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State football leagues in Brazil are football leagues competed in each of the 26 states of Brazil and in the Federal District. One such league, the Campeonato Paulista, which started in 1902, is the oldest football competition in Brazil.[1] Due to their long tradition, they are highly regarded.[2]

Historically, because of economical or geographical issues, the long distances between important cities of the country made the Brazilian people develop a strong competitive culture within the states.[3] So, each Brazilian state has its own state championship.[4] As of 2009, most of the state championships start in January and conclude in early May (23 dates assigned to matches).[5]

Due to these competitions, some matches between rival clubs of the same state or city have a similar or bigger importance than an interstate match between two important clubs.[3][6] These local matches are called clássicos (classics, or derbies). Some examples are Flamengo-Vasco in Rio de Janeiro; Corinthians-Palmeiras in São Paulo; Atlético Mineiro-Cruzeiro in Minas Gerais; Náutico-Sport in Pernambuco; Grêmio-Internacional in Rio Grande do Sul; Atlético Paranaense-Coritiba in Paraná; Bahia-Vitória in Bahia.[3]

The state champions and, in some states, the runners-up, are automatically qualified to play in the following year's Copa do Brasil.[7] Also, the best placed clubs of each state which are not competing in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Série B or Série C qualify to the same year's Série D.[8] In addition, the best teams in each state league also may qualify to regional cups like the Copa do Nordeste and the Copa Verde.


List of state football leagues in BrazilEdit

Federal unit Championship 2018 Champion
  Acre Campeonato Acriano Rio Branco
  Alagoas Campeonato Alagoano CSA
  Amapá Campeonato Amapaense Ypiranga
  Amazonas Campeonato Amazonense Manaus
  Bahia Campeonato Baiano Bahia
  Ceará Campeonato Cearense Ceará
  Distrito Federal Campeonato Brasiliense Sobradinho
  Espírito Santo Campeonato Capixaba Serra
  Goiás Campeonato Goiano Goiás
  Maranhão Campeonato Maranhense Moto Club
  Mato Grosso Campeonato Mato-Grossense Cuiabá
  Mato Grosso do Sul Campeonato Sul-Mato-Grossense Operário
  Minas Gerais Campeonato Mineiro Cruzeiro
  Pará Campeonato Paraense Remo
  Paraíba Campeonato Paraibano Botafogo (PB)
  Paraná Campeonato Paranaense Atlético Paranaense
  Pernambuco Campeonato Pernambucano Náutico
  Piauí Campeonato Piauiense Altos
  Rio de Janeiro Campeonato Carioca Botafogo
  Rio Grande do Norte Campeonato Potiguar ABC
  Rio Grande do Sul Campeonato Gaúcho Grêmio
  Rondônia Campeonato Rondoniense Real Ariquemes
  Roraima Campeonato Roraimense São Raimundo (RR)
  Santa Catarina Campeonato Catarinense Figueirense
  São Paulo Campeonato Paulista Corinthians
  Sergipe Campeonato Sergipano Sergipe
  Tocantins Campeonato Tocantinense Palmas

Unrelegated football clubsEdit

The first column of this table lists all clubs that have continuously played in their premier state league since debuting more than ten years ago. The second column contains these teams that have continuously played at their premier state league for 75 years or more. Clubs that are in bold are founding members of their state league.

Note that in 2002, Santos and América Mineiro competed in the Torneio Rio – São Paulo and Copa Sul-Minas, respectively, and did not qualify for the superchampionship phase of their state league through these tournaments, thus ending their uninterrupted spell.

Championship Continuously in state league since debut (min. 10 years) Continuously in state league for 75 years or more
Acriano Rio Branco (1947), Atlético Acreano (1952)
Alagoano Corinthians Alagoano (1998), Murici (1999)
Amapaense Santos (1998)
Baiano Bahia (1931) Bahia (1931–), Vitória (1938–)
Brasiliense Gama (1976), Brasiliense (2001)
Goiano Goiás (1944)
Maranhense* Sampaio Corrêa (1970)
Mato-Grossense Luverdense (2004)
Sul-Mato-Grossense CENE (2000)
Mineiro Atlético Mineiro (1915–), Cruzeiro (1921–) Atlético Mineiro (1915–), América Mineiro (1915–2001), Cruzeiro (1921–)
Paraense* Paysandu (1965), Remo (1965), São Raimundo (1998), Águia de Marabá (1999)
Paranaense Coritiba (1915), J. Malucelli (1999) Coritiba (1915–), Atlético Paranaense (1924–)
Pernambucano Santa Cruz (1915), Náutico (1916) Santa Cruz (1915–), Náutico (1916–)
Carioca Botafogo (1906), Fluminense (1906), Flamengo (1912), Vasco da Gama (1921) Botafogo (1906–), Fluminense (1906–), America (1908–2008),
Flamengo (1912–), Bangu (1915–2004), Vasco da Gama (1921–)
Potiguar ASSU (2002), Santa Cruz (2005)
Gaúcho Veranópolis (1994)
Rondoniense Genus (1998)
Roraimense* Roraima (1995), GAS (1996)
Catarinense Chapecoense (1974), Joinville (1976)
Paulista Palmeiras (1916) Corinthians (1916–), Palmeiras (1916–), Santos** (1916–2001), São Paulo (1936–)
Sergipano* Confiança (1969), Itabaiana (1969), Sergipe (1969)
Tocantinense Tocantinópolis (1993), Palmas (1997)

*Information from these state leagues is only available from the date indicated after the first team.
**Santos withdrew from the 1920 Paulista.

Source: RSSSF Brasil

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Campeonato Paulista 1902" (in Portuguese). Campeões do Futebol. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  2. ^ Soares, Thales (February 2, 2008). "Apesar da fórmula desigual, cariocas ainda batem recordes" (in Portuguese). JB Online. Retrieved February 19, 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Duarte, Orlando; Jairo Giovenardi (February 2, 2008). "O diferencial no futebol brasileiro" (in Portuguese). Diário de Sorocaba. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  4. ^ "Campeonatos Estaduais (State Championships)" (in Portuguese). RSSSF Brasil. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  5. ^ Azevedo, José Geraldo (October 8, 2008). "CBF modifica calendário de 2009" (in Portuguese). Justiça Desportiva. Retrieved February 19, 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ Marques, Dassler (December 10, 2008). "Cenário redimensionado" (in Portuguese). Trivela. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  7. ^ "Copa do Brasil de 2009" (PDF) (in Portuguese). CBF. December 17, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 6, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  8. ^ "CBF enxuga Série C e cria a D em 2009" (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. April 9, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.