Brazilian Cup

Athletico Paranaense are the defending Champions after winning the 2019 edition of the Copa do Brasil.

The beauty of the Copa do Brasil, like some national cup competitions in other countries, is that it can throw up fixtures between the big teams and minnows from obscure places. The difference is that in Brazil, obscure can be really obscure, and each of Brazil’s 26 states enters a team into the competition, occassionally you’ll get one of the big teams from Rio or Sao Paulo taking on a team from a far flung part of Brazil (like the other side of the Amazon jungle).

It has some of the same magic as the FA Cup in England (albeit with a shorter history) – giant killings are common and it gives obscure teams a moment in the spotlight. The prize money is handy too and it gives teams an automatic route into the Copa Libertadores group stages for the next year. Because of this, the big teams take it seriously, sometimes even more seriously than the league.

Unlike England, where the Premier League sides enter the FA Cup in the third round, the Serie A teams in Brazil enter the competition in the first round, as long as they are not in the Copa Libertadores. Those in the Libertadores enter at a later stage (normally round five). The draw ensures that the big teams don’t face each other in the early rounds, but with the games coming so early in the season and with players lacking fitness, there can be surprises.

For a full list of games, check out the Globoesporte Copa do Brasil page.

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