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Brazilian Serie A: History and the basics
Like the prestigious Serie A in Italy, Brazil features its own Serie A as the most famous and highest football competition in the country. Let’s delve into this league and learn about the basic knowledge about it in this article.
What is the Brazilian Serie A?
The Brazilian Serie A is actually known as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A in Brazil, or commonly referred to as Brasileirão, is the highest men’s football tier in the Brazilian football league system. This competition was founded in 1959 as Taça Brasil, and since 1971, it has been known as the current name. It is governed by the Brazilian Football Confederation (abbreviated as CBF).
Not only being known as the strongest league in Brazil, but the Brazilian Championship A Series also used to be ranked the fourth in the world by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics for the 2001-2012 period, after the Premier League of England, La Liga in Spain, and Serie A in Italy.
How does the Brazilian Serie A work?
The Brazilian Serie A is typically held from May to December. The competition comprises 20 men’s football clubs in Brazil to play under the round-robin format. That means each team has to join 38 matches with the other 19 teams in a season, on home and away stadiums.
Teams will receive three points for winning a single match, one point for a draw, and no points will be awarded to the losing team. Accordingly, these points are aggregated throughout the season to rank the participants. The team at the top of the standings with the highest points will be the triumph. In case there is more than one team ended up with the top point, the following tie-breaker rule will be applied:
- If the tie is between more than two clubs not competing for the national title or relegation, then the tie is broken, using the games the clubs have played against each other:
- most games won
- total goal difference
- total goals scored
- head-to-head record (with the away goals rule in effect if only two clubs are taken into account)
- If the tie is still not broken, the winner will be determined by Fair Play scales.
- fewest yellow cards
- fewest red cards
- If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. Otherwise, a drawing of lots will determine the final positions.
Promotion and Relegation system
By the end of a season of the Brasileirão, the bottom four teams are relegated to the Brazilian Serie B, and these slots are replaced by the top four teams from the Serie B. Meanwhile, the top six clubs in the Brazilian Serie A are promoted to the Copa Libertadores.
Specifically, the top four teams receive direct tickets to the group stage, while the fifth and sixth-ranked teams are sent into the second round qualifying. This rule has been applied since the 2016 season. Clubs that finish the Brasileirão at seventh to twelfth positions will be eligible for the Copa Sudamericana.
Brazilian Serie A trophy
Titles by clubs
The table above has shown us the performance records of teams that have participated in the Brazilian Serie A and at least one time won the title. Accordingly, Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras is currently considered the most successful team in the Brasileirão with 10 titles. Palmeiras possesses a giant achievement record, besides 10 Série A, they also had four Copa do Brasil and one Copa dos Campeões, making them the strongest club in domestic competitions throughout Brazil.
Palmeiras in the Brazilian Serie A
All-time top scorers in the Brazilian Serie A history
Roberto Dinamite is a Brazilian former football player that is the all-time top scorer of the Brazilian Serie A. He used to play for two clubs, which are Vasco da Gama and Portuguesa, and scored a total of 190 goals in his career in the Brasileirão, followed by Romário with 154 goals.