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“No names making reference to the axis powers allowed” read the controversial decree, issued by Brazil’s president Getúlio Vargas in 1942. Under the threat of having to forfeit all the club’s assets and be expelled from the São Paulo state championship they were leading, Palestra Italia changed name to Palmeiras.

From Palestra to Palmeiras, on the week preceding the State championship final against São Paulo Futebol Clube. São Paulo FC, which openly played the treason card in relation to “foreign” sport associations, having already taken over the facilities of “Deutscher Sport Club” through a forced merger. Now, the same club was laying claim to the assets of the former Palestra Italia.
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20 September 1942, day of the championship final. Palmeiras entered the pitch carrying a Brazilian flag under the leadership of Army Captain Adalberto Mendes. With the game underway, Palmeiras were soon leading 3-1. Then, with a penalty called in Palmeiras’ favour, São Paulo pulled their side off the field amid jeers and taunts from the stands.

The following day, newspapers sold out. The headline remains in classic: “A Leader Dies, A Champion Is Born”. This defining episode in the club’s history was later coined Arrancada Heroica, the Heroic Jolt.

Happy Anniversary, Palmeiras!
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On 26 August 1914, while Europe experienced the first month of what history would later denominate World War I, Italian immigrants and descendants of immigrants in São Paulo formed the “Palestra Italia Sports Club”. Little did they know they were giving birth to the most successful Brazilian football club of all times.

Today, as the Palestra Italia/Palmeiras celebrate 103 years of existence, my thoughts go out to all of those who made it possible, in the previous decade and in this one, inside or outside the club’s structure, near or far, wittingly or unwittingly.

It is Palmeiras’ birthday, but I am the one receiving the present. As I do every day, for taking part in this endeavour, for being a member of the family, for modestly contributing and receiving feedback from supporters near and far.

Today and always, AVANTI PALESTRA!
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During WWII, Brazil sided with the Allies. Soon, any reference to the Axis powers was prohibited. These were difficult times in Brazil for persons and institutions of German, Italian or Japanese descent.

On the day preceding the São Paulo state championship final, the Verdão was forced to change name, from Palestra Italia to Palmeiras.

On game day, 19 minutes into the second half, Palmeiras were beating São Paulo FC 3 goals to 1. A penalty was marked in Palmeiras’ favour and to general astonishment, the opponent abandoned the pitch, ending the duel and confirming Palmeiras’ championship title.

Poetically, Palestra died a leader and Palmeiras were born a champion. The feat became known as “Arrancada Herócia”, the Heroic Jolt.

This season’s 3rd uniform is dark green, featuring gold details on the sleeves, collar and sides.
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Palmeiras today launched the 2nd jersey for the 2017/2018 season, inspired by one of the club’s most iconic achievements: the São Paulo State Championship title of 1942. It will be first used against Cruzeiro, on 9 July, at the Mineirão stadium.

The white jersey sports green, vertical stripes and a badge bearing resemblance to the classic emblem used in 1942. On the back of the jersey, under the neckline, the phrase “and the champion Palmeiras is born”, a reference to the forced name change the club was submitted to in 1942.
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During WWII, the Brazilian government demanded that clubs and other institutions linked to the Axis countries Italy, Germany and Japan change their names in case they were referring to any of the aforementioned countries. Thus, Palestra Italia, founded in 1914, changed into “Palestra”, keeping only the single word of Greek origin as the club’s name.

The change did not soothe political and sporting pressures. Under the threat of having to forfeit all the club’s assets in addition to being expelled from the championship that they currently led, Palestra had to change their name a second time. The night before the final game of the State championship, scheduled for 20 September 1942, the Palestra board of directors held a heated meeting. Dr. Mario Minervino took the floor and asked club Secretary, Dr. Pascoal W. Byron Giuliano, to note in the minutes: “They don’t want us to be Palestra, so then we shall be Palmeiras – born to be champions.”

The following day, tension flared as Palmeiras played opponent São Paulo Futebol Clube – a club linked to the current political elite of São Paulo which was laying claim to the assets of the former Palestra Italia. Palmeiras were soon winning 3-1 and when a penalty was called in Palmeiras’ favour, SPFC pulled their side off the field, proclaiming the Palmeiras squad “an enemy of the homeland”. With this, Palmeiras were crowned champions.

The new jersey has been very well received by supporters, sales will certainly soar.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Our supporters have been using the pig since 1986, convinced that Palmeiras’ then director of marketing João Roberto Gobatto had indeed come up with a solution to neutralize frequent smears from rival supporters (read full story here).

The hatcher of the plan has finally received his recognition: before last Sunday’s game against Internacional, Palmeiras officially presented The Pig as the club’s second mascot, baptising it “Gobatto”. Success is a given.
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Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Today, FIFA on social media paid homage to the first intercontinental world club champions, Palmeiras. The announcement, featured on the federation’s Instagram, reads:
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Green is the colour of envy. ‘The Big Green’ were the envy of the wide world #OnThisDay 65 years ago. A Liminha-inspired @sepalmeiras edged a @juventus team including Giampiero Boniperti & a dazzling Danish triumvirate to become the sport’s first intercontinental world club champions. 100,000 watched that at the Maracanã. One million flooded the streets of São Paulo to welcome their heroes home.

Less informed rival supporters and some malicious journalists have continuously claimed Palmeiras have no world title. Guess this shuts them up for good.

On Sunday, against Atlético Mineiro, the Palmeiras squad will wear a jersey featuring the Brazilian flag hovering above the crest, just like in 1951.  

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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Exactly on this day, 100 years ago, Palmeiras played their first official match. Who could imagine that the little club, created less than two years earlier, would one day become Brazil’s biggest holder of national championship titles?

The Palestra Italia, as the club was known back then, was born on 26 August 1914 by Italian immigrants in São Paulo. In order to attract interest and players, the club went about advertising in the local Fanfulla newspaper, while arranging small, internal tournaments to select the best players. Training sessions followed, then a series of friendlies.

In 1916, the club Scottish Wanderers were kicked out of the “Paulista Association of Athletic Sports” for having divided the income of their matches between players – something forbidden in amateur leagues of the time. Palestra Italia seized the opportunity, grabbing the vacant spot in the championship after having committed to contribute financially to the renovation of a stadium where games were to be played. In addition to the Palestra, the league consisted of São Paulo, Santos, São Bento Athletic Association of Palmeiras, Ypiranga and Mackenzie.

On 13 May 1916, Fabbrini, Grimaldi, Bianco, Ricco, Fabbi II, De Biasi, Gobato, Valle II, Vescovini, Bernardini and Severino drew 1-1 with Mackenzie, Gobato scoring Palestra Italia’s first official goal. Ricco was the captain and Giuseppe Roberti, the coach. The draw against Mackenzie, last year’s runner-up, was considered a good result, Palestra having only a couple of known players in their young squad.
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Palestra Italia – the first flash

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Palestra Italia ended the 1916 edition of the São Paulo championship in 6th place, the highlight of the campaign being a 4-2 victory over Santos.

Since that day a century ago, Palmeiras have played another 4.401 official games, according to the always excellent Instituto Palestrino de Estatística blog. Out of these, 2.305 victories and 1.087 draws, corresponding to 61% of points won (if adopting the current standards across the board, where a victory is rewarded three points).

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra! 

 

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