Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War; the current champion is France. The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, called the World Cup Finals. After this, 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month; the 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, they are the only team to have played in every tournament; the other World Cup winners are Italy, with four titles each.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. Brazil, Italy and Mexico have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Sweden, England, Spain, the United States and South Korea, South Africa and Russia have each hosted once. Qatar are planned as hosts of the 2022 finals, 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, which will give Mexico the distinction of being the first country to have hosted games in three finals; the world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural British Home Championship, took place in 1884; as football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the start of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, at the 1906 Intercalated Games.
After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were early days for international football, the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure. At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association, England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain won the gold medals, they repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909; the Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team.
Lipton invited an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to defend their title. In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", took responsibility for managing the event; this paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928; those were the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era. Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet as the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.
The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet persuaded teams from Belgium, France and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total, 13 nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America; the first two World Cup matches took place on 13 July 1930, were won by France and the USA, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent o
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, or Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape. Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. In 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal and Algarves.
Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília. Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, 30th largest in the world in 2008, estimated at about R$343 billion, it is headquarters to Brazilian oil and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data. Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, considered the safest in the country.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, samba, bossa nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to host the events, the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city; the Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the XV Pan American Games. Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho; the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition.
The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri and Maxakalí peoples. In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony; the city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint, the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay; until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin. In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth than Salvador, much farther northeast.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro; the kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived many inhabitants were evicted from their homes. In the first decades, several educational establishments were created, such as the Military Academy, the Royal School of Sciences and Crafts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the National Library of Brazil – with the largest collection in Latin America – and The Botanical Garden; the first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, came into circulation during this period. When Brazil was elevated to Kingdom in 1815, it
Football in France
Association football is the most popular sport in France, followed by rugby union. The French Football Federation is the national governing body and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of association football in the country, both professional and amateur; the federation organizes the Coupe de France and is responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's and youth national football teams in France. The federation gives responsibility of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to the Ligue de Football Professionnel who oversee and manage the country's top two leagues; the LFP is responsible for organizing the Coupe de la Ligue, the country's league cup competition. The French Football Federation supervises the overseas departments and territories leagues and hosts football club AS Monaco, a club based in the independent sovereign state of Monaco. In 2006, the FFF had 2,143,688 licenses, with over 1,850,836 registered players and 18,194 registered clubs; the first football club was introduced to France in 1863, as described in a newspaper article by The Scotsman, which stated "A number of English gentlemen living in Paris have organised a football club...
The football contests take place in the Bois de Boulogne, by permission of the authorities and surprise the French amazingly." Modern football was introduced nine years in 1872 by English sailors playing in Le Havre in 1872. The top two divisions of French football, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, are governed by the Ligue de Football Professionnel; the league is responsible for overseeing and managing the top two leagues and is responsible for the 46 professional football clubs that contest football in France. Ligue 1 is the French professional league for football clubs, it is the country's primary football competition and serves as the top division of the French football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Ligue 2. Ligue 1 is one of the top national leagues ranked fifth in Europe behind the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga. Ligue 1 was inaugurated on 11 September 1932 under the name National before switching to Division 1 after a year of existence.
The name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name. The current champions of France are Paris Saint-Germain, who won their seventh title in 2018. Ligue 2 is the second division of French football. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Championnat National; the league was created in 1934, a year after Ligue 1 and consisted of 23 clubs that were divided into two groups and Sud. The Championnat National is the third division of French football. Though the league has several clubs that are members of the Ligue de Football Professionnel, it is not governed by the organization because of the LFP's refusal to divide its profits into smaller shares, so they can collaborate with the many amateur clubs in the league to help them become professional; the French Football Federation moderates the league, founded in 1993 under the name National 1. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Championnat de France amateur.
The Championnat National 2 is the fourth division of French football and features 72 football clubs. Most clubs that participate in the league are amateur clubs, but a small number of clubs are semi-professional; the CFA consists of 72 clubs spread into 4 parallel groups of 18. It is open to the best reserve teams in France and amateur clubs in France, although only the amateur clubs are eligible for promotion to the Championnat National; the highest-placed amateur team in each pool are promoted, replaced by the 4 lowest-placed in the Championnat National. The Championnat National 3 is the 5th division in French football and consists of 168 teams in 12 groups of 14 organised to align with the regional leagues; the twelve teams that top their league are promoted to Championnat National 2. Relegation from Championnat National 3 is defined by both position in the group and the region the club belongs to. One club is relegated to each regional league that feeds that group. Amateur football in France is managed by the Ligue du Football Amateur.
The LFA, under the watch of the French Football Federation, is responsible for administering and federating the actions of the regional and district leagues beginning with the Division d'Honneur all the way down to the lower divisions of the departmental districts. The LFA takes up all issues related to the national non-professional districts. Women's football in France consists of three divisions, Division 1 Féminine, Division 2 Féminine, Division 3 Féminine; the D1 Féminine is the top league for women's association football clubs in France. It is contested by 12 clubs; the league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with lower leagues and is governed by the French Football Federation, who resurrected the women's league in 1974. The leagues based in the overseas departments and territories of France are run by their respective associations under the watch of the French Football Federation. Under the rules of the FFF, clubs in the leagues are allowed to participate in confederation competitions based on their regional locations.
For example, the champion of the Réunion Premier League is allowed inclusion into the CAF Champions League. The two most important cup competitions in France are the Coupe de la Ligue. However, several other national cups are targeted
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup was the 10th FIFA World Cup, was played in West Germany between 13 June and 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded; the previous trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, had been won for the third time by Brazil in 1970 and awarded permanently to the Brazilians. This was the first out of three World Cups to feature two rounds of group stages; the host nation won the title. The victory was the second for West Germany, who had won in 1954. Australia, East Germany and Zaire made their first appearances at the final stage, with East Germany making their only appearance before Germany was reunified in 1990. West Germany was chosen as the host nation by FIFA in London, England on 6 July 1966. Hosting rights for the 1978 and 1982 tournaments were awarded at the same time. West Germany agreed a deal with Spain by which Spain would support West Germany for the 1974 tournament, in return West Germany would allow Spain to bid for the 1982 World Cup unopposed.
Ninety-eight countries took part in the qualifying tournament. Some of football's most successful nations did not qualify, including 1966 champions England, France and quarter-finalists of the 1970 tournament Mexico, Spain, 1966 third-place finishers Portugal, 1970 quarter-finalists Peru, Czechoslovakia and Romania; the USSR was disqualified after refusing to travel for the second leg of their playoff against Chile as a result of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. The Netherlands and Poland qualified for the first time since 1938. Scotland was back in the Finals after a 16-year absence. Argentina and Chile were back after having missed the 1970 tournament and Yugoslavia was back after missing both the 1966 and 1970 tournaments. First-time qualifiers were East Germany; as of 2018, this was the last time Haiti and Zaire qualified for a FIFA World Cup finals, as well as the last time Spain failed to qualify. This was the first tournament in which the defending champions played in the opening game as opposed to the hosts, although this was changed back to the hosts for the 2006 tournament, held in Germany.
The following 16 teams qualified for the final tournament. The tournament featured a new format. While the competition once again began with the sixteen teams divided into four groups of four teams, the eight teams which advanced did not enter a knockout stage as in the previous five World Cups but instead played in a second group stage; the winners of the two groups in the second stage played each other in the final, with the respective runners-up from each group meeting in the third place play-off. This was one of, it was decided in advance that if the host nation progressed to the second stage their matches would not take place simultaneous to the other matches but instead be held in the other timeslot. The tournament was held in bad weather, the stadia had few protected places. Few western European nations had qualified, of which only The Netherlands, West Germany and Sweden made it past the Group Stage. Fans from the Eastern Communist neighbour states such as East Germany were hindered by political circumstances.
Carlos Caszely of Chile became the first player to be sent off with a red card in a World Cup match, during their match against West Germany. Red cards were formally introduced in World Cup play in 1970, but no players were sent off in that tournament. Two teams made a powerful impact on the first round; the Netherlands demonstrated the "Total football" techniques pioneered by the top Dutch club Ajax, in which specialised positions were abolished for the outfield players, individual players became defenders, midfielders or strikers as the situation required. The Dutch marked their first World Cup finals since 1938 by topping their first-round group, with wins over Uruguay and Bulgaria and a draw with Sweden. Sweden joined the Dutch in the second group round after beating Uruguay 3–0. Poland, took maximum points from a group containing two of the favourites for the tournament, they beat Argentina 3–2, trounced Haiti 7–0 beat Italy 2–1 – a result that knocked the Italians out of the Cup and resulted in Argentina qualifying for the second group round on goal difference.
Argentina would not fail to win either of their opening two games of a World Cup again until 2018. While Haiti didn't do well in their first World Cup finals they did have one moment of glory. In their opening game against Italy, they managed to take the lead with a goal from Emmanuel Sanon, before losing 3–1; that goal proved to be a significant goal as it ended Dino Zoff's run of 1142 minutes without conceding a goal. Group 2 was a close group. With Brazil and Scotland drawing all their games against each other, it was decided by the number of goals these three teams scored when defeating Zaire. Yugoslavia hammered the African nation 9–0, equalling a finals record fo
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense known as Grêmio, is a Brazilian professional football club based in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. The club plays in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the top tier of the Brazilian football league system, the Campeonato Gaúcho, Rio Grande do Sul's top state league; the club was founded in 1903. As of 2017, Grêmio was ranked number one in the CBF club rankings and is listed by Forbes as the third most valuable football club in the Americas with an estimated value of $295.5 million. Grêmio has won 37 Campeonato Gaúcho, 2 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 1 Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, 1 Supercopa do Brasil, 1 Copa Sul and 5 Copa do Brasil. Internationally, Grêmio has won 1 Intercontinental Cup, 3 Copa Libertadores de América, 2 Recopa Sudamericana and 1 Sanwa Bank Cup. Grêmio plays in black shorts and white socks. Grêmio has a fierce rivalry with Internacional, considered the most heated in Brazil and one of the most heated in the world. Matches between the two teams are known as Grenal.
On September 7, 1903, Brazil's first football team, Rio Grande, played an exhibition match in Porto Alegre. An entrepreneur from Sorocaba, São Paulo, named Cândido Dias was besotted with the sport and went to watch the match. During the match, the ball deflated; as the only owner of a football in Porto Alegre, he lent his ball to the players and the match resumed. After the match, he talked to the local players about. On September 15, 1903, 32 people, including Cândido Dias, met at Salão Grau, a local restaurant and founded "Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense". Most of the founding members were part of the city's German community. Carlos Luiz Bohrer was elected as first president; the club's first match took place on March 6, 1904, against Fuss Ball Porto Alegre, the first of two matches played that day. Grêmio won the first match 1–0; the name of the player who scored the club's first goal is lost to history. The trophy Grêmio won that the Wanderpreis, is still displayed at the club's museum. Within 5 months the club had inaugurated its first home.
On July 18, 1909, Grêmio beat Internacional 10–0 on the latter's debut game. Grêmio's goalkeeper Kallfelz left the field to chat with fans during the match. Now this victory is remembered with pride by Gremistas; the match was the starting point for a rivalry. Grêmio was one of the founding members of the Porto Alegre football league in 1910, in 1911 won the league for the first time. On August 25, 1912, in a city league match, Grêmio beat Sport Clube Nacional of Porto Alegre 23–0. Sisson scored 14 goals in the match to record Grêmio's biggest win. In 1918, Grêmio became a founding member of the Fundação Rio-Grandense de Desportes, a federation that organized the first state championships in Rio Grande do Sul; the first championship was scheduled for 1918, but the Spanish flu epidemic forced the event to be postponed until 1919. In 1921, a year after the arrival of legendary goalkeeper Eurico Lara, Grêmio won its first state championship. On July 7, 1911 Grêmio beat Uruguay's national team 2–1. In 1931, Grêmio became one of the first teams in Brazil to play matches at night after installing floodlights at Estádio Baixada.
On May 19, 1935, Grêmio became the first team from Rio Grande do Sul to beat a team from the state of São Paulo by defeating Santos 3–2. Grêmio was the first club outside Rio de Janeiro state to play at the Maracanã Stadium, defeating Flamengo 3–1 in 1950. During this period, Grêmio started to earn a reputation abroad. In 1932 it played its first international match in Rivera. In 1949, the match against Uruguay's Nacional ended in a 3–1 win for Grêmio and the players received a hero's welcome on their return to Porto Alegre. In that same year, Grêmio played for the first time in Central America. Between 1953–1954, Grêmio travelled to Mexico and Colombia, a tour dubbed "the conquest of the Americas". On February 25, 1959, Grêmio defeated Boca Juniors 4–1 in Buenos Aires, becoming the first foreign team to beat Boca at La Bombonera. In 1961, Grêmio went on its first European tour playing 24 games in 11 countries: France, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Denmark and Russia; the Gremistas were growing in number.
1946 saw the first appearance of the club's motto "com o Grêmio onde o Grêmio estiver", written into Grêmio's official anthem. An anthem penned by Lupicinio Rodrigues, a samba-cancao composer who became one of the most famous and revered Grêmio fans; the anthem celebrates the Gremistas reputation for attending all Grêmio matches, regardless of the difficulties and obstacles they might have to overcome to see their club. In the late 1950s, Grêmio joined the Taça Brasil; the team reached the Taça Brasil semifinals in 1959, 1963 and 1967. In 1968, the team won its first international title in a friendly cup with teams from Brazil and Uruguay. In 1954, Grêmio inaugurated what was at the time the biggest private stadium in Brazil, the Olímpico Stadium. In 1971, the Taça Brasil championship was replaced by the Campeonato Brasileiro with the first goal scored in the Campeonato Brasileiro coming from Grêmio's Néstor Scotta, an Argentine, in a match against São Paulo at Estádio do Morumbi. Grêmio maintained a series of respectable results in Campeonato Brasileiro achieving a top half finish.
Grêmio's first dominant period in South American football