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Cruzeiro Esporte Clube (commonly known as Cruzeiro and nicknamed Raposa (English: Fox), is one of the biggest Brazilian (and South American) multisport clubs; based in Barro Preto, Belo Horizonte. Although they compete in a number of different sports, Cruzeiro is mostly known for its association football team. It plays in the Campeonato Mineiro, the state of Minas Gerais's premier state league, as well as in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, the second tier of the Brazilian football league system.
The club was founded on January 2, 1921 by sportsmen from the Italian colony of Belo Horizonte, some members of Yale Atlético Clube and many Italian immigrant workers decided to create a new club called Societá Sportiva Ypiranga, changing the name months later to Palestra Mineiro and after one game to Palestra Itália. As a result of the Second World War, the Brazilian federal government banned the use of any symbols referring to the Axis powers in 1942. The club board members rebaptized the club with the name of a leading national symbol: the Cruzeiro do Sul's constellation. Cruzeiro play their home games at the Mineirão stadium, which currently holds up to 62,547 spectators. Cruzeiro's regular kit colours are blue shirts and white shorts with blue socks (although the team has worn white socks with their home kit for certain periods of time). Umbro are the side's current kit manufacturers.
Cruzeiro is one of Brazil's most successful clubs despite its relatively young age (compared with other major Brazilian clubs). It won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A for the first time in 1966, after defeating Santos' Os Santásticos in the final series. Cruzeiro has won the Brasileirão again in 2003, 2013 and 2014, obtaining the best campaign in the present format of the competition. Cruzeiro has also won record six Copa do Brasil titles and the Campeonato Mineiro 37 times. Cruzeiro won the defunct state competitions Taça Minas Gerais five times, the Copa dos Campeões Mineiros twice, Copa Sul Minas twice, the Torneio Início 10 times and the Supercampeonato Mineiro once. A Raposa also obtained many international laurels such as two Copa Libertadores, two Supercopa Libertadores, one Recopa Sudamericana, one Copa de Oro and one Copa Master de Supercopa. Cruzeiro is the only Brazilian club to complete the Domestic Treble, a feat accomplished in 2003 after winning the Campeonato Mineiro, the 2003 Copa do Brasil and the 2003 Brasileirão.
Cruzeiro hold a long-standing rivalry against Atlético Mineiro. It has contributed many key and famous players towards Brazil's FIFA World Cup squads such as Piazza, Tostão, Nelinho, Ronaldo, Luisão, Alex de Souza, Maicon, Cris, Jairzinho, Rivaldo, Edílson among so many others.
Cruzeiro was relegated to Brazilian serie B for the first time in history on 8 December 2019, after losing to Palmeiras with the score of 2–0 at home.
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