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. Due to their long tradition, they are highly regarded.
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. So, each Brazilian state has its own state championship. As of 2009, most of the state championships start in January and conclude in early May (23 dates assigned to matches).
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. 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.
The state champions and, in some states, the runners-up, are automatically qualified to play in the following year's Copa do Brasil. 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. 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 Brazil
Unrelegated football clubs
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)|
|Baiano||Bahia (1931)||Bahia (1931–), Vitória (1938–)|
|Brasiliense||Gama (1976), Brasiliense (2001)|
|Maranhense*||Sampaio Corrêa (1970)|
|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)|
|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
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