The Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, usually Flamengo for short, is a sports club from the eponymous district of the Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro. The club colors are red and black.

The club founded on 17 November 1895 as a rowing club was five times Brazilian football champion and won in 1981 also the Copa Libertadores and the World Cup. The freshest success is the now 34th win of the state championship of Rio de Janeiro 2017. But also in many other sports Flamengo has sustained success at the highest level.

The club’s biggest idol is Zico, also known as white Pelé, who led the club to its biggest success, scoring 568 goals as the club’s record scorer. From 1984 to 2009 the oil company Petrobras continuously advertised with various products on the chest of Flamengo jerseys. The current main sponsor is the Caixa Econômica Federal; also a state enterprise.

The Flamengo was founded on November 17, 1895 as a rowing company by José Agostinho Pereira da Cunha, Mário Spindola, Nestor de Barros, Augusto Lopes, José Félix da Cunha Meneses and Felisberto Laport. The group of boys used to meet at the Café Lamas, in the Largo do Machado district of Rio de Janeiro, and decided to form a rowing team. At the end of the nineteenth century rowing was the elite sport in Rio de Janeiro and young people, founding their own club, hoped to become popular with the girls of the city’s society. They could only afford a used boat called Pherusa, which needed to be completely rebuilt before being used in competitions. The team made its debut on October 6, 1895, when it sailed from the pier of Caju, on the beach of Maria Angu, to the beach of Flamengo. However the strong winds overturned the boat and the rowers almost drowned. They were rescued by a fishing vessel named Leal (“Loyal”). Later, during the repair work of the Pherusa, the boat was stolen and never found again. The group had to save a lot of money to buy a new boat, the Etoile, renamed Scyra.

On the night of 17 November 1895, the group, found in the villa of Nestor de Barros, on the beach of Flamengo, founded the Grupo de Regatas do Flamengo (Group of Regattas of Flamengo) and elected the first council. The name was changed a few weeks later in the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (Flamengo Regatta Club). The founders also decided that the anniversary of the company’s foundation should have been celebrated on November 15, coinciding with the Republic Day, national holiday.

The Flamengo included a football section only when a group of unsatisfied Fluminense players broke with their club following a discussion with the council. The players (Alberto Borghert, Othon de Figueiredo Baena, Píndaro de Carvalho Rodrigues, Emmanuel Augusto Nery, Ernesto Amarante, Armando de Almeida, Orlando Sampaio Matos, Gustavo Adolpho de Carvalho, Lawrence Andrews and Arnaldo Machado Guimarães) decided to join the Flamengo from the moment that Borghert, the captain, was also a rower of the Flamengo. The admission of new members was approved on November 8, 1911. It was also necessary to reckon with a group opposed to the club’s participation in football competitions, but in the end the members of the assembly officially created the football section on December 24, 1911.

The new team used to train on Russel beach, gradually gaining support from local residents, who enjoyed watching workouts. The first official game was played on May 3, 1912 and is, to date, the most spectacular victory of the team, since the Flamengo beat the Mangueira 16 to 2. The first Fla-Flu (which would later become one of the most famous derby in the world) was also disputed in that year, July 7, and saw the victory of Fluminense for 3 to 2.

In 1978, with the victory of Flamengo in the Carioca Championship, a golden period began for the Rossoneri. The next five years would be years of glory. Stars like Júnior, Carpegiani, Adílio, Cláudio Adão, Tita and, above all, Zico, went to win the state championship three times in a row. The joy and pride of the victories brought the Flamengo to the first victory of the Brazilian Championship, in 1980. Therefore, as a national champion, the club qualified to play the maximum continental tournament, the Libertadores Cup.

1981 is a turning point in the history of Flamengo. After beating the Chilean from Cobreloa in three matches, the team graduated from the South American champion. The next objective was clear: the Intercontinental Cup, a dry game to play in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, against the European champions of Liverpool.

Raul, Leandro, Marinho, Mozer, Júnior, Andrade, Adílio, Zico, Tita, Nunes and Lico formed the starting line-up in the most important race of the Flamengo on 13 December 1981. Two goals from Nunes, a goal by Adílio and a brilliant performance by Zico was more than enough to make the Flamengo the first Brazilian world champion after the Santos of the great Pelé.

The next two years would also have been rich in victories. Another Rio championship in 1981 and two Brazilian championships – in 1982 and 1983 – closed the golden age.

Since then the club has lived years of alternating fortunes, managing to win the Brazilian championship in 1992 and 2009.

The Flamengo remains one of the two teams to never be relegated from the first division: the other is the Cruzeiro.

The first colours of the club, chosen by the founders in 1895, are blue and gold. However, since fabrics were still imported at the end of the nineteenth century, the colours blue and gold were difficult to find to make uniforms. For this reason, the colors of the club were changed to black and white, and the first uniform consisting of a horizontally striped shirt in black and white and black shorts, is born.

But very quickly, the official colours of the club become red and black. The rowing section chose a uniform consisting of a horizontally striped shirt of red and black and black shorts. Originally, each section of the club must have a different jersey. Thus, on May 3, 1912, date of the first official game of the football section of Flamengo, the team is not allowed to wear the striped jersey reserved for the rowing section and just wear a red jersey and black called “Papagaio vintém”. This jersey was used for the last time on November 18, 1913 during a match against the America Football Club.

From the following season, in 1914, until 1916, the jersey of the football section is striped black, red and white, like some snakes coral, which is worth to the players and their jersey the nickname of “Cobra Coral”. It was not until 1916 that the rowing section accepted that football players adopt the same jersey consisting of horizontal stripes red and black.

Flamengo has had in the course of its history several mascots. The first of these appeared in the 1940s: during the championship of Rio de Janeiro in 1942, several sports dailies decide on the attribution to each club of the city of a character to write stories in comics. The characters are chosen by the Argentine designer Lorenzo Molas who attributes to Botafogo the character of Donald Duck, to Vasco da Gama a round and moustachioed admiral, to Fluminense an elegant character with a top hat, and finally to Flamengo the character of Popeye

Flamengo has had in the course of its history several mascots. The first of these appeared in the 1940s: during the championship of Rio de Janeiro in 1942, several sports dailies decide on the attribution to each club of the city of a character to write stories in comics. The characters are chosen by the Argentine designer Lorenzo Molas who attributes to Botafogo the character of Donald Duck, to Vasco da Gama a round and moustachioed admiral, to Fluminense an elegant character with a top hat, and finally to Flamengo the character of Popeye

The first official stadium of Flamengo is the José Bastos Padilha stadium, better known as the Gávea stadium (“Estádio da Gávea” in Portuguese), built by the club itself in the 1930s and inaugurated on 4 September 1938 during the match against Vasco da Gama.

On the occasion of the football World Cup of 1950, the municipality of Rio de Janeiro built the Maracanã stadium, then the largest football stadium in the world with a capacity of over 200,000 spectators. Inaugurated on July 24th, 1950, it is then shared by Flamengo with the other main clubs of the city that are Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama. Gradually, the club because of its low capacity abandons the Gávea stadium (8,000 spectators sitting only).

In 1997, Flamengo played his last official match in Gávea, and the José Bastos Padilha stadium became the club’s training ground. A revitalization project of the Gávea site is however under way according to the direction of the club.

From 2008 to 2012, Flamengo temporarily made his matches in the Olympic stadium João-Havelange, rival Botafogo stadium, because of the renovation of the Maracanã for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Flamengo built its first swimming pool in 1963. But on the occasion of its 70 anniversary on November 15, 1965, the club inaugurated right next to the Gávea stadium a water park dedicated to the nautical activities of the club other than rowing. practice on the lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. At the time of its opening, the park has an Olympic-size nine-line Olympic-heated swimming pool with an electronic chronometer, making it the most modern water park in Brazil at the time.

The park now bears the name of President Fadel Fadel, in tribute to the man who, during his four terms as head of Flamengo between 1962 and 1965, is involved in the project. It now has five pools used by the club’s swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo sections.

According to the latest study of the Ibope (Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics) conducted in 2011, Flamengo’s supporters gather about 39.1 million people in Brazil, which makes Flamengo the most supported club in the country . The latter are not only concentrated in the state of Rio de Janeiro but distributed throughout the territory, unlike the supporters of Corinthians (2nd club in number of supporters according to the study of Ibope). The torcida of Flamengo is essentially made up of people from the poor or even poor classes, which is worth to the supporters of the club to be the object of mockery on the part of the supporters of the rival teams, in particular Botafogo.

Flamengo matches are usually those that welcome the most spectators. Of the ten meetings of the national championship that attracted the most visitors, seven are matches of the club rubro-negro. The Flamengo-Fluminense derby of December 15, 1963 also gathered over 194,000 spectators at the Maracanã, a world record in terms of club attendance.

The Clube de Regatas do Flamengo has many supporters, who have over time organized into groups related to ultra movement. The first of these is the “Torcida Jovem do Flamengo”, created December 6, 1967 under the name “Poder Jovem” and inspired by the Black Power movement in the United States. The will displayed by the club is then to overcome the control of Flamengo leaders and fight against the racist prejudices against Flamengo supporters, mostly black and poor. In 1976, the group “Raça Rubro-Negra” is created and develops very quickly to count today in its ranks more than 60 000 members.

For the centenary of the founding of the club in 1995, a group of friends decided to create “Fla Manguaça”, a group whose festive spirit is aimed primarily at bringing together all Flamengo fans who love beer. The word “manguaça” means in Portuguese “drink” or “hooch” in a more familiar register. However, it is only from 2001 that the group is truly recognized by Flamengo who agrees to make available in Maracanã a zone reserved for fans. Fla Manguaça claims to be an openly peaceful group and against any form of violence, physical or verbal, against opposing players or supporters.

The last group to be created is “Urubuzada”, founded in 2006 with a clear desire to make the show at matches of his team before anything else. The name of the group is freely inspired by the Urubu, which is the nickname given to the fans of the club and will become in 2007 the mascot of the team.

The main football clubs of the city of Rio de Janeiro are, in addition to Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama. From the beginning of the twentieth century, the first matches between these clubs give rise to strong rivalries that extend beyond the football fields. Among these confrontations, the rivalry between Flamengo and Fluminense is the most famous. Nicknamed “Fla-Flu” or “Clássico das Multidões”, the derby soon becomes a major event in the sporting life of Rio but also of all Brazil. On December 15, 1963, 194,603 spectators attended the duel between the two teams, which is a record for a match of clubs in Maracaña.