Flamengo & Fluminense
Rio de Janeiro’s Fla-Flu clash attracts such large crowds that it is known in Brazil as the Clássico das Multidões – the derby of the masses
According to the famous Brazilian writer Nelson Rodrigues: “Fla-Flu has no beginning. Fla-Flu has no end. Fla-Flu began 40 minutes before time. And then the masses awoke.”
Fluminense were founded in 1902 by the sons of Rio’s elite and their crosstown rivals came into being nine years later when most of Flu’s first team walked out after a row with the club’s board and started a team at Flamengo, which until then was primarily a rowing club.
Since then Flamengo have won the national title five times – to Flu’s four – and the Libertadores Cup once, in 1981.
Flamengo are also one of only five Brazilian sides never to have been relegated, while Flu were in Serie C as recently as 1999.
One of the most famous meetings between the pair was in 1941 and came to be known as “Fla-Flu da Lagoa” (FlaFlu of the Lake).
In the decisive match of the Rio state championship, Flamengo had six minutes left in which to score and win the title.
With Fluminense’s keeper having broken his collarbone, his team-mates ran the clock down by kicking the ball into a nearby lake at every opportunity, requiring a member of Fla’s staff to retrieve the ball by boat.
Those remaining six minutes took over half an hour to complete before the referee finally blew for full time and Flu were crowned champions.
Intense...Anderson of Fluminense gets the better of Flamengo’s Wallace
Passion...fans of Flamengo