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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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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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More than a game

rival /raiv(ə)l/ n. & v. – n. 1 a person competing with another for the same objective.
enemy /’enəmi/ n. (pl. –ies) 1 a person or group actively opposing or hostile to another, or to a cause etc.

Rivalry comes in many forms and many levels of intensity. Every football team in Brazil – and potentially in the world – is a rival of Palmeiras’. A few, like Vasco, enjoy a privileged relationship; when the two meat on the pitch, the supporters in the stands often mix up, watching the game side by side. However, an absolute majority of rivals fit in the “não fede nem cheira” (don’t stink nor smell) category, not provoking any specific reaction.

Other rivals make many Palmeiras supporter’s hearts beat faster. This can relate to the historical or actual strength of the team (like Flamengo) or some bad blood due to recent provocations; Sport, from the city of Recife, is a good example of the latter.

Then, there are the local teams, promoting the derbies… The rivalry comes from years, decades, sometimes close to a century of co-existence. Beating Santos feels great. Beating Corinthians – the biggest rival of them all – feels fantastic. Rivalry is good.

Don’t mistake a rival for an enemy. An enemy is something very different. São Paulo Futebol Clube is the enemy. The cut goes deep and has never healed. Neither will it ever heal. Palmeirenses know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t done your homework, do the short read-up on the events of 1942 (scroll halfway down this page), when a leader died and a champion was born.

Palmeiras haven’t beaten SPFC in the Morumbi stadium since 2002. Tomorrow is just as good a day as any to reinvent that spirit from 1942. Actually, it’s an above average day to reinvent it. Hell, yes!

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