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Football teams of São Paulo

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The most important football teams in São Paulo: São Paulo, Palmeiras, Corinthians and Santos.

The Stadiums

The biggest stadium in São Paulo is Morumbi (official name: Cícero Pompeu de Toledo), which belongs to São Paulo FC; Morumbi is the biggest private stadium in the world. The most important matches (such as those played by the Brazilian team) in São Paulo are played in Morumbi.
The second biggest stadium is Pacaembu (official name: Paulo Machado de Carvalho), which belongs to the city of São Paulo.
None of the other big teams in São Paulo has a big stadium. Palmeiras owns Parque Antarctica, and oftens plays there; Corinthians owns an old, small stadium called Parque São Jorge, used mostly for training; Santos owns Vila Belmiro, which became famous because this is where Pelé played most of this matches.
Portuguesa owns a medium sized stadium called Canindé; this is the stadium visible from the metro when one goes to Tietê or Ponte Pequena stations.

Update, 2011: Corinthians started the building of a new stadiu, the Arena Corinthians, which will be the venue in Sao Paulo of the World Cup 2014.

The football tournaments

Because Brazil is a very large country, the first football tournaments were disputed at State level, rather than at country level; this tradition is maintained until today.

So, every State in Brazil has two annual tournaments: a State championship (Campeonato Estadual), played only by teams of the respective State, and a Brazilian championship (Campeonato Brasileiro), disputed by selected teams of each State; the State championship is played in the first semester of the year, and the Brazilian championship is played during the second semester.

The State championship is managed by the Federação Paulista de Futebol. Access the site to see which teams are in the First and Second Division, the matches schedule, information about other smaller tournaments, etc.

The Brazilian championship is managed by the Brazilian Confederation of Football, best known as CBF. CBF also manages the Brazilian national team.
In 2007, the following teams of São Paulo played the First Division of the Brazil championship: São Paulo (champion), Santos (runner-up), Palmeiras and Corinthians (demoted to Second Division in 2008).
In 2008, the following teams of São Paulo will play in the first Division: São Paulo, Santos, Palmeiras and Portuguesa.
Check out the site of CBF to read more about the current championships, past results, the Brazilian team, etc.

Besides, there are other championships which are disputed simultaneously with either of the above mentioned ones:
»Copa do Brasil (Cup of Brasil). This is meant to give a chance to smaller teams to gain national projection. The teams with best performance in the previous Brazilian championship DO NOT participate of Copa do Brasil. The Cup is played by two teams of each Brazilian State, more ten teams chosen by the Brazilian Confederation; after the drawn, each two teams play against each other home and away, and only the winner continues. The system has permitted surprising victories by underdogs. The champion of the Cup is granted a slot in the Libertadores da América.
»Taça Libertadores da América. Disputed by the best teams of South America and Mexico (five teams from Brazil, five from Argentina and three from each of all other countries). Organized by Conmebol, the South America Federation. The winner of Libertadores qualifies to play the Santander Cup in Tokyo, against the champion teams of other continents.
»Copa Sul-Americana. Played by teams which performed well in national championships but didn't qualify for Libertadores. It is said to be an attempt to congretate Latin American teams and countries, but actually it is mostly a tournament devised by Conmebol to prevent teams in small countries (such as Uruguay) from staying idle a few months per year.

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