Vasco da Gama are one of the top Brazilian football teams that plays out of Rio de Janeiro. Vasco, like most other clubs in its time, was started as a rowing club to pursue one of the most popular sports of the time. Four Portuguese immigrants decided to start their own club to avoid traveling to Niteroi to pursue their passion. They named the club after the famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. The name was chosen mainly keeping in mind the purpose of the club and the history associated with Vasco da Gama, a sailor who made his way to India.
The team plays its home games at the Sao Janurio, which has a capacity of 36,000 people although for the big matches, the team shifts base to the massive Maracana. Although the club is mainly recognized for its exploits in football, they do support other sports such as Basketball, swimming, rowing, etc.
Vasco are one of the more successful teams in the country. They have won 7 international trophies including the Torneio Octogonal Rivadavia Correa Meyer in 1953; the Tournament of Paris in 1957; the South American Club Championships in 1948; the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious of them all, in 1998; The Mercosur cuo in 2000; the Golden Cup in 1987, and the Tap Cup in 1987 as well.
At the national level, Vasco have been crowned champions of Brazil 4 times, in 1974, 1989, 1997 and 2000. They have also won the Rio-sao Paulo tournament three times, in 1958, 1966 and 1999. At the state and regional level, Vasco have won many more honours that include 22 state championship titles, 11 Guanabara Trophies, 9 Rio trophies, two Rio Cups in a row in 1992 and 1993 and one second division state championship title. Besides these victories, Vasco have also won a number of other competitions of the likes of the 1980 Jose Fernandes Tournament, the Joao Havelange Tournament in 1981 and 1993, the Erasmo Martins Pedro Tournament in 1973 and many more. They have won 22 other international titles that are relatively smaller in nature, like the IV Centenary Tournament, the Seville City Tournament, the Ramon de Carranza Trophy and others.
During their years at the top of Brazilian football, Vasco have had a number of gifted players playing for them including the likes of Edmundo, Sonny Anderson, Bebeto, Fausto, Gilberto Silva, Juninho Pernambucano, Juninho Paulista and Helton. Even Romario, one of the best strikers to come out of the country, has played for Vasco. Other great past names include Vava and Vagner Love.