|Full name||Club Sporting Cristal|
|Nickname(s)||Los Cerveceros, Los Rimenses, Los Celestes, La Fuerza Vencedora, La Máquina Celeste|
|Founded||December 13, 1955|
Estadio Alberto Gallardo, |
|2015||Torneo Descentralizado, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Club Sporting Cristal is a Peruvian football team. Based in the Rímac District, in the department of Lima, it plays in the professional league known as the Peruvian First Division. Sporting Cristal has won the league title 17 times, and it is the Peruvian team with the third most National titles. All its titles have been won in the professional era.
It is one of the most popular football teams in Peru, along with Universitario and Alianza Lima; it is the youngest of the three. In 1997, it became the second Peruvian football club to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, an international competition.
Sporting Cristal plays home games at the Estadio Alberto Gallardo, but they also play at the Estadio Nacional. They also use the Estadio Nacional when playing international competitions, such as Copa Libertadores.
Ricardo Bentín Mujica, with the support of his wife, co-owners of Backus and Johnston brewery, was the man who is credited with achieving the company's goal. A club from Rímac ward, known as Sporting Tabaco founded in 1926 and originally belonging to the tobacco growers' union, was already playing in the professional Peruvian First Division. Never having won a national championship, the club was in dire economic straits. Bentín decided to buy the club and search for a playing ground, so that the club could develop and be able to play better at the professional level. The club found a lot in the neighborhood of La Florida of 137,000 m².
On December 13, 1955 the club was founded as Sporting Cristal , after Backus' best-known beer brand, Cristal. The new club from Rímac ward debuted in 1956 in the professional Primera Division and won their first national title that same year. Journalists thus called them the club born a champion (nació campeon). The team managed to win more titles over the years and was known as one of the best football clubs in Peru after Universitario and Alianza Lima. A few years later, the club eliminated the word Backus from their name to demonstrate their economic independence.
Sporting Cristal changed its shirt color from blue to light blue. They are known as "Los Celestes". During a brief period between 1978 and 1981, they again used blue shirts. In 1982 they returned to light blue as the color of the club.
The 1990s was the most succeful decade, 4 national titles (3 in a row) with coaches as Juan Carlos Oblitas, Cristal won 1991, 1994 and 1995 domestic league. And with Sergio Markarián head coach they won 1996 league. By 1997, the team, led by Uruguayan coach Sergio Markarián, reached the finals of the Copa Libertadores, where they faced the Brazilian club Cruzeiro. The first leg was a home game, in which they ended in a scoreless draw; in the second leg, they lost 1–0. This is the closest a Peruvian team has come to the Copa Libertadores Final since 1972, when Universitario had a similar fate playing against Independiente.
The club stayed on the top spots of the national tournament during most of the 2000s and gained qualification to the Copa Libertadores eight years in a row from 2000 to 2007. It would only win one title during the decade which was obtain in 2005 with Jose del Solar as head coach and many notable players as Sergio Leal, Jorge Soto and Luis Alberto Bonnet. During the 2007, Cristal would come four points away from relegation. It would make a comeback during the 2008 season and qualify to the Copa Libertadores once again.
In 2009, the Peruvian First Division would change the tournament structured which caused Sporting Cristal to have mediocre results for the next few years into the new decade. After a seven-year dry spell it would become the national champion once more during the 2012 season when it defeated Real Garcilaso in the finals. They qualified to the 2013 Copa Libertadores where they did not pass the tournament's group stage. In the 2013 season, they played on the same liguilla as Real Garcilaso and fought for a place in the final up to the last match of the season in which they finished third and qualified for the 2014 Copa Libertadores once more.
Cristal has three ultras or barra bravas known as Extremo Celeste, Fverza Oriente Gvardia Xtrema. Fverza Oriente was the first ultra of Cristal, founded in 1975. They are located on eastern grandstand of the stadiums. Extremo Celeste was formed in 1991 when a group of young fans from Fuerza Oriente decided to form a new group for young energetic supporters. Extremo Celeste has become one of the biggest barras bravas in Peru. And in 2007 a smaller third ultra was created in the western grandstand to support the team. Son Cristal had supporters on every grandstand on Estadio Alberto Gallardo.
- Winners (1): 1982
- Runner-up (1): 1997
- Winners (1): 1988
Performance in CONMEBOL competitions
- Copa Libertadores: 32 appearances
- Runners-up (1): 1997
- 1962, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Copa CONMEBOL: 1 appearance
- 1994: Quarter-finals
- Copa Merconorte: 4 appearances
- 1998: First Round
- 1999: First Round
- 2000: First Round
- 2001: First Round
- U-20 Copa Libertadores: 1 appearance
- 2012: Group Stage
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- "Club Sporting Cristal – Plantel Profesional 2015". Club Sporting Cristal. Retrieved 24 January 2015.