Two of the main soccer’s teams of Brazil are disputing in the justice the right of stay with a non official trophy, the so called Troféu das Bolinhas, something like “trophy of the little balls”, that was offered by a state-owned bank, the Caixa Econômica Federal, to the team that first would conquer three consecutive national titles or five alternated.
The tangle began in 1987, when the Flamengo, that already had three titles, won the Brazilian championship and, by the strange regulation, should face the Sport Recife, that had been champion of a sort of second division.
With the support of the others clubs that disputed the first league, Flamengo, that had players as Zico and Renato Gaúcho, refused to playing one more decisive game. During years, the entire country was discussing the about who was the Brazilian champion of 1987.
A manager of the Brazilian Confederation of Soccer, CBF, made a comment that the champion of that year used black and red jersey and had a Zico wearing the t-shirt number 10. The Sport Recife, that had never disputed a national title, used the same colors and, by coincidence its t-shirt 10 player was called Zico, although he was no way talented as the star of Flamengo and the Brazilian national team.
When the Flamengo conquered, in 1992, what would be his fifth national title, CBF had finally decided that the champion of 1987 was the Sport, a decision that was accepted only for the supporters of the team of Recife and by the rivals of Flamengo.
The argument about the trophy came back to the surface when the São Paulo won three continued titles, 2006, 2007 and 2008. As already it to have been champion in 1977, 1986 and 1991, the team was prepared to receive the prize by the two criteria, since the title from 1987 of the Flamengo was not recognized.
This week, finally the São Paulo was seeking its trophy, even though its rival still fight in the justice about the decision of the bank of delivering the prize to the another team. A curiosity is that in the beginning of this year, CBF decided to recognize the national titles conquered from 1959.
Up to that time, the tally began in 1971. With the change, the Santos started being the first team to conquer five titles (consecutives, to boot), with the victories between 1961 and 1965 of the spectacular team of Pelé, that before of that recognition had no title of Brazilian champion. But looks like the team was not interested for the trophy of the little balls.