This Corinthians kit is a completely unique take on the club’s greatest international achievement in its recent history. The Japanese letter print in the monochrome style is the real centrepiece of the shirt, and it represents the Sau Paulo giants historic 2012 FIFA Club World Cup win against Chelsea in Yokohama, Japan. A cup final to forget for many Chelsea fans, but certainly one that is worth
remembering and commemorating with such a stylish shirt.
The final in question was a 1-0 victory for the Brazilians, with the goal courtesy of striker Paolo Guerrero. He nodded home a header from a rebounded effort which turned out to be the decisive goal, but it was goalkeeper Cassio who truly stole the show. He made a number of outstanding saves, including a full stretch tip around the post to deny Victor Moses’ curling effort. Gary Cahill was
also sent off late on, but that did not stop Chelsea from a late barrage of chances. Fernando Torres had a flicked header correctly deemed offside, and Juan Mata hit the outside off the post from a tight angle.
Ultimately, Corinthians kept the star-studded Champions League champions to a clean sheet and went on to lift the trophy. By no means were the only stars wearing Chelsea blue that night, here are some of the Corinthians’ heroes and where they are now.
Cassio – Goalkeeper
Being one of only 3 of the players to feature in the final that still plays for Corinthians, Cassio is somewhat of a club legend. With over 600 league appearances spanning over 10 years, Cassio has been the No.1 since being signed as Julio Cesar’s replacement in 2012. His impressive performances
throughout the Club World Cup, but especially his heroics in the final earned him the Golden Ball award. Making him (still to this date) only the second goalkeeper to ever win the award, alongside prolific goal scorer Rogerio Ceni. He has also won a variety of other individual awards including national and regional division’s Team of the Year spots. Despite all of this, his outstanding performance in the final might well be his greatest achievement.
Paulinho – Central Midfield
Probably the most commonly know of the entire 2012 squad, and it was at Corinthians where Paulinho earned a name for himself. His tireless work in midfield was what attracted Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas to sign him. Paulinho was one of many signings in the 2013 summer window that
never lived up to expectation in a Tottenham shirt. When he then moved to Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015, it would have been fair to assume that his career was prematurely over. Then, totally shockingly to many, Barcelona activated his €40 million release clause, and he became a useful member of the squad for the next two seasons, helping the Catalonians to a domestic league/cup double in the 2017/18. After a second spell back in China, and a short stint at Saudi Arabian
outfit Al Ahli, Paulinho came back home to Corinthians. Arguably, the strangest part of this whole saga is the fact that he is still only 34 years old.
Paolo Guerrero – Striker
Guerrero’s earned his moved to Corinthians as a Bayern Munich youth academy graduate who had spent 6 years at Hamburger SV. His years in Germany were by no-means a failure, but his golden years were spent in Brazil. Scoring 77 league goals across 193 appearances, but it was ability to score crucial goals like this winner against Chelsea that earnt Guerrero legendary status across South America, particularly in his home nation Peru. In 2015 he became the first Peruvian to receive an Ballon D’or nomination, and his 38 goals in red and white make him Peru’s leading all time goal scorer.
Manager - Tite
Possibly the biggest name on the Corinthians half of the team sheet that night was the manager. Tite’s playing career ended at 27 due to knee injuries, meaning he turned his attention to management very young. His 2 nd and 3 rd spells as manager of Corinthians between 2010-2016 would be his 17/18 th different managerial jobs. This overall 18 th spell is where Tite won the 2015
Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, surely a major factor in his appointment to arguably the most important job in the entire of Brazil, the national team manager. Tite boasted a 74% win percentage as Brazil’s manager, but his only silverware came in the form of the 2019 Copa America where they were hosts. At both the 2018 and 2022 world cups Brazil failed to best their quarter-final opponents, and that recent penalty loss to Croatia would be Tite’s final game in charge.
Corinthians finished the Brazilian Serie A in 4 th place, meaning they earn themselves an automatic qualification to the group stages of the Copa Libertadores, the first step in their road to emulating their Club World Cup successes of years gone by. Paulinho, Fabio Santo, and Cassio are the only 3
players from the original final to be still playing at the club and being reminded of their glory every time they get to wear the away strip. Except Cassio of course, who has to wear the less exciting goalkeeper shirt.
All in all, it’s a great kit even for those who have not bothered to educate themselves on its origins. But now that you know the shirt’s story and where it came from, you can really show off your football knowledge/snobbery. If you love this shirt as much as we do, then you’re in luck, it is in mystery boxes now! So go and buy yourself one, you might just get lucky…
By Sam Palmer