This match had a new atmosphere for a Flamengo vs. Sport Recife for the first time. All because of the controversy involving the 1987 season that I'll try to sum up, but I already recommend all of you look it up online. The CBF (Brazilian Confederation of Football) was going through an economic crysis that even led its president to say that the Confederation couldn't organize a national championship. After a real mess of a 1986 Campeonato Brasileiro, the relationship of some important clubs with the CBF was already shaken. The most important clubs founded the Clube dos 13 (The 13 Club), an organization independent from the CBF that would creat its own National Championship inspired in major leagues like NHL, NBA, MLB, etc. The founding members were Atlético Mineiro, Bahia, Botafogo, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Fluminense, Grêmio, Internacional, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo and Vasco da Gama. The Clube dos 13 named the tournament "Copa União" and it was set to be an "All-Star Championship" with only the "best of all teams". Coritiba, Goiás and Santa Cruz were invited to participate as well. The only national champion not participating was Guarani. The CBF, after seeing the money and power that it would lose to the Clube dos 13 and pressure for the clubs left out of the Copa União and entitled to participate in a top tier national championship in 1987, decided to create its own championship and unify it with the Clube dos 13's cup. The CBF decided that the Copa União wouldn't be an independent championship anymore, now it would be only a stage to the Brazilian National Championship and was called "Módulo Verde" ("Green Module"). The Confederation created the "Módulo Amarelo" ("Yellow Module") and decided that the 2 finalists of each module would face each other in a "Final Four" for the true national champion title. Although the Clube dos 13 said in public that its members wouldn't agree with these terms, Eurico Miranda (then the president of Vasco da Gama), representing the organization, agreed with it in a meeting with the CBF before all the championships started - probably, for political reasons. When Flamengo and Internacional got into the Copa União's finals, though, the Clube dos 13 reiterated that the Copa União (that was a huge sucess) was the only true First Division National Championship and its teams would not play the CBF's "Final Four". In the other championship, Sport Recife and Guarani were the finalists and, after a 11x11 in the penalty shootouts, they decided to share the "Yellow Module" title - later, the Guarani would give up of the title in favor of the other team. Since Flamengo and Internacional - both following the Clube dos 13's instructions - didn't play the "Final Four", Sport Recife and Guarani played to decide the National Championship sanctioned by the CBF. Sport won 1x0 in the final match and was the first important title of the club. The Clube dos 13 only recognized Flamengo as the true national first division champion (after a victory over Internacional in the Copa União finals), with Sport being labelled as "second division champion" by the clubs' organization (and the media in the South and Southeast regions) and the Mengo pursued that recognition. Flamengo was recognized ultimately as 1987 National First Division Champion by the Brazilian "sport justice". Sport Recife then answered by filing a lawsuit in the Brazilian Federal Justice, since the Brazilian "sport justice" isn't a "real" court. The Recife team was ultimately recognized as the true 1987 National Champion, although the controversy perpetuated among fans. In 2011, a new chapter in this long story was written: Ricardo Teixeira, then president of the CBF, released an official statement by the Confederation recognizing Flamengo and Sport Recife as both 1987 National First Division Champions, elevating the status of the 1987 Copa União. Sport Recife, once again, filed a lawsuit at the Federal Justice, this time saying that only the Leão team could be considered National Champions and the sharing would disrespect the past definitive decision. Finally, in 2018, the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) decided definitively in favor of Sport Recife. At the moment, at least, the controversy is only among the fans. All that history turned Flamengo and Sport into rivals, with the Rubronegro Carioca being the most hated team by the Leão do Norte fans by far. The Clube dos 13 was influent enough to name the 1988 championship as Copa União too, now fully sanctioned by the CBF and with many more clubs than the original tournament. This 1988 match was treated as the "1987 Final" , even though the Mengo would play without key players from the Copa União title like Jorginho, Leandro, Renato Gaúcho (1987 MVP - Bola de Ouro) and Andrade, these last two both signed for AS Roma. Sport Recife had a hard-working team that played with a lot of heart and featured good players like Robertinho, Ribamar, Betão and the always elusive Édson.
Like this match? Share it!