Gremio Foot-ball Porto Alegrense are a Brazilian football team based out of Porto Alegre in the Rio Grande do Sul. The team was founded in 1903 and has since, grown to become one of the top teams in the country. Ranked as the number one team in Brazil, by the CBF, Gremio is officially the third ranked team in the country, according to the CONMEBOL.
Candido Dias, was an entrepreneur from Sao Paulo who, fascinated by the sport, went to watch an exhibition match at Porto Alegre. During the match, the ball deflated and since Dias was the owner of the only football in town, he lent the playing teams the match-ball. Once the match was over, Dias went to the players and discussed on how to go about starting a club. 8 days later, 32 people, including Candido Dias, founded the Gremio Foot-ball Porto Alegrense. The team’s first couple of games was for the Wanderpreis trophy wherein Gremio came out on top. The trophy, won in 1904, is still on display in the club’s museum.
Gremio share an intense rivalry with Internacional, another major team from the city, however, on Internacional’s debut, Gremio thrashed them 10-0, understandably so. The “Gre-Nal” derby is said to be one of the most fierce and exhilarating matches in the world.
Gremio was actively involved in creating the state association and organizing the state cup, which they have held manyatimes in their history. Similarly, Gremio have had many other pioneering achievements in the past that included feats like beating Uruguay’s 1911 national squad by 2 goals to 1. In 1931, Gremio had floodlights installed on their ground, the Baixada stadium, and soon was the first team to play matches at night. In 1935, Gremio beat Santos 3-2 to become the first team from Rio Grade do Sul to beat a team from the state of Sao Paulo. When Gremio defeated Flamengo 3-1 at the Maracana, they became the first side, outside of Sao Paulo, to do so, in 1950.
Gremio has had an incredible performance at the international level where they have defeated teams from almost all the South American countries and even teams in Europe. In 1954, Gremio bought the Estadio Olimpico, the biggest privately owned stadium in the country.
There has never ben a dearth of titles for the team from Brazil. Whether at the international or national level, Gremio have always been setting the pace for others. In 1983, Gremio won the Toyota Intercontinental Cup as well as the prestigious copa Libertadores. In 1995, Gremio repeated their Copa Libertadores triumph and the very next year, won the Copa Sudamericana. Although Gremio have won the second division only once, in 2005, they have won the first division twice, in 1981 and in 1996. They are four-time champions of the Copa do Brasil while the Supercopa do Brasil found its way to Gremio in 1990. Gremio have also won the 1999 edition of the Copa do Sul and the Sul-Brasiliero from 1962.
Coming down to the state level, Gremio have won the state championships 35 times while they have been crowned city champions 31 times. Gremio also won the Wanderpreiss cup three times in a row, starting in their debut year as a football club. Gremio have also won numerous other titles like the 1986 & 1987 editions of the Phillips Cup, the 1985 Torneio de Rotterdam, the Copa Rio de la Plata in 1968, the Copa Renner from 1996 and the Trofeu RBS 25 Anos from 1988, amongst others.
Gremio plays their home games at the Estadio Olimpico Monumental, a stadium inaugurated in 1954. The stadium underwent a couple of structural changes that included a second ring of stands being added in, in 1980. The stadium holds a record of over 98,400 spectators attending a single game in 1981.
Gremio has seen some fantastic players through the years with the likes of Adilson, Anderson Polga, Batista, Emerson, Francisco Arce and the most famous of them all, Ronaldino Gaucho.