A group of 18 Brazilian professional football clubs participated in this tournament, including all the champions and the runners-up of all official national competitions ever played in Brazil up to that year (Campeonato Brasileiro, Torneio Rio-São Paulo, Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa) and America-RJ, 18th ranking in the CBF ranking, and Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, ranked 19th in the same ranking. America-RJ and Santa Cruz replaced Flamengo, who declined the invitation in favor of a world tour.
The teams were divided in four groups in the first two rounds, two groups with 5 teams and two groups with four teams in a home-away system. The group champions for each of the two rounds advanced to a quarterfinals bracket.
The following teams advanced to the quarterfinals:
In the first two rounds America eliminated Atlético Mineiro, Bahia defeated Internacional, Guarani beat São Paulo, and Portuguesa eliminated Fluminense.
In the semifinais, America-RJ eliminated Portuguesa and Guarani defeated Bahia.
In the championship matches, America-RJ tied Guarani at Brinco de Ouro da Princesa Stadium in Campinas, Brazil (with a score of 1-1) and beat Guarani at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (with a final score of 2-1, after a 1-1 at regulation and 1-0 in overtime), in a game played under a lot of rain.
|America-RJ||2 – 1||Guarani|
Gilson Gênio 25' (OT)
|Torneio dos Campeões 1982|