Sunday, July 19, 2009

19 July 1900 - The Grandfather Of Brazilian Football

On 19 July 1900, a group of German, British, and Portuguese immigrants met at the Germania Club in Rio Grande, Brazil to celebrate the 25th birthday of Johannes Minneman. While there, they founded Sport Club Rio Grande, Brazil's longest-running football club.

Football had been played in Brazil since 1894, when São Paulo-born Charles Miller returned from school in England where he had learned to play football. He brought a football and a set of rules back with him to Brazil and the game caught on quickly in São Paulo. A few athletic clubs soon followed, though they generally promoted other purposes, including cricket, in addition to football.

By the end of the 1890s, football had migrated south to the city of Rio Grande, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Minneman and his companions created the first club in Brazil devoted solely to football. With 22 members, the club started playing by dividing itself into two teams for intra-club scrimmages. They didn't play anyone from outside the club until May 1901, when they met a team of English sailors and defeated them 2-1.

Rio Grande plays in the Campeonato Gaúcho, the regional league of Rio Grande Do Sul. They won the league in 1936, which remains their greatest honor. The club went into decline after World War II and currently plays in the Campeonato Gaúcho's second division.

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