Santa Cruz Futebol Clube

Santa Cruz Futebol Clube

Football club infobox
clubname = Santa Cruz

nickname = "Cobra Coral (Coral Snake)"
founded = 1914
ground = Arruda, Recife, Brazil
capacity = 70.000 | chairman = Edson Nogueira (Edinho)
manager = Ronaldo Rodrigues Rangel (Bagé)
league = Campeonato Brasileiro Série C
season = 2007
position = Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, 18th (relegated)

Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, or simply Santa Cruz is a Brazilian football (soccer) team in Recife, Pernambuco.

Early history

On February 3, 1914, eleven young men aging from 14 to 16 years founded a football (soccer) society. Because the boys used to play football on the streets by the yard of the "Santa Cruz" Church, the club was named after that church, which is situated on Santa Cruz Street in Recife.

The first official meeting of the members was at 2 Mangueira St. In this meeting they decided the position of each member, the name of the club "Santa Cruz Foot-Ball Club", and society's colours.

The original colours were black and white. Some time after, the colour pattern was changed because another local team (Sport Club Flamengo) already had those colours. Therefore the club included the red colour by suggestion of Teófilo Batista de Carvalho, also known as "Lacraia". "Lacraia" has participated in all major early events of Santa Cruz's history, except the foundation.

The first ball was bought with the financial support of José Luiz Vieira and cost 8,500 "réis".

Many people came to see the first match at "Derby plains". The "team of boys" as Santa Cruz was called at the time beat the "Rio Negro" (Black River) by 7-0."Rio Negro" demanded revenge in another match. Curiously, the terms of the revenge stated that Sílvio Machado (he scored five goals in the first match) could not play. Despite of that, Santa Cruz accepted the trial.Carlindo, who substituted Sílvio Machado, scored six goals and Santa Cruz won again by 9-0. A subsequent victory over the "Western Telegraph Company" team, notorious at the time, made the popularity of Santa Cruz increase even more.

The club was almost closed in its very first year. Some members proposed to use the club funds to buy a sugarcane juice extractor. Alexandre Carvalho (see members above) violently disapproved such an offensive proposal and saved the club. "Santa Cruz was born to live forever", he would have said.

In the beginning of the 20th century Recife, football was regarded as an elite sport. It was played mostly by upper class boys and by the workers of English companies that operated in Recife. At that time racism was common and Afro-Brazilians were not allowed to play soccer. Santa Cruz, however, was the first team in Pernambuco to accept them. "Lacraia", was the first one. This fact contributed to the popularity of the team, as black people are numerous in Brazilian population.

In 1915, the greatest reaction of a team in football matches ever seen in Brazil.At the Aflitos stadium, Santa Cruz was succumbing by a 5 - 1 score against América (Pernambuco). In an unbelievable comeback, Santa Cruz scored six goals in the final 15 minutes.

In 1917, the club was accepted into the Pernambucan Sport League, old name of the Pernambucan Football Federation.

On January 30, 1919, Santa Cruz beat Botafogo team of Rio de Janeiro on the Malaquias field by 3-2. Alberto Santos-Dumont, the airplane pioneer, was in Recife, but was unnoticed: Santa Cruz's victory took all attentions. On January 31, the "Jornal Pequeno" (Small Newspaper) printed in the headlines: "Botafogo Futebol Clube is beaten by the home "boys" by 3-2." It was the first time that a northern-northeastern team beat a team from the south-eastern region of Brazil.

On December 13, 1931, beating Torre by 2 - 0, Santa Cruz won its first state championship. Tará and Sherlock were the most important players.

On October 10, 1934, the Brazilian National team, which had just arrived home from the 1934 Football World Cup in Italy, played some friendly matches against the major teams of Pernambuco. Sport Club do Recife was defeated by 4-2; Clube Náutico Capibaribe was beaten by 8 - 3. Santa Cruz also was defeated by 3-1. Because of a ship delay, the Brazilian team could not continue its trip back to Rio de Janeiro. That was sufficient to Santa Cruz ask a revenge.At this turn, Santa Cruz won by 3-2.

Glorious years

During the late 1960s and the 1970s, Santa Cruz achieved great popularity. Much of that, due to the State Penta-championship that Santa Cruz conquered.Moreover, since Santa Cruz showed impressive performances in the National championship, the importance of the club was finally recognized beyond the state limits.

The participation of Santa Cruz in the National competition started to get some credibility in 1965. After beating Flamengo by 3 x 1 in Maracanã stadium, Santa Cruz called all attentions. The club obtained the first place in the National Championship's first stage.

In 1972, Pelé played his 1000th match against Santa Cruz.

In 1975, Santa Cruz was classified to the semifinals of the Brazilian National Championship, a first for a northeastern team. The decisive semi-final match was against Cruzeiro in December 7. In a controversial match, Cruzeiro won by 3 x 2. The final position was a fourth place (best performance in the National Championship).

In 1978 and 1979, Santa Cruz were unbeaten for 48 games in a row in the Brazilian Championship. That was fourth greatest unbeaten run in the national competition ever. In the same year, Santa Cruz was the first team to ensure the classification to the 2nd Stage of the National Championship, achieving 20 points. By the end of the competition, Santa Cruz was in fifth place.

Santa Cruz had the topscorer of the Pernambucan Championship for 23 times until 2000.


During the 1980s, Santa Cruz was demoted to the Second Division of the National Championship twice, in 1982 and 1989. After that the club's performance in national competitions has declined.

In the early 1990s, Santa Cruz won three state championships: 1990, 1993, and 1995. However being in the second division of the National Championshiop often eclipsed such achievements.

Moreover, in the following years, Santa Cruz had to share the status of Penta-champion with an archi-rival. Santa Cruz was not able to avoid a state Penta-championship conquered by Sport.

Nevertheless, in 1996, Maurício was the topscorer of the 2nd Division Brazilian Championship with 13 goals.

From final match in Campeonato Pernambucano 2006 vs. Sport, from which the latter was the champion, on, the team has experienced a new decline, considered by most fans as the worst one in history. It was demoted to Second Division in 2006 and, followingly, to Third Division in 2007 after a painfully weak campaign. That latest decline also included elimination from Copa do Brasil 2007 and 2008 by weaker teams at the first round and the downfall into "Hexagonal da Morte" in Campeonato Pernambucano 2008, escaping from a demotion at the seventh match of that. Continuing the fall, on September of 2008, after another weak campaign, this time in the Third Division, Santa Cruz found itself in the bottom of the well and making history; Santa Cruz was relegated to the Fourth Division becoming the first club to fall from First Division to Fourth in three years.



The original colours of the club were black and white. However, at that time, the Pernambucan Sport League did not allow the participation of different clubs with the same colours. Thus, the red colour was introduced to differentiate from the colour pattern of Flamengo of Arcoverde.

Santa Cruz is also know as "O Tricolor" (The Tricolor) and its fansas "Tricolores".


The original crest (not depicted here) was designed by Teófilo Batista de Carvalho aka "Lacraia".The inclusion of red colour in the club patterns is also due to "Lacraia".

As time passed, the crest design was modified and updated. However the "Lacraia" 's original concept was not much modified.

The current crest contains several stars. The top three-colored stars represent the three Super-championships that Santa Cruz won. The bottom golden stars represent the Penta-championship.


With the adoption of three colours, the striped jersey of Santa Cruz resembled a Coral snake. The fans do not hesitate to call the team simply by "Coral".


The official anthem of the club is widely unknown by the fans. However, a march named "O Mais Querido" (The Dearest One) by Lourenço da Fonseca Barbosa (Capiba) is very popular and is the "de facto" anthem.


The team's stadium is in Arruda, a borough of Recife. The official name of the stadium is "Estádio José do Rego Maciel", after the name of a former mayor of Recife. However, it is widely known as "Estádio do Arruda" (Arruda Stadium). The fans call it "Arrudão" (Big Arruda) or "Mundão do Arruda" (Great Land of Arruda).

On April 1, 1982 the stadium was re-inaugurated after improvements and enlargement. From the original capacity of 64,000 people, the maximum capacity was then estimated of 110,000 people. However, due to safety reasons, the maximum audience so far is 90,200 in a Brazil vs Argentina match on March 23, 1994. Since then the official stadium capacity has been reduced to 60,044.

The stadium is also known as the "Repúblicas Independentes do Arruda" (Independent Republics of Arruda).


*Campeonato Pernambucano (Pernambuco State Championship):
** Winners (24): 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1957, 1959, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2005

*Copa Pernambuco
** Winners (1): 2008

* Supercampeonato Pernambucano (Pernambuco Superchampionship):
** Winners (3): 1957, 1976, 1983

* Torneio Início (Pernambuco Start Tournament):
** Winners (12): 1919, 1926, 1937, 1939, 1946, 1947, 1954, 1956, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1976

The Super-Championship.The Pernambucan Football Championship is usually divided into three turns. Each turn is a small championship itself. If a team wins all the three turns then it is automatically declared as champion. If a team wins two turns and another team wins the remaining turn, the championship has a final playoff. Generally, the playoff consists of two matches or three matches. However, if three different teams win each one a turn, the championship has a playoff named Super-championship. The Super-championship consists of a playoff among the three winners of each turn. Super-championships are rare and very prestigious.

The Blue Ribbon.The Blue Ribbon is a prestigious award given by the Brazilian Football Confederation ("Confederação Brasileira de Futebol" - CBF).Teams that go abroad in excursion without being defeated are natural candidates for this recognition.

In the Middle East, Santa Cruz played against the national teams of
*Kuwait (5-1 and 1-1),
*Bahrain (3-0),
*Qatar (4-0 and 4-1),
*Dubai (one of the Arab Emirates) (2-1), and
*Abu Dhabi (one of the Arab Emirates) (3-0).Santa Cruz also matched
*Al-Aim (3-0),
*Nasser Sport Club (6-2), and
*Alhlal of Saudi Arabia (3-0).

In Europe there were two matches. The first one was against Romania national team (4-2), and the last game against Paris Saint-Germain (2-2).

Memorable teams

1914 first team

Waldemar Monteiro; Abelardo Costa and Humberto Barreto; Raimundo Diniz, Osvaldo Ramos, and José Bonfim; Quintino Miranda, Sílvio Machado, José Vieira, Augusto Ramos, and Osvaldo Ferreira.

1931 Championship team

Dada, Sherlock, and Fernando; Doía, Julinho, and Zezé; Walfrido, Aluízio, Neves, Tará, Lauro, and Estevão. Also João Martins and Popó.

1957 Super-Championship team

Aníbal, Diogo and Sidney; Zequinha, Aldemar and Edinho; Lanzoninho, Faustino, Rudimar, Mituca and Jorginho. Coach: Alfredo Gonzalez.

1969-1973 Penta-Championship heroes

Detinho, Gilberto, and Pedrinho;Norberto, Reginaldo, Birunga, Zé Júlio, Ari, Zito, Luciano, Fernando Santana, Facó, Mirobaldo, Nivaldo, Vila Nova, Cuíca, Rubens Salim, Givanildo, Aloísio Linhares, Naércio, Joel, Rivaldo, Gena, Antonino, Souza, Ramon, Erb, Derivaldo, Batista, Cabral, Zinho, Osvaldo, Telino, Adílson, Cassiano, Uriel, Vályer, Lourival, Botinha, Pogito, Miruca, Betinho, Ferreira, Sapatão, Zé Carlos Olímpico, and Bita.

1972 inaugurative match of the Arruda Stadium

Detinho (goalkeeper); Ferreira, Sapatão, Rivaldo, and Cabral (Botinha) (backs and wingers); Erb and Luciano (midfielders); Cuíca (Beto), Santana (Zito), Ramon, and Betinho (forwards/strikers).

1976 Super-Championship team

Gilberto, Carlos Alberto Barbosa, Alfredo Santos, Levir, and Pedrinho; Givanildo (Ricardo), (Lula) and Jandir; Betinho, Nunes, Volne, and Pio. Also: Picasso, Orlando, Carlos Alberto Rodrigues, Mazinho, and Marquinhos.

1980 Blue Ribbon team

Joel Mendes and Cláudio (goalkeepers);Carlos Alberto Barbosa, Vacil, and Pedrinho (wingers);Alfredo Santos and Paranhos (backs);Givanildo, Deinha, Jadir, Betinho, and Gonçalves (midfielders);Volney, Neinha, Zé Roberto, Lula (forwards/strikers);Evaristo de Macêdo (coach).

1983 Super-Championship team

Luiz Neto, Ricardo, Gomes, Édson Furquim, and Almeida; Zé do Carmo, Henágio e Ângelo; Gabriel, Django, and Peu. Birigui, Marco Antônio, Henrique, Ivan, and Bebeto. Coach: Carlos Alberto Silva.


Pernambucans (people of the state of Pernambuco) take football passionately.

Santa Cruz has two major rivals within the state:

* Sport Club do Recife
* Clube Náutico Capibaribe

The rivalry between Santa Cruz and Sport Recife is known as Clássico dos Multidões, and the rivalry between Santa Cruz and Náutico is known as Clássico dos Emoções.

Great Players

The first football idol was Zé Bonfim.

Tará was topscorer of the Pernambucan Championship twice (25 goals in 1938 and 20 goals in 1940).

Givanildo, Fumanchu, Levir Culpi, Nunes, Carlos Alberto, and Ramón were heroes in the 1970s. In the 1973 Brazilian Championship, Ramón was the topscorer with 21 goals.

Birigui was one of Santa Cruz's greatest idols ever. For more than 10 years, he was the main goalkeeper of Santa Cruz. He is one of the 1986-87 State Bi-champions. Much of the success of the team in those campaigns can be credited to Birigui's remarkable performance.

Zé do Carmo had an important role in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1989, Rivaldo started his professional career in junior divisions of Santa Cruz FC.

Ricardo Rocha, World Cup champion in 1994, began his career in Santa Cruz. He also was coach of Santa Cruz's professional team without, however, the same success as a player.

In the late 1990s, Nílson (goalkeeper) achieved great popularity. The fans used to call him "Paredão" (Great Wall).


* James Thorp
* Aristófanes de Andrade
* José Inojosa
* Jonas Alvarenga

External links

* [ Official Site] - Coralnet, a group of supporters, administrates the official site of Santa Cruz FC.

* [ Blog do Santinha]

* [ RSSSF Brazil] - Full listings with the historical results of the Pernambucan Championship.

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