Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about São Paulo … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about Brazilian soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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Breaking News

São Paulo Youth Squad
(© Aspire Academy)

What’s up with São Paulo

October 1, 2022: Sao Paulo reached the championship final of the 2022 Copa Sudamericana (South American Cup) but fell to Ecuadorean club Independiente del Valle, 2–0. Sao Paulo had defeated another Brazilian club, Atletico Goianiense, in the semifinals on penalty kicks. Luciano, the team’s star forward, was among the tournament’s top scorers with 5 goals.

October 18, 2021: Midfielder Jonathan Calleri scored the lone goal in a victory against Serie A rival Corinthians. It was the club’s eighth game without a loss, but its first win after six draws in a row.

May 23, 2021: Sao Paulo defeated Palmeiras 2–0 to win its first Campeonato Paulista league championship since 2005. Luan Santos and Luciano scored the team’s goal to secure its 22nd national championship.

February 5, 2021: The club’s top goal scorer, Brenner, was transferred to FC Cincinnati for $15 million. Brenner, began training with Sao Paulo at the age of 11 and is one of the South America’s most exciting young stars.

January 8, 2019: Despite going through four different managers, Sao Paulo finished with a winning record during the 2019 Serie A regular season.

April 16, 2018: São Paulo kicked off the 2018 Campeonato season with a 1–0 victory over Parana. Bruno Alves scored the winning goal.

May 28, 2017: São Paulo’s youth teams swept honors at the Aspire Academy Tri-Series in Doha, Qatar. Anthony Matheus was the star of the tournament, with five goals in three matches.

Série A & Copa do Brasil

  • The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is the top level of soccer in Brazil. Campeonato is Portuguese for Championship. Fans often call Serie A “Brasileirão” for short. There are 20 clubs in Serie A. Each team plays 38 games—one home and one away against the other 19 teams. The clubs with the poorest records are moved down (“relegated”) to Serie B. They are replaced by the top teams in Serie B.

  • The Copa do Brasil (Brazil Cup) is an annual tournament open to teams from all 26 states in Brazil. The competition begins in March and ends in November. The Brazil Cup is a chance for smaller clubs to test their skill against Brazil’s most famous teams. Almost every year, there is at least one huge upset in the tournament.

Collector’s Corner

Leonidas da Silva
(© Panini)

(© El Grafico)

(© Panini)

More treasures from the author’s collection!

  • Leonidas da Silva — Forward
    Leondias da Silva was Brazil’s most famous player when he joined São Paulo at the age of 30. He went on to score 140 goals for the club. Leonidas was most famous for perfecting the bicycle kick. The first time he tried it, the referee wasn’t sure if it was legal or not!

  • Bauer — Midfielder
    Jose Carlos Bauer—known far and wide by his last name alone—was one of the world’s best defensive midfielders in the 1950s. He joined São Paulo’s youth team at age 13 and helped the senior club win six state championships.

  • Canhoteiro — Forward
    In the early years of Brazilian soccer, no left wing was more feared than Canhoteiro (José Ribamar de Oliveira). His games against Pele of Santos FC were legendary. Canhoteiro’s nickname is Portuguese for “left-footed.”

  • Roberto Dias — Defender
    Many soccer fans believe that Roberto Dias was the finest defender in Brazil during the 1960s. He got the job done with quickness and brainpower, and almost never was whistled for rough play. Pele said he was the only opponent who could cover him for a full 90 minutes.

  • Dario Pereyra — Defender
    Dario Pereyra was named captain of Uruguay’s national team at the age of 19. São Paulo paid a then-record price for Pereyra in 1977 and paired him with Oscar (Jose Oscar Bernardi) to form one of the best defenses in South America.

  • Cafu — Midfielder
    The four seasons Cafu played for São Paulo were among the club’s most successful. A midfielder with the speed and creativity of a wing, he was named South American Footballer of the Year in 1994.

  • Rogerio Cenzi — Goalkeeper
    Rogerio Ceni manned the net for São Paulo for more than two decades and helped the club win two Copa Libertadores titles. Ceni often left the goal to take free kicks and penalty kicks. His 131 career goals are the most ever scored by a keeper.

Fun Facts

(© Football Magazine)

Did You Know?

• After Bauer retired as a player from São Paul, he discovered a young player in Africa named Eusebio. The club decided not to sign Eusebio, and he went on to be one of the Top 25 players of all-time.

• São Paulo won its first Brazilian championship in 1977. The club defeated Atletico Mineiro in a thrilling shootout after a scoreless match. More than 100,000 tickets were sold for the game.

• São Paulo won its third Copa Libertadores in 2005. The club beat Atletico Paranaense in a two-game final. The first leg of the final was a 1–1 tie. São Paulo won the second leg 4¬–0, with Marcio Amoroso scoring the winning goal.

• In 2017, Rogerio Ceni was named manager (head coach) of São Paulo F.C.

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