One of the most exciting seasons of the Brazilian league ended Thursday with the most stable team of the season defending its title and the club that was home to the late Pelé relegated for the first time.
Palmeiras drew 1-1 at Cruzeiro to be crowned Brazilian champion for the 12th time. The 18-year-old Endrick scored his 11th goal of the season to give Palmeiras an early lead and Nikao equalised in the 80th minute at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte.
According to ESPN, Santos’ relegation followed a 2-1 home loss to Fortaleza, another setback for the club at the stadium where Pelé’s funeral took place in January.
The coastal city team were one of three clubs, along with Sao Paulo and Flamengo, never to have been relegated from Brazil’s top flight but a woeful run of five games without a victory saw them drop to 17th in the standings with 43 points.
This year’s title went to Palmeiras with striker Endrick, set to join Real Madrid, scoring several key goals and rival Botafogo squandering a 13-point lead in the standings.