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Santa Cruz Football Club

Created on 3 February 1914, the Santa Cruz Football Club was conceived by a group of boys who played football on the pavement by the Igreja de Santa Cruz (Church of the Holy Cross), in the Boa Vista neighbourhood of Recife. The name of the team is an allusion to the place where it began.

Santa Cruz Football Club

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Last update: 21/03/2020

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Santa Cruz! Santa Cruz!
Junta mais esta vitória (Add another victory)
Santa Cruz! Santa Cruz!
Ao teu passado de glória. (To your glorious past)
(Song O Mais Querido – ‘The Dearest’ – composed by Capiba)

Created on 3 February 1914, the Santa Cruz Football Club was conceived by a group of boys who played football on the pavement by the Igreja de Santa Cruz (Church of the Holy Cross), in the Boa Vista neighbourhood of Recife. The name of the team is an allusion to the place where it began.

Its first board was made up of:
• President: José Luiz Vieira.
• Vice-president: Quintino Miranda Paes Barreto.
• 1st Secretary: Luiz Gonzaga Uchoa Barbalho.
• 2nd Secretary: Augusto Dornelas Câmara.
• Treasurer: Augusto Franklin Ramos.
• Director of Sports: Orlando Dias dos Santos.

Santa Cruz’s first game was against Rio Negro on the Derby field, where today is the Pernambuco Military Police’s football field. The team consisted of Waldemar Monteiro; Abelardo Costa and Humberto Barreto; Raimundo Diniz, Osvaldo Ramos and José Bonfim; Quintino Miranda, Sílvio Machado, José Vieira, Augusto Ramos and Osvaldo Ferreira.

Rio Negro was hammered 7–0. They demanded a rematch, imposing various conditions on Santa, who accepted and delivered an even heavier defeat to their opponents by a score of 9–0.

Originally white-and-black, ‘Santa’, as it is called, had to change their colours the following year, 1915, when they joined the Liga Sportiva Pernambucana (Pernambuco Sporting League – LSP), today called the Federação Pernambucana de Futebol (Pernambuco Football Federation – FPF).  Esporte Clube Flamengo, created on 20 April 1914, also had black and white as their official colours and did not want to give them up. As neither of the two would budge, a draw was held to decide who would have to change their colours. Santa lost and had to change, becoming tri-coloured by adding red to their uniform.

Santa Cruz’s first emblem was created in 1915 by Teófilo B. de Carvalho, a forward in the team, better known as Lacraia. The current emblem has since been redesigned: in the upper part, three stars were added to commemorate the Tri-Super Championship (1957, 1976 and 1983); in the lower part, five stars representing the five consecutive Pernambuco Championships (1969 to 1973), and the year 1914 (the club’s creation).

Santa has been the only team to participate in all the Pernambuco championships since 1915. Náutico and Sport only began to participate in 1916.

In 1917, Santa Cruz was one of the participants in the largest “come-back” in Pernambuco football, in a championship game against América, held at the Aflitos field. At the beginning of the second half, Santa was losing 5–0. After a positional switch between the player Pitota and the right-wing Anísio, the Santa Cruz team, in fifteen minutes, managed to reverse the scoreboard to 7–5.

Playing for Santa from 25 July 1914, Alcindo Wanderley, known as Pitota, was the first idol of Pernambuco football.

On 30 January 1919 was another huge feat by the Pernambuco tricolours. They beat Botafogo, from Rio de Janeiro, by a score of 3–2. It was the first victory by a team from the Northeast over a team from the South of the country. Botafogo’s invitation was provided by Sport Club de Recife for the inauguration of the new wooden stands in their Malaquias Avenue stadium.

Santa played with Ilo Just; Jorge and Bebé; Zé de Castro, Teófilo and Manoel Pedro; Nequinho, Miranda, Tiano, Pitota and Eurico

Since that time, Santa has had many talented players in its roster, such as Pitota, Tiano, Tará, Zequinha, Eloi de Paula, Aldemar, Paraíba, Faustino, Rudimar, Minuca, Gildo, Huimaitá, Mário Pelé, Lua, Joãozinho, Terto, Fernando Santana, Erb, Zé Carlos, Nunes, Neinha, Ramon, Luciano, Givanildo Oliveira, Ricardo Rocha, Rinaldo, Baiano, Marlon, Marco Antonio, Lula, Zé do Carmo, Rivaldo, Válber and others.
The first winner of the Torneio Início (Starting Tournament), in 1919, they also won the competition in 1926, 1937, 1939, 1946-1947, 1954, 1956, 1969, 1971-1972 and 1976.

In 1931, after several runners-up titles, Santa Cruz won the title of Pernambuco champion for the first time, and then managed a hat-trick of titles (1931-1933). The 1931 team was made up by Dadá; Sherlock and Fernando; Doía, Julinho and Zezé; Aloísio, Neves, Tará, Lauro and Estevão.

From the 1940s, Santa had been renting land in the Beberibe neighbourhood for its base. In 1954, the then-mayor of Recife, José do Rego Maciel, granted the ownership of the land to the Club. With the large mobilisation of supporters, campaigns, investor participation, the sale of seats and patrimonial titles, in 1965 the construction began of what is today the second-largest private stadium in Brazil, the José do Rego Maciel Stadium, also known as the Colosso do Arruda (Arruda Colosseum), with a capacity of 60,000 spectators, and opened on 4 June 1966.

In 1957, against a team from Sport Club de Recife, Santa Cruz won one of its most important titles, the super-championship, after a 10-year drought. In the same decade, they managed another championship in 1959.

The 1970s were the glory days for the team from Arruda: they won five consecutive championships from 1969 to 1973 and other titles in 1976, 1978 and 1979 – in other words: seven titles in ten years. There was frustration at not having won six titles in a row, in 1974, which would have removed the original title from Náutico.

From 1931 to 2010, Santa Cruz won 24 Pernambuco football championships in these years: 1931-1933, 1935, 1940, 1946-1947, 1957 (super-champion),
1959, 1969-1973 (five consecutive championships), 1976, 1978-1979, 1983, 1986-1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2005.

The games against Sport are called ‘Derbies of the Masses’, against  Náutico ‘Emotion Derbies’ and against América ‘Friendship Derbies’.
With an estimate of over a million supporters, it is the team with the most number of supporters in Pernambuco.

Below is the official anthem of the Santa Cruz Football Club, composed by the Valença Brothers in 1952.


Nos anais, nos calendários (In the annals, on the calendars)
Fiquem sempre por lembrança (Will always be remembered)
Teus lauréis extraordinários (Your extraordinary laurels)
De bravura e de pujança (Of courage and strength)
Nos esportes tua história (In sport your history)
É orgulho a que faz jus (Is a reason to be proud)
Este símbolo de glória (This symbol of glory)
Que é teu nome Santa Cruz (That is your name Santa Cruz)

Uma voz proclama e canta (A voice proclaims and sings)
É a voz das multidões (It is the voice of the masses)
Santa Cruz, querido Santa! (Santa Cruz, dear Santa!)
Campeão dos campeões (Champion of champions)

Esta multidão tamanha (This great crowd)
Gente pobre que te aclama (Poor people who hail you)
Lembra o ouro que se apanha (Remember the gold that is won)
Nos cascalhos e na lama (In the gravel and the mud)
Esse ouro é sangue, é vida (This gold is blood, it is life)
É delírio, raça, e amor (It is delirium, flesh and love)
A bandeira tão querida (The dearest flag)
A bandeira tricolor. (The tricolour flag)

In 1957, Capiba composed the song O Mais Querido, which supporters adopted as the unofficial anthem and nowadays is the more widely-known and famous than the official anthem of the club.


Santa Cruz! Santa Cruz!
Junta mais esta vitória (Add one more victory)
Santa Cruz! Santa Cruz!
Ao teu passado de glória. (To your glorious past)

És o querido do povo (You are the darling of the people)
O terror do Nordeste no gramado (The terror of the Northeast on the field)
Tuas vitórias de hoje (Your victories today)
Nos lembram vitórias do passado (Remind us of past victories)
Clube querido da multidão (Darling club of the masses)
Tu és o Supercampeão! (You are the Super-champion!)

Recife, 7 December 2010.
Translated By Peter Leamy, October 2010

sources consulted

ALVES, Givanildo. História do futebol pernambucano (1903/1950). Recife: Governo de Pernambuco, Secretaria de Educação e Cultura, 1978.


FERREIRA, José Maria. História dos campeonatos: memória do futebol pernambucano (1915 a 2007). Recife: CEPE, 2007.

HINO oficial do Santa Cruz Futebol Clube. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 7 dez. 2010.

A HISTÓRIA ilustrada do futebol brasileiro. [S.l.]: Edobras, [1968?]. v. 2.

SANTA Cruz Futebol Clube. Dsiponível em: . Acesso em: 7 dez. 2010.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Santa Cruz Football Club . Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009