This trajectory starts with Charles Miller, who brought football to Brazil at the end of the 19th century, and goes to the beginning of the sport professionalization and the acceptance of black and mestizos athletes in football teams in the 1920s. One of the big aces of this period was Arthur Friedenreich, a player from São Paulo who was grandson of Germans. The images show from coffee barons to the most humble people who conquered football… and reinvented it!
Surprise yourself with the Brazilian Football History and search for the football references in Rio de Janeiro, indicated by these symbols
23 - The long mustache was Charles Miller’s trademark, the Brazilian who studied in England, the cradle of football, and, in 1894, at 20 years old, returned to Brazil with two balls, a hand pump to blow them up, football boots and a book of rules for the sport. He was the founder of Liga Paulista de Futebol [São Paulo Football League], and a referee. In the image, Miller with his friends from the São Paulo Athletic.
74 - The records say women’s football started in the UK at the end of the 19th century. The Scotch announced in the “Glasgow Evening News,” in April 1881, a match between women’s teams from Scotland and England in the Hibernian Stadium, in Edinburgh. Another important reference is this 1895 poster, the same year in which the first official match took place in Brazil (organized by Charles Miller).
106 - Societá Sportiva Palestra Itália, currently known as Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, was founded on January 2nd, 1921, as the team representing the local Italian community. Based on the Barro Preto neighborhood, they had experienced players and quickly gained prominence in the world of football. Belo Horizonte, 1929.
109 - Women’s participation in the development of football in Belo Horizonte was remarkable since the early years, period in which the presence of “ladies” in the stands of the games is widely cited. Some of these women had a decisive role in the daily lives of associations, especially in their social departments. The concept of a Queen of the Team was very common, with the subsequent election of the city’s Sports Queen. In the photo, Nenem Aluotto, the Sports Queen of Belo Horizonte, 1926.
111 - Football experienced a rapid spread in Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte was a small town in the early 20th century, which was trying to assert itself as the capital and that had no major influence on outlying regions. Thus, many locations began to experience the sport even without direct contact with the main centers of the state. Pirapora Football Club, Pirapora, 1914.
121 - The Municipal Park was designed concurrently with Belo Horizonte’s construction project. Located downtown, the Park would be the main living space for its residents, something that occurred very slowly. For a long time, the Park was very rarely visited, as the population gathered on it for parties only. Belo Horizonte, 1910s.
122 - Praça da Liberdade was designed to be the capital’s center of political power. Surrounded by public buildings that concentrated state secretariats and the Government Palace, the Square had an English layout originally, as can be seen in the Municipal Park. Belo Horizonte, 1915.
123 - The Prado Mineiro was the first location exclusively built for sports in Belo Horizonte. Inaugurated in 1906, it was originally used for horse racing. The decline of horse racing in the 1910s led the Prado to host football matches, being the stage of the first city championships. Belo Horizonte, 1920s.
124 - Son of British and an exchange student in a Swiss school, the young Oscar Cox is recognized as one of the introducers of the first football matches with official rules, ball, and field in the State of Rio de Janeiro. In 1900, he participated in the two meetings between the “associations” Rio Cricket and Paisandú. In addition to being the founder, he was the first president in the history of Fluminense Football Club, in 1902.
129 - The first football team of Belo Horizonte was Sport Club, founded in 1904. Its main proponent was Victor Serpa, who came from Rio de Janeiro to the capital of Minas Gerais to study at the recently transferred Ouro Preto Law School. He had studied in Switzerland and first got to know the sport in that country, helping to spread it throughout Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte, 1904.
136 - Club Athletico Mineiro was founded on March 25, 1908, and marked the resumption of football clubs in Belo Horizonte, since the pioneering associations created in 1904 had already ceased their activities in 1906. Belo Horizonte, 1927.
140 - When arriving in Brazil, football was considered an important vehicle for the dissemination of new customs and moral education. In 1910, young people of local upper classes whom were inspired by this idea created the Yale Football Club in Barro Preto, a working class neighborhood in the city. Over time, the team increasingly asserted its working class identity and became focused on the neighborhood’s inhabitants. Yale Football Club team, Belo Horizonte, 1915.
143 - During the first few years of Belo Horizonte, parties hosted in the homes of families were very common, like dancing balls. The one in the picture occurred in Mr. Impellisieri’s residence. Belo Horizonte, 1932.