Official site: Corinthians.com.br.
Corinthians is the most popular team in São Paulo, and the second most popular in Brazil (behind Flamengo, from Rio). The team is associated with the masses (the lower working classes).
The fans call themselves "A Fiel" (The Faithful). That's a reference to the fact that, no matter how bad the team may be, the fans are always supporting Corinthians, rather than criticizing.
From 1954 to 1977, Corinthians faced a period of 23 years without winning a single State title; nevertheless, during that period the team gained more and more fans, to become the most popular club in São Paulo.
In 2007, Corinthians was demoted to the Second Division of the Brazilian championship. Soon, fans were wearing t-shirts with the phrase "I will never abandon you". Indeed, even in Second Division, the matches of Corinthians had a better attendence than all other teams in Sao Paulo; Corinthians was champion of the Division and returned to the top category in 2009.
The full name is Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. The team was named after a certain Corinthians from Britains which visited Sao Paulo in the early 1900s.
The name corinthians translated in Portuguese as coríntios, mentioned in the Bible; however, nobody knows this association between Corinthians and the coríntios.
The most famous organized rooters call themselves Gaviões da Fiel (Hawks of the Faithful), which created a samba school which became one of the most important in the State.
Corinthians won the Brazilian championships of 1990, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2011.
Corinthians call themselves World Champion, for having won the International Tournament, the first one officially organized by FIFA (the Toyota Cup, now Santander Cup, which occurs in Tokyo late every year, is not endorsed by FIFA). The tournament happened in Brazil in 2000.
Corinthians have reasons to be proud of the title, but thruth is that most of the participanting teams (which included Real Madrid and Manchester) took the tournament seriously. Several European players were seen dancing samba in the eve of their matches. Corinthians and other Brazilian team, Vasco da Gama, reached the final.
However, if FIFA decides to carry on with the Tournament, Corinthians will be considered the first World Champion Team.
In recent times, the fist player to gain international projection was Rivelino, who played in the World Cups of 1970, 1974 and 1978. Rivelino used to be the greatest idol of the team, but he was blamed when Corinthians lost the championship of 1975, and quit; later on, when Rivelino was champion elsewhere, the fans recognized that he was one of the greates players ever of Corinthians.
In the 1980s, the team was led by Sócrates, who played in the World Cup of 1982. Sócrates gained respect not only for playing well, but also for being a Doctor, which is very rare among Corinthians.
Since the 1990s, no world class player appeared in Corinthians.
For decades, the stadium was Parque Sao Jorge, which was clearly not up to the grandness of Corinthians - the stadium was used only for trainings, not official matches.
In 2011, Corinthians started to build the new Arena Corinthians, aka Itaquerao, which will be one of the venues of the World Cup 2014.
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