Ceara Sporting Club are a football team based out of Fortaleza in the state of Ceara. When the Brazilian northeastern football teams are accounted for, Ceara always stays near the top of the list; such is its popularity amongst fans that it also has the nickname “O Mais Querido” which means “The most loved”. The club was founded in 1912 as the Rio Branco Football Club. On its first birthday, the team changed its name to the current format.
Over the next five years, Ceara won the Torneios Metropolitanos five times. The team has also won the state championship on 34 occasions along with a 1969 Copa Norte-Nordeste trophy. At the Copa do Brasil, the team finished runner-up in 1994 after being beaten by Gremio. However, it did manage to qualify for the Copa CONMEBOL and became the only club from its state to ever be a part of an international tournament. Ceara have also won the Copa Verao de Recife in 1997. In Futsal, another form of the game at an indoor level, Ceara have won the state championships three years in a row, between 2002 and 2004.
The 10,000 seater Carlos de Alencar Pinto stadium is the team’s homeground although they, at times, play at the Castelao stadium that seats 60,000 or at the Presidente Vargas stadium with a capacity of over 22,000. Some great players like Josimar, Iarley, Mota, Sergio Alves, Gildo and Tiquinho have turned out for the club at various times.