May 18, 2011

Brazil: 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 10:54 pm

Brasilerão 2011

The 2011 Brasileiro season starts on the weekend of Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May, 2011. Brazil – 2011 Serie A, fixtures, results, table (

Reigning champions are Rio de Janeiro’s Fluminense, who went from relegation-threatened to title winners in the space of just 12 months. The player most instrumental in Fluminense winning the championship was diminutive Argentinian midfielder Dario Conca, who netted 9 times in league matches, and had a league-leading 18 assists. From Pitaco do Gringo’s Brazilian football site, from December 6, 2010, by Jon Cotteril, ‘Fluminense crowned Brasileiro champions 2010‘.

Photo from

Clubs promoted from Série B to Série A for 2011 are: Coritiba [from Curitiba], Figueirense [from Florianópolis], Bahia [from Salvador], and América [from Belo Horizonte].

The only Brazilian club still alive in the 2011 Copa Libertadores is Santos (who qualified as winners of the 2010 Copa do Brasil). Four Brazilian clubs bowed out of the Copa Libertadores on the same evening (of 4th May) {see this article by Tim Vickery at his blog at, ‘Copa exits may prompt Brazil tactics re-think‘.} Santos won their 1st Leg in the 2011 Copa Libertadores Quarterfinals 1-0 away to Once Caldas of Colombia. In the 2nd Leg, Santos advanced to the Semifinals with a 1-1 draw, late on Wednesday the 18th, in Santos São Paulo state. Neymar scored Santos’ goal. In the Semifinals, Santos will play the winner of the Jaguares de Chiapas v. Cerro Porteño tie {2011 Copa Libertadores Knockoput Stages Bracket (}.

From In Bed With Maradonna site, by Jack Lang, ‘The IBWM Guide to the 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro‘.

Below…The three top-drawing clubs in 2010 Brasileiro – Corinthians, Ceará, and Fluminense…
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, est. 1910. 4 Campeonato Série A titles (2005). Highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 27,542 per game…
Photo credits – Maatheeoos at, here, via

Ceará Sport Club [Fortaleza], est. 1914. 2nd highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 23,514 per game…
Photo credits – dariofontanelle at [via].

Fluminense Football Club [Rio de Janeiro], est. 1902. 2 Campeonato Série A titles (2010). 3rd highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 21,646 per game…
Photo credits –

On the far right of the map are average attendance figures from last season. Corinthians led the 2010 Campeonato Série A in attendance, with 27,542 per game. Second best was the just-promoted northeast club Ceará, from Fortaleza, Ceará state, who drew 23,514 per game, an impressive figure for a club that has no major trophies. That 20,000+ figure for Ceará was not a just-promoted-fluke, because the club drew 21,200 per game in 2009, in the second division. The third-highest-drawing team for 2010 were champions Fluminense, who, along with Flamengo, were forced to play most of their home matches across the city of Rio de Janeiro, at Botofogo’s Engenhão (Botofogo rents from this municipal stadium from the city), because of the massive renovation and upgrade project currently being undertaken at Maracanã, in order for that giant venue to be suitable for hosting 2014 FIFA Wotld Cup matches. Speaking of Flamengo, they had a massive attendance drop because of the aforementioned difficulties for their fan base in getting cross-town to Engenhão, plus they were terrible last season, and were actually in threat of relegation for a while (they finished in 14th place). Flamengo’s gates dropped about -20,000 per game, from 40,036 per game in 2009, to just 19,965 per game in 2010. Another club that had been at or near the top of the attendance rankings in the last couple of seasons, Atlético Mineiro [Belo Horizonte], also saw their gates drop off significantly – down around -25,000 per game (from 38,761 per game in 2009, to 13,515 per game in 2010), and they also did poorly, finishing in 13th place after a 7th place finish in 2009.

Corinthians, boasting the highest attendance, had a good regular season, finishing third. But thanks to Internacional’s 2010 Copa Libertadores championship (and thus Inter’s automatic qualification for the 2011 Copa Libetadores Second Stage), Corinthians were pushed down to the 2011 Copa Libertadores First Stage (which is essentially a preliminary round before the group stage). And there, Corinthians flamed out, failing to score a single goal versus unheralded Deportes Tolima of Colombia. As this is Cruzeiro’s Centenary year, it was a pretty bad turn of events, and the predictable response from certain fan elements resulted in vandalism at the club’s training ground. Also, it was Ronaldo’s swan song, as he has now retired.

Speaking of Brazilian greats who have returned from Europe back home to Brazil to finish out their careers, Ronadinho has joined Flamengo. The 31-year old Porto Alegre-born free kick specialist and playmaker got his pro start with Grêmio from 1998-2001, before a 5 million Euros transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he played from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, a 32.5 million Euros transfer saw him move to FC Barcelona, where he basically became one of the planet’s best footballers circa 2003 to 2006 (winning the Ballon d’Or in 2003-04 and in 2005-06). Ronaldinho scored 70 goals in 145 league matches for Barça, but by 2008, a hard partying lifestyle and the onset of an on-field complacency saw him fall out of favor with the Barça management, and he was sent to AC Milan, where he remained from 2008 to 2011. Fans of Flamengo hope Ronaldinho still has enough left in him to propel the most-supported club in Brazil back to the top of the attendance ranks, and back to the top of the table.

Another Brazilian great in the twilight of his career will be returning to Brazil in August – Juninho (Pernambucano), aged 36, the free kick wizard who helped guide Lyon to 7 straight Ligue 1 titles in France (from 2001-02 to 2007-08). Juninho has left the Qatari club Al Garafa to return to the Rio de Janeiro club where he first made his name…Vasco da Gama. From, by Tim Vickery, from 4 May 2011, ‘Vasco da Gama legend Juninho returns to Brazil for nominal wages‘.

It has really become trend for a certain category of Brazilian footballer to return to play again in Brazil, and that is the player who, while a veteran, is not by any means in the swan-song stage of his career – more in the 29-to-33-years-old range. Examples of this can be seen with the 30-year old Luis Fabiano (who has left Sevilla in Spain for São Paulo FC), the 33-year old Deco (who left Chelsea for Fluminense last August), and the 29-year old Elano (who left Galatasaray in Turkey for Santos FC). The strong economy of Brazil in recent years is part of the reason for this type of influx. Just being back within the welcoming embrace of the Brazilian culture is another reason. And playing in the Copa Libertadores is another (and in late March Deco scored the winning goal for Fluminense, in a crucial Copa Libertadores match versus Club América). Here is an article from the Caught Offside site, by Tom Webber, from 24 March, 2011, ‘Why Are So Many Brazilian Players Moving Back To Brazil‘.

Thanks to, for the base map of Brazil, Demis Web Map Sever.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A‘.
Thanks to BolanoArea,com, for attendance figures, here.
Thanks to, for Brazilian Série B (2nd division) attendances, here.
Thanks to Jack Lang, for his great preview of the 2011 Brasieiro. Here is one of Jack’s two blogs, Snap. Kaká and Pop!.
Thanks to Jon Cotteril, at Pitaco do Gringo site, for info, and for featuring my 2010 Brasileiro map on his site last year – .

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