Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, usually known as Palmeiras, was established in 1914 by a group of Italians. Originally called Palestra Italia, the club still has a large Italian fanbase to this day. The club maintains rivalries with the other big clubs based in the city of São Paulo; Corinthians and São Paulo FC. The rivalry with Corinthians is called the Paulista Derby and is widely considered to be one of the most important derbies in the world.
The year 1942 was hugely significant for the club. After a ruling from the Brazilian government that no football club's name could reference any of the countries which formed the Axis during World War II, the club changed its name from Palestra Italia to Palmeiras. That year, the club also won the Campeonato Paulista, defeating the legendary São Paulo team of the 1940s in the final match.
In total, Palmeiras have won the Campeonato Paulista 22 times, with their most recent victory coming in 2008. They have been crowned national champions eight times, including two successive victories in 1993 and 1994. In 1998 and 2012 they lifted the Copa do Brasil, while in 2000 they earned the Copa dos Campeões, bringing their national trophy count to 11. The club has also enjoyed success on the international front, winning the Copa Libertadores in 1999, defeating Deportivo Cali in the final.
Some of the most notable players to represent the club include World Cup winners like Marcos, Rivaldo, Zinho and Roque Júnior, as well as other Brazilian international players, including Heitor, César Maluco, Edmundo and Alex.
For most of the club's history, Palmeiras have played their home matches at the Estádio Palestra Itália, which closed in 2010. For the last few years, they have been utilising the Estádio do Pacaembu, which holds a capacity of 40,199. In 2013, the club are due to move into their new home, the Arena Palestra Itália, which will hold up to 46,000 spectators.