The Brazilian national championship is split into four divisions: Série A, B, C and D. There are 20 teams in the Série A (also sometimes called the brasileirão), which play each other twice every season, once home and once away. The team that finishes the season with the most number of points is crowned Champion.
Until a few years back though, the top eight placed teams in the league would enter into a quarter final knockout phase – the winner of the knockout phase was crowned Champion, not the team that accumulated the most points. The fans used to love that and the quarter finals always attracted huge crowds; many people say that the new system is more ‘boring’. I can see the arguments for both systems: the league system is ‘fairer’ but the knockout system is more exciting.
The bottom four teams get relegated from the Série A every season and the final league ranking also determines qualification for the intercontinental competitions.
The Série B also contains 20 teams while Série C and D get a little bit more complex. The national championship season runs from May to December each year. For the latest results and standings, check out the dedicated Série A page.
To see how badly my predictions for this season are going, check out the 2017 Série A preview.