Internacional were officially founded on 4 April 1909 by siblings Henrique, Jose and Luis Poppe. The story has it that the three brothers, on arrival from Sao Paulo, were turned away from every club in Porto Alegre. Tired of the constant rejection, they formed Sport Club Internacional, naming it in honour of a Sao Paulo club with the same moniker. The club attracted numerous immigrants who were looking to simply play football free from all the prejudices rife in Brazilian society at the time. Internacional's easy-going ethos was reflected in the figure of their first chairman - the 17-year-old Joao Seferim.
The club experienced mixed fortunes for decades before a runners-up spot in the 1967 Rio/Sao Paulo championship propelled them into the upper echelons of the Brazilian game. Two years later, Internacional moved to the Beira-Rio, their home ground to this day.
A first Brazilian championship in 1975 heralded the start of a golden era for the club, but there was bitter disappointment in 1980 when they lost out to Uruguay's Nacional Montevideo in the final of the Copa Libertadores. 26 years later, Internacional were finally able to make good on that defeat. Although not among the pre-tournament favourites, Abel Braga's men saw off compatriots and title holders Sao Paulo in the final to be finally crowned champions of South America.