São Paulo – Palmeiras, the “Italian team”, has again won the Brazilian football championship, for the second time in three years and the tenth in its history. But what came out of it at the Arena on the last day of the tournament was not just joy and cheering. The surprise arrival at the football stadium of new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the last day monopolised the attention of the public attending a great sporting event.
The idea of inviting Bolsonaro to Palmeiras’s last championship match against the already relegated Vitoria and with the title mathematically secured came from the club’s president Mauricio Galiotte. “It is well known that the president is a great supporter of ours”, he said. The Brazilian Delegation participated with four Knights. The Dynastic Orders’ ties with Palmeiras are very strong: founded on 26th August 1914 by the Italian colony of the city of São Paulo under the name “Sociedade Esportiva Palestra Itália”, it still uses the Savoy cross as one of its symbols. Its foundation originated from the presence of two Italian teams in Brazil, Pro Vercelli and Turin, which made four young Italians decide to create a team for the Italian colony there.
On 13th September 1942, during the Second World War, the team changed its name to “Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras” for political reasons. In the same year, it conquered the first Paulista title under the new name against São Paulo. The “Palestra” had to change its name due to the precarious situation it found itself in after then president Getúlio Vargas decided to take part in the war with the Allies. In 1951 the team’s first victory came in the first edition of the Copa Rio, which would later be recognised by FIFA as a forerunner of the World Cup for clubs, making Palmeiras the first de facto world champion club.