Wednesday, December 19, 2012
19 December 2004 - Santos Returns To The Top
Santos had been the most dominant Brazilian team of the 1960s, winning six league titles between 1961 and 1968. But the four following decades were relatively barren in terms of major trophies (though they did win the 1998 Copa CONMEBOL). They started a resurgence in the early 2000s, winning a seventh title in 2002, then finishing as runners-up in 2003.
In 2004, led by their top scorers Deivid de Souza (22 goals) and Robinho (21), they started the season's last day in the top spot, one point ahead of Atlético Paranaense. Atlético were at home against relegation-threatened Botafogo, while Santos were at home against Vasco, who were stuck firmly in mid-table.
Needing a win to ensure their title, Santos got off to a quick start with a goal from Ricardinho in the 5th minute. Elano then doubled the lead in the 30th minute. Marco Brito pulled one back for the visitors in the 61st minute, but it was their only goal and the match finished as a 2-1 Santos win.
It was their eighth league title, matching the record set by Palmeiras in 1994. And it remains the current record, as neither team has since added to their total.