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Club Profile: Palmeiras

Marcos is a real favourite amongst the Palmeiras fans
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Continuing our look at the clubs of the Brasileirão, today Sambafoot presents a profile of Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.

Palmeiras was founded in 1914 by four Italian men living in Sao Paulo, and were originally named Societa Sportiva Palestra Italia. They even played in a red, white and green uniform, to match the colours of the Italian flag.


However, during World War II, Brazil was on the side of the Allies, and as a result the club was force to change its name due to the Italian connection, and Italy siding with Germany.


They enjoyed great success during the 1960s and 70s, winning the top division six times, the Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo once, and the Campeonato Paulista five times. During this period, the club even became known as the 'Academy' of Brazilian football, due to the high quality of their playing style.


Palmeiras struggled during the 80s, failing to win a trophy, but enjoyed a resurgence in the 90s, with famous Seleção players Rivaldo, Cesar Sampaio and Edmundo helping them to win the Brasileirão in 1993 and 1994. They also won their first and so far only Copa do Brasil in 1998.


In 1999, under famous Brazilian coach Luiz Filipe Scolari, the club won the Copa Libertadores, defeating Deportivo Cali of Colombia on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw. This saw them qualify for the now-defunct Intercontinental Cup, which they lost 1-0 to Manchester United.


One of Palmeiras' most famous players is goalkeeper Marcos. Since making his debut in 1993, he has remained at the club for his entire career, and has gone on to make over 500 appearances, even staying at the club when it was relegated in 2003. He was also the first choice goalkeeper for Brazil when they won the 2002 World Cup.


Nowadays, some of the star names at Palmeiras are Marcos Assuncao, who had a long European career with Roma and Betis; Lincoln, who played for Kaiserslautern, Schalke and Galatasaray, and Jorge Valdivia, who is a regular for Chile and was a part of their 2010 World Cup squad.


They will be hoping to improve on last season's tenth place finish in the Brasileirão, and will rely on the goals of Kleber, who was previously at Dynamo Kiev and scored 13 times in 2010 edition. If he can improve on this total, Palmeiras could have a very fruitful season.


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