Upon its discovery by Pedro Álvares Cabral in AD 1500, Brazil was claimed for Portugal. Large scale colonisation of the country began in the 1530s with towns and cities appearing along the coastline.
The earliest settlers were more interested in agriculture than imperial expansion, so little effort was made to progress into Brazil’s interior until after 1600. São Paulo, established by Jesuit priests in 1554, was the only non-coastal settlement at this time.
From the 1600s, São Paulo began to expand as the infamous bandeirantes set out on expeditions from the settlement, first to capture slaves, then to find gold, which was discovered in Minas Gerais in the 1690s, bringing new settlers to the area.
The first football tournament in Brazil, the Campeonato Paulista, was founded in São Paulo by an Englishman, Charles Miller, who was also the tournament’s top scorer in 1902.