majestoso is the second biggest derby in São Paulo State between Corinthians and São Paulo behind the Choque-Rei derby.
The clash between the two sides most often ends up in various cases including fights.
When it comes to all-time national league winners, São Paulo are clearly behind Palmeiras who sit at the top of the standings with 10 titles with over 23 Campeonato Paulista A1 titles
2. Santos Football Club
Santos is a professional soccer club based in Santos and competes in the São Paulo State League and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Santos is another side with most trophies in the history of Brazilian soccer. Santos is Brazil’s second most successful team behind São Paulo FC.
Founded in 1912, the club grew to become one of São Paulo’s biggest club in history.
At the national level, the team prides itself as one of the biggest and the most successful alongside rivals São Paulo FC, Palmeiras, Corinthians, etc.
In the history of the Brazilian Campeonato Série A, Santos is the only club to have won the league title in five consecutive seasons in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965.
This was followed by another triumph in 1968 which made it a record six titles in the space of ten years.
This period also marked the Golden years of Santos as a Brazilian football club.
The club won Torneio Rio-São Paulo six times and a national competition at the time.
Santos have won ‘The Double’ five times including São Paulo State League, Série A, Copa do Brazil, Copa Libertadores etc.
The club achieved a treble in 1962 winning the Copa Libertadores, Brazilian Série A and the São Paulo Campeonato Paulista A1.
Internationally, the club emerged winners of the Copa Libertadores in three different occasions and have won the Recopa Sudamericana title.
Santos have also won the now defunct Intercontinental Cup twice.
When it comes to the State of São Paulo, Santos has won twenty-two titles and are behind Palmeiras with twenty-three.
When it comes to football teams in the famous São Paulo region, Santos have strong rivalry with teams like Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo FC.
The club’s biggest rivalry in the country is with Corinthians known as “Clássico Alvi-negro” (Black and White Derby in English).
Santos other rivalry with São Paulo FC known as the “San-São” derby.
Santos third main rivalry is against Campeonato Série A giants Palmeiras known as “Clássico da Saudade” (Nostalgia Derby in English).
Santos prides itself as one of the most popular soccer clubs in brazil having a very large fan base across the entire country.
With a growing number, the club was said to have more fans outside brazil amounting up to 20 million worldwide fans.
In Brazil, the club has about 10 million fans.
Similar to Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Santos is also a global brand alongside São Paulo FC.
3. Sport Club Internacional
Inter de Porto Alegre is a Brazilian professional soccer club based in Porto Alegre.
The team competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and the Campeonato Gaúcho, Porto Alegre’s State League.
Internacional is one of the most respected teams in the country.
Historically, the club is considered one of the most successful teams having won one FIFA Club World Cup, two Copa Libertadores, one Copa Sudamericana and one Recopa Sudamericana.
Domestically, the club boast a record of 45 Campeonato Gaúcho titles.
At the national level, SC Internacional have won three Série A titles, one Copa do Brazil Torneio Heleno Nunes.
Internacional could be seen as the third-best most successful, however Corinthians are above with two FIFA Club World Cup wins.
Inter have enjoyed success over the years which includes successful campaign in the Copa Libertadores.
In the state of Porto Alegre, the club claimed six league titles in consecutive seasons.
The club plays its home games at the Estádio Beira-Rio.
Internacional quest for international glory, they defeated world and Spanish giants Barcelona to lift the FIFA Club World Cup in 2006.
The Brazilian Invincibles
SC Internacional is the only club in the history of Brazilian soccer to win or become winners of the league undefeated.
This record is yet to be matched by another side in the country and was achieved in 1979.
Internacional have a strong rivalry with Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense.
The clash between the two sides is known as the ‘Grenal’ currently one of the greatest derby of the world.
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista is a Brazilian professional soccer club based in São Paulo and competes in the Série A and the Campeonato Paulista Série A1.
Founded in 1910, the club plays its home games at the Neo Química Arena.
The club grew to become one of the most successful teams in brazil.
At the national level, Corinthians boast of seven Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles, three Brazilian Copa do Brazil with another record 30 Campeonato Paulista A1 titles.
Internationally, Corinthians have won two FIFA Club World Cup which is a Brazilian club record including the inaugural edition in 2006 in an all Brazilian final against CR Vasco da Gama.
The club have won one Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana respectively.
According to stats obtained, the club has a very high number of fans across the country in the region of 30 million active fans.
It is also one of the wealthiest clubs valued at around $576.9 million.
Corinthians boast of more than four rivals in brazil.
Derby in São Paulo State: Santos, São Paulo FC, Palmeiras.
Other rivalries: Ponte Preta, Flamengo, CR Vasco da Gama.
Derby Paulista: Corinthians vs Palmeiras
The Derby Paulista is dubbed one of the greatest football rivalry in the world.
The derby is also fiercely contested between the two clubs and have ended in fights off and on the pitch.
Clássico Majestoso: Corinthians vs São Paulo
A derby between two of the most successful teams in the São Paulo State and Brazil in general.
It is also one of the most fiercely contested derbies in the country.
Corinthians usually have an upper hand most often attributed to the intimidation by fans chanting songs for the home team.
The two teams often meet each other in Campeonato Brasileiro and Campeonato Paulista Série A1.
Clássico Alvinegro: Corinthians vs Santos
This is a regional derby of São Paulo between Corinthians and São Paulo FC. They’re are the two of the most successful in the region.
National and International Rivalry (derby)
Corinthians vs Ponte Preta
Meeting in the Paulista league.
(Classic of The Masses)
Corinthians vs Flamengo
It is seen as a meeting between two of the most successful teams in the country.
CR Vasco da Gama vs Corinthians – World level derby
In the FIFA Club World Cup in 2000, the two teams from Brazil played in the final which went the way of Corinthians.
Corinthians plays its home games at the Arena Corinthians.
Palmeiras is a Brazilian professional football club based in São Paulo.
The club competes in Campeonato Paulista Série A1 and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras is one of the best football clubs in Brazil most recently.
Historically, Palmeiras is one of the most successful team having won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A a record ten times more than any other side in the country.
In the 1960s, the club have won four titles and are behind Corinthians who lead with a record six titles won in the space of ten years.
In addition, Palmeiras hav won 3 Copa do Brazil, twenty-five Campeonato Paulista Série A1, and a Copa dos Campeões currently regarded as the most successful Brazilian club domestically.
Internationally, the club have won the Copa Libertadores once. In 2020, Palmeiras finished fourth in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Founded in 1914, the club’s supporters in the country averages 18 million.
Paulista Derby: Palmeiras vs Corinthians
The matches between these two clubs are regarded as the greatest in Brazil’s history and also the most intense.
The match receives an audience across the country as well from the Américas.
Choque-Rei: Palmeiras vs São Paulo FC
It is also referred to as King’s Clash and is also a major rivalry in the region.
It is a clash between the most successful team inside brazil (Palmeiras) and the most successful internationally (São Paulo FC).
Clássico da Saudade: Palmeiras vs Santos
This is the clash between two teams with a distinct history.
Clube de Regatas do Flamengo is a professional football club based in Rio de Janeiro and competes in the Série A and the Campeonato Carioca.
Flamengo is also one of the most successful teams in brazil most especially wins in the Campeonato Carioca with a record 37 titles (Rio de Janeiro State League).
At the national level, the club became of a household name followed a successful outing which led to seven Campeonato Brasileiro Série titles.
In addition to this, the club won the Copa do Brasil three times.
Internationally, Flamengo have won 2 Copa Libertadores, 1 Recopa Sudamericana and 1 Intercontinental Cup.
The club is regarded as the most influential team in the State of Rio de Janeiro with a long-standing rivalry with CR Vasco da Gama, Fluminense and Botafogo.
Clássico dos Milhões: Flamengo vs CR Vasco da Gama
It is a traditional rivalry and is also regarded as one of the biggest in brazil.
The derby began in the early years of soccer in the country. Flamengo and Vasco da gama have met consistently in the Campeonato Carioca and Série A.
Fla–Flu: Flamengo vs Fluminense
It is another famous derby from Rio de Janeiro.
Rivalry Classic: Flamengo vs Botafogo
It is one of the most fiercely contested derby in Rio de Janeiro.
Flamengo vs Palmeiras – Inter-State rivalry
It is tagged the rivalry of two of the most financially powerful teams in brazil.
Flamengo vs Atlético Mineiro – International Rivalry
This derby is tagged the biggest interstate rivalry in Brazil. The two teams have also met in the Copa Libertadores.
In terms of supporters, it is one of the most supported in the country.
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense is a Brazilian professional soccer club based in Porto Alegre.
Grêmio competes in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Campeonato Gaúcho in the Rio Grande do Sul State League.
They’re one of the most outstanding Brazilian soccer team in history domestically and internationally.
The club’s international recognition can be traced victory against german giants Hamburger SV in the 1983 Intercontinental Cup final.
Increasing the Brazilian coefficient in Copa Libertadores, Grêmio also boast of three titles which has gave Brazil more prestige in the competition after Argentine dominance.
Grêmio was the world’s most valuable football club according to Forbes in 2017.
At the national level, the club have won two Série A titles, five Copa do Brasil which is one of the highest in the division.
At the state level, Grêmio has won a record 40 Campeonato Gaúcho titles in the Rio Grande do Sul.
The club also boasts 2 Copa Libertadores, 2 Recopa Sudamericana, 1 Intercontinental Cup as well as runners up in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.
About 8 million fans, it is one of the most supported football clubs in the country and has continued to grow year after year.
Grêmio holds a fiercely contested rivalry with SC Internacional known as the Grenal.
The fans of the two sides rave about the derby now and then.
It is one of the most discussed and popular regional derbies of Brazilian football to date.
8. CR Vasco da Gama
Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama is a Brazilian professional soccer club based in Rio de Janeiro.
Vasco competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B and the Campeonato Carioca.
The club is one of the most popular soccer clubs in Brazil with over 23 million fans across the country.
Vasco da Gama is one of the famous Brazilian football club known worldwide most especially during the club’s early years.
The club won the South American Championship of Champions in 1948 and the Copa Libertadores once.
Domestically, Vasco da Gama have won the Brazilian Série A 4 times and 24 Carioca Championship most of which were achieved in during the golden years of the club.
Vasco shares a great rivalry in the country with Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo.
Vasco da Gama plays a mega derby with Flamengo known as the Millions Derby and is also the most-watched derby in Brazil.
Vasco da Gama is Brazil top famous club known internationally.
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a professional soccer club based in Belo Horizonte and competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B and the Campeonato Mineiro.
It is one of the most successful teams in Brazil with several recognized titles worldwide.
Domestically, Cruzeiro boast of 4 Série A titles, a record six Copa do Brasil.
Internationally, Cruzeiro have won 2 Copa Libertadores, 2 Supercopa Sudamericana and 1 Recopa Sul-Americana.
It is also one of the few Brazilian clubs to achieve the ‘Double and Treble’.
Treble 2003: State League, Copa do Brasil, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Famous continental double 1997: State League and Copa Libertadores.
Cruzeiro holds a long-standing rivalry with Atlético Mineiro.
Fluminense FC is a Brazilian professional football club based in Rio de Janeiro and competes in the Série A and the Campeonato Carioca.
Fluminense is also one of the top sides in the country.
The club have won 4 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 1 Copa do Brasil. At the state level, the club has won 31 Campeonato Carioca titles.
Fla-Flu: Fluminense vs Flamengo
Giants’ Derby: Fluminense vs CR Vasco da Gama
Grandpa Derby: Fluminense vs Botafogo
Inter-State: Fluminense vs Corinthians
11. Clube Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro is a Brazilian football club based in Belo Horizonte.
The club has won 1 Série A, 1 Copa do Brasil, 1 Série B and 46 Campeonato Mineiro.
The club has also won 1 Copa Libertadores and 1 Recopa Sudamericana.
Atlético Mineiro vs América Mineiro
Atlético Mineiro vs Cruzeiro
12. Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas
Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas is a professional football club based in Botafogo.
Botafogo was Brazilian Champions twice.
Other important Brazilian professional football clubs
Coritiba is a professional football club based in Curitiba from Parana State.
The club has won 1 Série A, 2 Série B and 38 Campeonato Paranaense titles.
14. Sports Club do Recife
Sport Club do Recife is a professional soccer club based in Pernambuco. The club has won 1 Série A, Série B and Copa do Brasil titles.
In the State League, the club has won 42 Campeonato Pernambucano titles.
15. Esporte Clube Bahia
Bahia is based in Salvador and have won 2 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 49 Campeonato Baiano.
16. Club Athletico Paranaense
Club Athletico Paranaense is a professional football club based in Curitiba.
The club has won 1 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 1 Copa do Brasil, 1 Série B and 26 Campeonato Paranaense.
Guarani Futebol Clube is a professional soccer club based in São Paulo. The club has won 1 Série A and Série B.
Performance: State League and Cup Competitions
Campeonato Carioca – Rio de Janeiro State Championship
Vasco da Gama 24
Campeonato Gaúcho – State of Rio Grande do Sul Championship
Campeonato Mineiro – Minas Gerais State Championship
Atlético Mineiro 45
Campeonato Paulista – State of São Paulo Championship
São Paulo 21
The popularity of Soccer in Brazil
When it comes to sports in Brazil, football is the most popular.
It remains the most popular sporting activity that draws lots of fans across the country.
In Brazil, the craze for football has moved from fan and rivalry to become one of the tradition of the people since the early years.
The country was one of the early players in the game of football played at the state level.
Football in Brazil remains fiercely contested at the State level up to Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
The sport in the country is even more lucrative and competes with some of the biggest leagues in the world.
The league generates an annual turnover worth billions of dollars which is a very big value and competes with the names in Europe.
The league is regarded as one of the strongest leagues in the world.
The league is ranked in the top 10 best football leagues in the world by IFHHS and Football Database as well as FIFA.
The club’s from Brazil won the first two editions of the FIFA Club World Cup and are third on the all-time winner’s list in history.
The league has never been one-sided, rather, teams like Palmeiras, Flamengo, Santos, São Paulo, SC Internacional, Corinthians, etc all Battle for the top price.
Palmeiras is the most successful team in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A while São Paulo FC is the most successful Brazilian team internationally.
Corinthians have also won two FIFA Club World Cup titles and is the only Brazilian professional football club to achieve that record.
This Brazil is one of the biggest soccer nations of the world having some of the best teams statistically.
Our article highlights the best football clubs in Brazil’s greatest teams in history.