Monday, January 23, 2017

Corinthians Greatest All-Time Team

World Club Cup 2000

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Sport Club Corinthians Paulista was founded in 1910 by five railway workers from the district of Bom Retiro, who became impressed by the performances of London-based club Corinthian Football Club. It is the richest mon-European club in the world. In 2000, the club won the inaugural FIFA Club World Cup as the host nation's representative, repeating the feat in 2012 after winning the Copa Libertadores de América for the first time.
World Club Cup 2012

GK: Ronaldo Giovanelli (Brazil)
Ronaldo began his career with Corinthians. He played over 600 games for Corinthians.  He won Campeonato Paulista in 1988, 1995 and 1997.  he played for many clubs after leaving them in 1998.  Capped once.

GK: Gilmar (Brazil)
Gilmar was the goalkeeper for WC 1958, 1962 and 1966 winning two titles. He had 104 caps. Also a member of Pele's Santos team of the 1960's. With Gilmar between the posts, Santos conquered almost every championship they competed in: they won five São Paulo State Championships (1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968), five National Championships (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965), two Libertadores Cups (1962 and 1963) and two Intercontinental Cups (1962 against Eusébio's Benfica and 1963 against Milan). He also played for Corinthians.  In fact, he had played more games for them.

GK: Cassio Ramos (Brazil)
After playing mainly as a backup keeper for Greimo and PSV, he joined Corinthians in 2012.  He helped to the club to win Copa Libertadores Cup and the World Club Cup in 2012.  He wont Golden Ball for the World Club Cup.

RB: Ze Maria (Brazil) 
During his career (1966–1983) he played for Ferroviário (SP), Portuguesa, Corinthians and Internacional (RS) as a defender. For Brazil, he played in 46 games from 1971 to 1978. He was a member of the Brazilian squad at the 1970 and 1974 World Cup.

CB/LB: Del Debbio (Brazil) 
Del Debbio started his career playing for São Bento in 1919, leaving the club in 1921, to join Corinthians, where he stayed until 1931. During his stint at Corinthians, he won the Campeonato Paulista in 1922, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1929 and 1930. He joined Lazio of Italy in 1931, leaving the club in 1935 to play again for Corinthians, where he won again the Campeonato Paulista in 1937. He returned to Corinthians in 1939, winning the Campeonato Paulista and retiring during that year.

SW/CB: Domingos da Guia  (Brazil)
The star defender of the 1940's who was among the first skilled defender to play the game. He played for several clubs, but notably with Flamengo and Corinthians, and aboard with Boca Juniors. He had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 WC Finals in France.

CB: Chicão (Brazil)
In his career (1968–1985) he played for several clubs: XV de Piracicaba, União Barbarense, São Bento, Ponte Preta, São Paulo FC, Atlético Mineiro, Santos FC, Londrina, Corinthians, Botafogo-SP and Mogi Mirim. He won one São Paulo State League (1975), one Brazilian League (1977) and one Minas Gerais State League (1980). For the Brazil national football team he got nine international caps, from February 1976 to August 1979, never scored a goal, and was on their roster for 1978 FIFA World Cup, playing in three games.

CB:  Carlos Gamarra
Widely considered a top defender in South America during his peak years.  He played in Paraguay, Brazil, Greece, Italy and Portugal. He is the most capped player in Paraguayan football history.  He was named as the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year in 1997 and 1998, and was also included in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament.  He also went to World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006.
Carlos Gamarra

LB: Wladimir (Brazil) 
As a player, Wladimir had a long and distinguished career, best remembered for his time at Corinthians. He won four São Paulo State Championships (in 1977, 1979, 1982 and 1983) and is the most capped player in Corinthians history with 803 matches played. In 1998 Federação Paulista de Futebol named him in the Paulista League all-time best XI, alongside players like Rivelino, Ademir da Guia, Pelé, Djalma Santos and others. He was also named, by Placar Magazine, as the best left back in Corinthians history.

LB: Oreco (Brazil)
Oreco began his career at the Santa Maria, where he played for a year. He then played for Internacional of Porto Alegre, for which he played for seven years and won five Rio de Janeiro championships in that period. He was also a Corinthians player for eight years.  he won the 1958 World Cup as Nilton Santos' backup.

DM/CM: Paulinho (Brazil)
Paulinho became famous with Corinthians.  In 2013, he was the best player for Brazil as they won the Confederation Cup.  he joined Tottenham Hotspurs during that summer. Aftervthe disappointment of the WC Finals in 2014, he joined Guangzhou Evergrande in China.  He won the Asian Champions' league immediately.  At the time of writing, he was capped 37 times.
DM: Roberto Belangero (Brazil)
He played for Corinthians from 1947 to 1960. He made 450 matches in the white jersey. He joined Newell's Old Boys, of Argentina, where he finished his career. He also played for the Brazilian national team, playing for the qualifiers and preparing for the 1958 World Cup, but missed the Finals due to an i jury. concussion.

DM: Biro-Biro (Brazil)
Biro-Biro started his career in 1977, playing for Sport. In 1978, he moved to Corinthians, where he was mistakenly called Lero-Lero by the club's president, Vicente Matheus, during the players presentation at the club. During his eleven seasons as a Corinthians player, he won the Campeonato Paulista four times, in 1979, 1982, 1983 and in 1988, won the Placar's Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Bola de Prata award in 1982, and he scored 75 goals, in 592 matches,  placing him as the fifth player with the most appearances for Corinthians. He also played for  Portuguesa, Coritiba, Guarani Botafogo-SP and Nacional-SP.

RM/CM: Socrates (Brazil)
He was the captain of 1982 and 1986 team. One of the best attack midfielders in Brazil's history.  In 1983, he was named South American Footballer of the Year.  He spent 7 seasons with Corinthians.  He went abroad in 1984, playing a season in Serie A with Fiorentina.  He was also a MD, earning the degree while he was an active player.
LW/AM: Rivelino (Brazil)
He is considered to be one of the greatest left-sided midfielder ever.  His signature move was the "flip-flap". He was a member of Brazil's great 1970 team and also played in the 1974 team.  He had 92 caps for Brazil.  He was known for his master of the "flip flap" move. He started his career with Corinthians, but in one of the club's worst period in history. He moved to Fluminense in 1974, forming a great team with Carlos Alberto.  He also played for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
AM: Marcelinho Carioca (Brazil) 
An attacking midfielder, he is noted for his free kick abilities, earning the nickname "Pé-de-Anjo" (Angel Foot). The most successful player ever to play for Corinthians, he has scored 206 goals in 420 matches from 1994 to 2001. He has collected more trophies with Corinthians than any other player in their history, a total of 8 championships including 1998 and 1999 Brazilian National Championships and the first edition of FIFA Club World Cup, in 2000. He scored 505 goals, in his entire career.

AM/FW: Luisinho (Brazil) 
He played entire career (1949–1967) with Corinthians, except in season 1962–63 when play for Clube Atlético Juventus. He won three São Paulo State Championship in 1951, 1952 and 1954. He died at 67 years old.  He was capped 11 times for the Seleção.

AM/FW: Neto (Brazil)
In Brazil he is commonly considered one of the greatest free kick takers ever and one of the best Brazilian players of the early 1990s.[Besides his accurate foul shots, he had a great long pass and was a leader for his teammates on the field. He played for many clubs.  His longest career was with Corinthians. After Corinthians he played in many other clubs, in Brazil (Araçatuba, Atlético Mineiro, Matsubara, Santos) and abroad (Millonarios of Colombia). He was capped over 20 times.

AM: Vampeta  (Brazil)
Vampeta started his career with team Vitória, and later went to  PSV Eindhoven alongside Ronaldo in the summer of 1994. His good performance in Eindhoven led him back to Brazil were at Corinthians he grew out to become a member of the Brazilian national team. Vampeta then joined Inter Milan in summer 2000, being reunited with Ronaldo. In January 2001, Vampeta went to PSG for €12.196 million.  Later, he was involved in the Adriano and Reinaldo. In 2007, he returned to Corinthians, signed a contract until the end of season.  He represented Brazil from 1998 until 2002, winning the 1999 Copa América and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

CM/FW: Freddy Rincon (Colombia)
He was one of the most important player during the Golden Generation of the 1990's.  He played in 1990, 1994 and 1998 WC Finals.  He scored the equalizing goal vs West Germany at Italia 1990, securing Colombia a place in the 2nd round.  He was best remembered for his career in Brazil, where he played for Palmeiras, Corinthians, Santos and Cruzeiro. 
Freddy Rincon

ST/SS: Carlos Tevez (Argentina)
Tevez began his career with Boca Juniors, winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2003 before moving to Corinthians where he won the Brasileiro. In 2006,  he moved to West Ham United, but Tevez transferred to Manchester United in 2007 and in his two years won several trophies including two league titles and the Champions League. In 2009 he joined Manchester City. In 2013, he moved to Juventus, helping them to dominate Italian football.  he returned to Boca Juniors in 2015.  At the time of writing, he plays for Shanghai Shenhua. He earned over 70 caps and appeared in two WC Finals.

ST: Neco (Brazil)
With great skill and tenacity, he was the first idol of Corinthians, being the first player to get a statue in the team's gardens (in 1929). As of 2006, Neco is the player who played the longest for Corinthians: 17 years.  He won the Paulista League eight times as a player (being top scorer in 1914 and 1920).  For Brazil, he won two South American Championships: 1919 (team's top scorer) and 1922 (top scorer). 
ST: Baltazar (Brazil)
Nicknamed Cabecinha de Ouro (Golden Head) by fans, he played as a striker. He played for União Monte Alegre, Jabaquara, Corinthians, Juventus and União Paulista. He participated in the 1950 World Cup and 1954 World Cup, he played 4 matches, scoring 3 goals.

ST: Teleco (Brazil) 
Most of his career was spent with Corinthians, representing the club during one full decade. He was given the nickname Teleco by his grandmother when he was a young boy. He was referred to as "O Rei das Viradas" (King of the Twist) and "O Homem Gol" (Goal Man), for his exploits with his main club, scoring 251 goals in 246 games as well as helping it to four state titles. For these achievements, he is considered by many as a legend of the club and one of its greatest ever players.

ST: Claudio (Brazil)
Cláudio is the biggest scorer of all time for Corinthians. He has scored 306 goals in 554 games for the team, where he was nicknamed “Manager”. He was also known for being a skillful player, who placed the ball anywhere he wanted, and is usually ranked as the 3rd best ever Corinthians player, after Rivelino and Sócrates.  He won the São Paulo State Championship in 1951, 1952 and 1954 and the Rio-São Paulo Tournament in 1950, 1953 and 1954. But it was not just with the Corinthians that Cláudio achieved glory. He was a member of the Palmeiras team that won the São Paulo state championship in 1942 and he was also part of the Seleção which won the South American Cup in 1949.

Honorable Mention
Carlos Tevez, Ronaldo,Viola,  Basilio, Idário, Henrique, Marcelo Djian, Amaral, Jairo do Nascimento, Dida, Kleber, Paolo Guerrero,  Walter Casagrande. 

Squad Explanation
-- Carlos Gamarra was one of the best defenders playing in Brazil during his prime, but he only spent a single season with the club.  I was not sure if he deserved to be on this team.  
-- Dida(goalkeeper) appeared in several all-time list, but he only spent very limited time with the club.  seemed to have achieve more elsewhere.  Cassio helped the club to win the World Club Cup. 

-- The two World Club Cup trophies were important.  I included players who contributed to that victory.
-- Basilio scored the goal that won the 1977 Sao Paulo State Champion, which ended the club's trophy drought stretching all the way back to 1954.  But I could not find a spot for him.
-- Instead, I decided one big-time player to the team. Ronaldo came to the club at the end of his career.  He only played a short time there. Carlos Tevez also did not play much, but he came at the beginning of his season when he was one of the best South American players in the world. Carlos Tevez at Corinthians was better than Ronaldo at Corinthians.


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