There are 4,500 miles between SE25 and the Estadio Municipal O Carneirão, but there play footballers wearing a quasi-Palace crest for a team called São Paulo Crystal.
Formed in 2008 as Lucena Sport Clube, São Paulo Crystal rebranded in 2017 when Múcio Fernandes became president. In doing so he renamed Lucena to São Paulo Crystal, honouring both São Paulo Futebol Clube, based 1,600 miles away, and Crystal Palace.
The team’s badge is based on Palace’s, with an eagle on a ball in a circular crest, much like the Palace for Life Foundation logo, and they play in São Paulo colours.
Beyond that, the connections seem to stop. So why did a Brazilian club pay homage to Palace? Executive Director of Football Arthur Ferreira tries to explain.
“The Club President, Mr Múcio Fernandes, already had a connection with football,” he says. “The family business, an engenho de cachaça – a typical Brazilian distilled-drink factory – of which the president is a partner, had an amateur soccer team since 1965, named after São Paulo.
“In addition, the company also had a social project, where children and teenagers from low-income families participated in soccer classes, a project that still exists today.
“In 2017, the opportunity arose to acquire Lucena, so, upon acquiring it, President Múcio Fernandes had the idea of honoring two clubs, São Paulo Futebol Clube, a traditional club in Brazil, and Crystal Palace in England.”