Santa Cruz Futebol Clube

Santa Cruz Futebol Clube is a Brazilian professional football club based in Recife, Pernambuco, that competes in the Série D, the fourth tier of Brazilian football, as well as in the Campeonato Pernambucano, the top flight of the Pernambuco state football league.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz FC (01) - PE.svg
Full nameSanta Cruz Futebol Clube
Nickname(s)Cobra Coral (Coral Snake)
Terror Do Nordeste (Terror Of The Northeastern Region)
O Mais Querido (The most dear)
Time de Guerreiros (Team of Warriors)
Time do Povo (People's Team)
Clube da Multidão (Crowd Club)
Founded3 February 1914; 108 years ago (1914-02-03)
GroundEstádio do Arruda
PresidentJoaquim Bezerra
Head coachLeston Júnior
LeagueCampeonato Brasileiro Série D
Campeonato Pernambucano
Série C, 19th of 20 (relegated)
Pernambucano, 4th of 10
WebsiteClub website
Estádio do Arruda


Early historyEdit

On February 3, 1914, eleven young men aging from 14 to 16 years founded a football society. Because the boys used to play football on the streets by the yard of the Santa Cruz Church, the club was named after that church, which is situated on Santa Cruz Street in Recife.

The first official meeting of the members was at 2 Mangueira St. At this meeting they decided the position of each member, the name of the club "Santa Cruz Foot-Ball Club", and the society's colors.

The original colors were black and white. Some time after, the color pattern was changed because another local team (Sport Club Flamengo) already had those colors. Therefore, the club included the red color by suggestion of Teófilo Batista de Carvalho, also known as Lacraia. Lacraia has participated in all major early events of Santa Cruz's history, except the foundation.

The first ball was bought with the financial support of José Luiz Vieira and cost 8,500 réis.

Many people came to see the first match at Derby plains. The "team of boys" as Santa Cruz was called at the time beat Rio Negro (Black River) by 7–0. Rio Negro demanded revenge in another match. Curiously, the terms of the revenge stated that Sílvio Machado (he scored five goals in the first match) could not play. Despite that, Santa Cruz accepted the challenge. Carlindo, who substituted Sílvio Machado, scored six goals and Santa Cruz won again by 9–0. A subsequent victory over the Western Telegraph Company team, very famous at the time, made the popularity of Santa Cruz increase even more.

The club was almost closed in its very first year. Some members proposed to use the club funds to buy a sugarcane juice extractor. Alexandre Carvalho (see members above) violently disapproved of such an offensive proposal and saved the club. "Santa Cruz was born to live forever", he would have said.

In early 20th century Recife, football was regarded as an elite sport. It was played mostly by upper-class boys and by the workers of English companies that operated in Recife. At that time racism was common and Afro-Brazilians were not allowed to play football. Santa Cruz, however, was the first team in Pernambuco to accept them. Lacraia, was the first one. This fact contributed to the popularity of the team, as black people are numerous in Brazilian population.

In 1915, there was the greatest comeback ever seen in a football match in Brazil. At the Aflitos stadium, Santa Cruz was trailing by a 5 – 1 score against América (Pernambuco), however it scored six goals in the final 15 minutes.

In 1917, the club was accepted into the Pernambucan Sport League, the old name of the Pernambucan Football Federation.

On January 30, 1919, Santa Cruz beat Botafogo team of Rio de Janeiro on the Malaquias field by 3–2. Alberto Santos-Dumont, the airplane pioneer, was in Recife, but was unnoticed: Santa Cruz's victory took everyone's attention. On January 31, the Jornal Pequeno (Small Newspaper) printed in the headlines: "Botafogo Futebol Clube is beaten by the home boys by 3–2." It was the first time that a northern-northeastern team beat a team from the south-eastern region of Brazil.

On December 13, 1931, beating Torre by 2–0, Santa Cruz won its first state championship. Tará and Sherlock were the most important players.

On October 10, 1934, the Brazilian National team, which had just arrived home from the 1934 Football World Cup in Italy, played some friendly matches against the major teams of Pernambuco. Sport Recife was defeated 4–2; Náutico was beaten 8–3. Santa Cruz also was defeated 3–1. Because of a ship delay, the Brazilian team could not continue its trip back to Rio de Janeiro. So Santa Cruz asked for a return match. This time, Santa Cruz won by 3–2.

On May 13, 2012, Santa Cruz won the match against Sport Clube do Recife, 3 x 2, and is the Pernambuco Champion in 2012.

1960s and 1970sEdit

During the late 1960s and the 1970s, Santa Cruz achieved greater popularity. Much of that was due to the State Penta-championship that Santa Cruz had won. Moreover, since Santa Cruz's impressive performances in the National championship, the importance of the club was finally recognized beyond the state of Pernambuco.

The participation of Santa Cruz in the National competition lead the club to gain some credibility in 1965 after beating Flamengo by 3–1 in the Maracanã stadium. The club obtained first place in the National Championship's first stage.

In 1972, Pelé played his 1000th match against Santa Cruz.

In 1975, Santa Cruz reached the semifinals of the Brazilian National Championship, a first for a northeastern team. The controversial semi-final against Cruzeiro on December 7 end with Cruzeiro winning 3–2. The club achieved fourth place (their best performance in the National Championship).

In 1977 and 1978, Santa Cruz went unbeaten for 35 games in a row in the Brazilian Championship, the second greatest unbeaten run in the national competition. In the same year, Santa Cruz was the first team to qualify for the 2nd Stage of the National Championship, gaining 20 points. By the end of the competition, Santa Cruz was in fifth place.

A Santa Cruz had the top scoring player of the Pernambucan Championship 25 times up to 2011.

1980s to presentEdit

During the 1980s, Santa Cruz was demoted to the Second Division of the National Championship twice, in 1982 and 1989. Since then the club's performance in national competitions has declined.

In the early 1990s, Santa Cruz won three state championships: 1990, 1993, and 1995. However being in the second division of the National Championship often eclipsed such achievements.

Moreover, in the following years, Santa Cruz had to share the status of champion 5 times in a row with an arch-rival. Santa Cruz was not able to stop Sport Recife winning their 5th successive championship.

Nevertheless, in 1996, Maurício was the top scorer of the 2nd Division Brazilian Championship with 13 goals.

Since the final match in Campeonato Pernambucano 2006 vs. Sport, with which Sport won the championship, the team has experienced a new decline. It was demoted to Second Division in 2006 and then to the Third Division in 2007 after a weak campaign. That latest decline also included elimination from Copa do Brasil 2007 and 2008 by weaker teams at the first round and the downfall into Hexagonal da Morte, the bottom six, in Campeonato Pernambucano 2008, escaping relegation in the seventh match.

Continuing the fall, in September 2008, after another weak campaign, this time in the Third Division, Santa Cruz was relegated to the Fourth Division becoming the first club to fall from First Division to Fourth in three years.

But, in 2011, Santa Cruz started a reaction. The club was eliminated from Copa do Brasil by São Paulo. Santa Cruz won the first game 1–0, but lost in the second game 2–0. On May 15, Santa Cruz won the Campeonato Pernambucano. The final was 2–0 against Sport Recife, and the Arruda had the highest attendance in 2011 in Brazilian football, beating teams like Flamengo, from Rio de Janeiro, and Corinthians, from São Paulo.



The original colors of the club were black and white. However, at that time, the Pernambucan Sport League did not allow the participation of different clubs with the same colors. Thus, the red color was introduced to differentiate from the color pattern of Sport Club Flamengo.

Santa Cruz is also known as O Tricolor (The Tricolor) and its fans as Tricolores.


The original badge (not depicted here) was designed by Teófilo Batista de Carvalho aka Lacraia. The inclusion of red colour in the club patterns is also due to Lacraia.

90-years Commemorative badge

As time passed, the badge design was modified and updated. However the Lacraia's original concept was not much modified.

The current badge contains several stars. The top three-colored stars represent the three Super-championships that Santa Cruz won. The bottom golden stars represent the Penta-championship.


With the adoption of three colors, the striped jersey of Santa Cruz resembled a Coral snake. Due to this, the team is known by the fans as Coral.


The official anthem of the club is widely unknown by the fans. However, a march named O Mais Querido (The Dearest One) by Lourenço da Fonseca Barbosa (Capiba) is very popular and is the de facto anthem.


The team's stadium is in Arruda, a borough of Recife. The official name of the stadium is Estádio José do Rego Maciel, after the name of a former mayor of Recife. However, it is widely known as Estádio do Arruda (Arruda Stadium). The fans call it Arrudão (Big Arruda) or Mundão do Arruda (Great Land of Arruda).

On April 1, 1982 the stadium was re-inaugurated after improvements and enlargement. From the original capacity of 64,000 people, the maximum capacity was then estimated at 110,000. However, due to safety reasons, the maximum audience so far is 90,200 in a Brazil vs Argentina match on March 23, 1994. Since then the official stadium capacity has been reduced to 60,044.[1]

The stadium is also known as the Repúblicas Independentes do Arruda (Independent Republics of Arruda).


International Blue Ribbon 1979






1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1957, 1959, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016


  • Torneio Hexagonal Norte-Nordeste de 1967
1919, 1926, 1937, 1939, 1946, 1947, 1954, 1956, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1976
  • Copa Pernambuco (Pernambuco Cup): 5
2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2019

The Super-ChampionshipEdit

The Pernambucan Football Championship is usually divided into three turns. Each turn is a small championship itself. If a team wins all the three turns then it is automatically declared as champion. If a team wins two turns and another team wins the remaining turn, the championship has a final play-off. Generally, the play-off consists of two matches or three matches. However, if three different teams win each one a turn, the championship has a play-off named Super-championship. The Super-championship consists of a play-off among the three winners of each turn. Super-championships are rare and very prestigious.

The Blue Ribbon. The Blue Ribbon is a prestigious award given by the Brazilian Football Confederation (Confederação Brasileira de Futebol – CBF). Teams that go abroad on tour without being defeated are natural candidates for this recognition.

In the Middle East, Santa Cruz played against the national teams of

Santa Cruz also played

  • Al-Aim (0–3)
  • Nasser Sport Club (2–6)
  • Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia (0–3)

In Europe there were two matches. The first was against Romania national team (2–4), and the second against Paris Saint-Germain (2–2).


Santa Cruz has two major rivals within the city of Recife:

The rivalry between Santa Cruz and Sport is known as Clássico das Multidões, and the rivalry between Santa Cruz and Náutico is known as Clássico das Emoções.

Current squadEdit

As of 22 February 2022

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   BRA Geaze
GK   BRA Jaime
GK   BRA Jefferson (on loan from Náutico)
GK   BRA Kléver
DF   BRA Alex Alves
DF   BRA Eduardo Guedes
DF   BRA Ítalo Melo
DF   BRA Júnior Sergipano
DF   BRA Lucão
DF   BRA Dudu Mandai
DF   BRA Edson Ratinho
DF   BRA Italo Silva
DF   BRA Marcos Martins
MF   BRA Elyeser Maciel
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   BRA Gilberto
MF   BRA João Erick
MF   BRA Matheus Lira
MF   BRA Rodrigo Yuri
MF   BRA Esquerdinha
MF   BRA João Cardoso
MF   BRA João Henrique
MF   BRA Tarcísio
FW   BRA Arian
FW   BRA Mateus Anderson
FW   BRA Matheuzinho
FW   BRA Rafael Furtado
FW   BRA Walter


Notable coachesEdit


  1. ^ "Arruda" (in Portuguese). Templos do Futebol. Retrieved December 1, 2008.

External linksEdit