April 14, 1912. Three local sportsmen - Francisco Raymundo Marques, Mário Ferraz de Campos and Argemiro de Souza Júnior – lead a meeting at the head office of the Concórdia Club, Rua do Rosário, above the former Suissa bakery and confectionary shop. Their objective: to finalise a new soccer team in their rapidly expanding home city of Santos in the São Paulo region of Brazil.
With the logistics in place, the only thing that requires clarification is the new club’s name. Concórdia, África, Brasil Atlético and several others are considered but rejected. However, the proposal put forward by Edmundo Jorge de Araújo is met with approval and unanimously accepted.
Just hours before the Titanic would sink on her maiden voyage, Santos Futebol Clube was born.
With a team assembled and ready to play, Santos FC made their first appearance on June 23 1912, at Villa Macuco, against a team of locals. Santos won 2-1 with goals scored by Anacleto Ferramenta and Geraule Ribeiro. A series of friendly matches followed and the first official match for the newly formed club occurred on September 15, 1912; a 3-2 win over Santos Athletic Club (later Clube dos Ingleses - the English Club of Santos) at a field located near Avenida Ana Costa. The first goal of the match was scored by Arnaldo Silveira (known as Miúdo), and his strike is considered the first goal in Santos’ history.
Originally taking to the field in blue and white shirts with gold trim - the official plumage of the newly formed club - Santos were forced into a colour change less than a year after formation. Finding it almost impossible to obtain the correct coloured kit for the club, board member Paulo Peluccio suggested the team should play in the more neutral colours of black and white striped shirts and white shorts. A cheaper and far easier to obtain option. His suggestion was adopted
At the beginning of 1913, Santos were invited by the São Paulo State Soccer League to participate in the state championship, the Campeonato Paulista. Santos’ first Paulista match took place on June 1 that year, the club suffering a heavy 8-1 defeat to Germânia. Lessons were quickly learned from that result though and three weeks later, on June 22, Santos won their first match in the competition; a 6-3 victory over the club that would become their most fierce rival; Corinthians.
Gradually building up a strong following and putting specific focus on the development of local youngsters, Santos won their first Paulista in 1935 - two years after Brazilian soccer had turned professional. It would take twenty years for Santos to regain the crown in 1955, a feat they repeated in 1956, but these trophies would be little more than an appetiser for what was to follow.
Aged 15, Edson Arantes do Nascimento made his debut for Santos on 7 September 1956, scoring one goal in a 7–1 friendly victory over Corinthians de Santo André. The first of many. As the ultimate spearhead for a group that would become known as Os Santásticos, Pelé, with formidable support from Gilmar, Mauro, Dorval, Mengálvio, Coutinho and others, would go on to win 22 trophies for Santos between 1959 and 1974. One of footballs greatest ever sides, Santos was twice World Club Champion and twice Copa Libertadores winners during this glittering era.
By 1978, and with Pelé long since departed to New York, Santos built a new Paulista winning side. A second Meninos da Vila (Boys from the Village) team was easy to watch, but the trophy was to be the exception rather than the rule for years to come. A single Paulista in 1984 the only true bright spot in the twenty four years that followed.
In 2002, another youthful Santos side featuring the attacking duo of Diego and Robinho led the team to its first Campeonato Brasileiro in 34 years, repeating the feat two years later. Further trophies continued to arrive and in 2009, a third generation of the Meninos da Vila, led by Neymar and Paolo Henrique Ganso, emerged. In 2011 Santos clinched a third Copa Libertadores, defeating Uruguay’s Penarol in the final, Neymar one of the scorers.
Only a few clubs in world football can claim universal appeal and truly iconic status. Santos FC are one of those. As la Peixe celebrate their centenary, we offer a salute to one of the greatest football clubs on the planet, and wish them the very best of luck for the next 100 years.
Happy birthday Santos, we’ll see you in 2112..........Oh, and find us some more good ones eh?
Please check out our Santos Gallery which you can view here.