Ipatinga is one of the smaller clubs who play in the topmost levels of the game in Brazil. The club was founded in 1998 and in a short time, has managed to put itself amongst the big boys. The team is based out of the city of Ipatinga in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil.
Entrepreneur Itair Machado decided to create a football club and chose a ready-made base for his creation. Along with some other members, Machado decided to rename the Novo Cruzeiro Clube and change its name to Ipatinga Futebol Clube. Once the initial part was achieved, the team entered the state championships where, in their very first season, they came second in the second division. Promoted to the first division, the team repeated its finish from the previous year and got another second place. Within two years of its formation, Ipatinga was playing against the biggest names of Brazilian football, in the Serie A, and not only did they survive, they held their own quite well and ended the season in fourth place.
Ipatinga have won the state championship in 2005 although in 2002 and 2006, they missed out on the top spot and ended up second. They have also won the Taca Minas Gerais while in the Copa do Brasil, their best performance has been a third place finish. In 2007, Ipatinha’s Serie B campaign ended with a second place while in 2002, 2005 and 2006, they finished the Serie C seasons in third place.
The Estadio Municipal Epaminondas Mendes Brito is the home ground for the team. The stadium was built in 1982 to hold over 35,000 people and is today, one of the top three stadiums in the state.