Grenal is a classic of Brazilian football played between Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense and Sport Club Internacional, two clubs of Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), which have already faced 414 times since the year 1909. There were 155 victories of the International, 130 draws and 130 Grêmio wins.
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In October 2008, national and international journalists were consulted by Trivela magazine and elected the Grenal as the “greatest classic in Brazil”, because the Grenal practically divides the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul in half. In other states, the number of bigger clubs is bigger. In April 2016, the English magazine FourFourTwo classified the classic as the largest in Brazil and the eighth largest in the world.
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There is a controversy over the correct spelling of the expression. Some colorados, wanting to emphasize the name of the International, prefer to write GreNal or Gre-Nal. However, GreNal is a form that does not make sense in any spelling rule, since there is no capital letter inside the word. The Gre-Nal form reproduces the formula adopted by other classics of Brazilian soccer, such as Fla-Flu, San-São, Ba-Vi etc., but the capital letter in the “nal” particle is not justified because it is not the initial syllable name of the club (InternacioNAL), unlike FLUminense, São Paulo or VItória. As for the use of the hyphen, if “nal” is a termination, it is more logical that it be agglutinated to the initial particle, without hyphen, as in the case of other Brazilian classics: Atletiba, Paratiba etc.
Following this reasoning, the most recommended spelling is precisely Grenal, according to the three editions of the most important book on the classic: “The History of the Grenals”, by David Coimbra, Nico Noronha, Mário Marcos de Souza and Carlos André Moreira (1994 editions , 2004 and 2009). In spite of this, the Gre-nal form continues being used by a good part of the press, both Gaucho and the rest of Brazil.
The expression Grenal appeared in 1926, when journalist Ivo dos Santos Martins (fans of Grêmio), tired of writing extensively the long names of clubs, created the term. Already the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul and Patron of the International, Ildo Meneghetti, defined the classic tautologically: “Grenal is Grenal.”
Founded six years earlier, Grêmio led the Grenais statistics shortly in the first years of the match, having won the first Grenal of history by a score of 10-0 on 18 July 1909, five goals scored by Germany’s Edgar Booth, who is also the author of the first goal in the history of the classic.
The International took the advantage in the number of victories in the Grenal of number 89 (International 4 to 2 Grêmio), disputed 30 of September of 1945, in the time of the Roll Compressor, and never more was surpassed. At the time, the club had 38 wins in the classic, against 37 of the Grêmio and 14 draws.
Grêmio reared his head. The initial step was taken in 1952, when President Saturnino Vanzelotti hired Tesourinha, who had been idol in the rival. Months later, Vanzelotti would hire Foguinho as coach and, with a team formed largely by black and mulatto players, Grêmio won 12 gaucho championships in 13 years. Much of the current colorado advantage was also built between 1969 and 1976, with the construction of the Beira-Rio Stadium and the setting up of one of the biggest teams in the history of the International
In that period, 40 matches were played, with Inter having won 18, tied 18 and losing only 4 games, being undefeated by 17 matches (October 17, 1971 to July 13, 1975), the Grenais’ longest invincibility. Already the greatest period of invincibility of the Guild was between June 16, 1999 and October 28, 2002, when it came to stay 13 games undefeated. In the early 1980s, the International’s advantage came to be 31 classics. In 2002, the difference came to fall to 15 games, currently staying in more than 20 more victories for the International
The highest number of consecutive victories is of Grêmio, with six consecutive victories, that obtained this feat four times, being the last one in 1977-78. Already the greatest sequence of the International is of five consecutive victories, done that it obtained four times, being the last one in 1974-75.
While Grêmio managed to beat Internacional by more than 2 goals difference, 8 times in the Olympic Stadium and only 1 time in the Beira-Rio Stadium, Internacional, in turn, won 3 times in the Olympic and only 1 in Beira-Rio . In fact, the International spent 40 years (between 1954 and 1994) without thrashing the Guild. And just 39 years after the foundation of the Beira-Rio Stadium, Internacional managed to thrash the rival in its stadium.
After decades of a process popularly known in Rio Grande do Sul as “seesaw”, when one of the two clubs is in good phase and the other in a bad time, the year 2006 was atypical. In the Brazilian Championship, Inter finished in second place in the general standings, while Grêmio finished third, giving the two clubs the first time to join the Copa Libertadores of America the following year
This was repeated in 2011, when the two teams qualified in the group stage of the Libertadores and would be in the quarterfinals. However, both were disqualified in the octaves, Inter for Peñarol and Grêmio by the Catholic University.