THE ROADRUNNER

THE ROADRUNNER

THE ROADRUNNER

The Relegation Of Santos

2023: the year Pelé died, and it seems that his team has gone with him. 
Agência de Notícias do Acre, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Agência de Notícias do Acre, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

One easy way to know who the soccer fan in the room it is by saying “Santos.” That name probably makes most people think of George Santos, but any true football fan knows there’s only one true Santos and it’s not from New York. The real Santos is a Brazilian soccer team based off of the port city of Santos, São Paulo.

Old Santos logo Santos Futebol Clube, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1912, the club has grown and become a pillar in Brazilian soccer and culture. From its origins, Santos FC was more than an ordinary club. Early successes in state championships laid the groundwork for a tradition of excellence that would follow the club for decades to come.

The 1960s marked the golden era for Santos, largely thanks to Pelé, a name that means more to the sport than any other ever has and likely ever will. Under his luminescence, Santos FC not only dominated domestic competitions but also conquered at an international level, winning the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup. This era was so victorious, it transformed Santos into a hallmark of football and made the team known around the world.

Even post-Pelé, Santos continued to produce out-of-the-ordinary talents like Neymar Jr, Robinho, and Rodrigo. The club’s unmatched ability to generate talent has made their youth academy famous all over the world. 

The name Santos FC is essentially a byword for a footballing philosophy and play style that is based on skill, joy, and ruthless attack.

Old Santos logo
Santos Futebol Clube, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

But 2023 marked an unforeseeable shift in this narrative of success and glory. It was a year stained with misery, as it saw the passing of Pelé, the club’s greatest icon. And in a twist of fate that seemed almost symbolic, Santos FC experienced their worst season in history. The team from São Paulo had their first relegation from Brazil’s Serie A, an event that stunned the football world. 

You’re probably wondering what is relegation? It’s the demotion to a lower league based on poor performance – in most countries, the worst teams in the standings are kicked out of the league and replaced by teams from lower divisions. 

 For Santos FC, a club accustomed to glory, this was a fall from grace that was as dramatic as it was historic. The decisive match against Fortaleza ended in a 2-1 loss, sealing a fate that seemed unimaginable for a club of Santos’ stature.

Santos Futebol Clube, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The aftermath of this relegation was chaotic. Fans reacted with shock, anger, and despair. The streets of Santos witnessed scenes of chaos and violence, as supporters grappled with the reality that their team will now play second-division football.   

The night of horrors began once the game was over;  fan riots took over the streets around the stadium. Fans set fire to cars, buses, and even buildings. This led to intervention by the military police.

Relegation in a country like Brazil is a challenge that goes beyond the field, impacting the club’s prestige, financial stability, and prospects.

For Santos FC, relegation is not just about playing in a lower division; it’s about a significant financial hit, reduced global visibility, and a stain on its history that will never wash away. 

2023 was the year Pelé died, and it seems that his team (Santos) has gone with him. 

The story of Santos FC’s relegation is more than a tale of a team getting relegated, it’s a reminder of why we love this football. We love it because it’s a sport where triumph and despair are two sides of the same coin.

As Santos FC embarks on this journey to the second division, their story remains a nudge to that old proverb, the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • GiRusso, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

  • caveira43, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

  • caveira43, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

  • GiRusso, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

  • El Gráfico, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Santos trophy room

  • El Gráfico, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • GiRusso, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Navigate Left
Navigate Right


Pictures to show you just how big Santos is.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Nathan Azevedo Espindula
Nathan Azevedo Espindula, Editor and Chief
Who is Nathan Espindula? Click to find out
Donate to THE ROADRUNNER
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All TheRoadrunner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *