The Brazilian championship used to be decided by a final. Every season ended with the kind of play-off system that would be immediately familiar to fans of American sports, meaning a team that finished as low as eighth in the actual league stage could walk away with the title.
That system lasted until 2003, when the system of pontos corridos (literally 'running points') was finally adopted. It didn't please everyone. Many still yearn for the end-of-season excitement the play-offs provided, while there have also been concerns over the possibility of clubs screwing over their rivals in the final rounds of a league season if they have nothing to play for themselves.
In my latest WhoScored column, I reflect on last week's (sorry for the tardiness) de facto Série A final between Cruzeiro and Botafogo and argue that even second place would be a super achievement for the later.
Click here to have a read.