Carlos Tevez - guide to Corinthians

12 July 2011 03:51
As far as summer transfer sagas go, we thought we'd seen them all over the years: that is, until now.

Although Carlos Tevez has become a familiar name in the silly season, the club in hot pursuit of the wantaway Manchester City captain are not.

Step forward Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, more familiarly known as Corinthians.

That's your lot: Tevez is set for a return to South America with Corinthians the favourite to land his signature

The Brazilian outfit are leading the race to sign the Argentine, but just who are they?

Tevez will already have some idea. He joined the club from Boca Juniors in 2004 and led them to their last national title as captain the following year, gaining worldwide attention before his shock move to West Ham in 2006 - along with team mate Javier Mascherano.

Dummy run: Tevez left Corinthians in 2006 after a two-year spell

The Sao Paulo based side have had a few troubles in the last 10 years on and off the field but 2011 has shown signs of potential that Timao are on an upwards trajectory.

The state championship in the first half of the year saw them finish third and three points behind Santos - who they would go on to lose to in the final of the competition.

In the national league for the secondhalf of the year, the club have won seven of their first eight games totop the table. Early days but the future seems bright.

Itputs them well on course to achieve a top four spot and qualify for theCopa Libertadores - South America's answer to the Champions League and atournament that Tevez's mentor Kia Joorabchian claims is his dream to win.

This isn't seen as an over achievement. There are plans for a new 68,000 stadium costing?310million and a new training complex. It outlines their ambition to become the biggest club in South America.

In truth they are one already. Taking their name from the famous amateur side Corinthian, they were founded in 1910 after the English side blitzed all before them on a tour of Brazil.

Manchester United fans especially have a reason to remember them, as a side containing goalkeeper Dida, Edu (yes, the Arsenal one) and Colombian legend Freddy Rincon won the FIFA World Club Cup in 2000.

United and Real Madrid failed to even reach the final as Corinthians defeated national rivals Vasco da Gama on penalties. It was a golden period for the team that won two of its four national titles the previous two years - its first ever in 1990.

On the move: Tevez will leave England following stints with West Ham and both Manchester clubs

They are more successful in the state championships of Sao Paulo, winning the competition a record 26 times in what is Brazil's strongest region of football. Despite this their rivals Palmeiras, Santos and Sao Paulo have all won more national championships.

Also locked in the trophy cabinet are three Brazilian Cups, the last having been won in 2009. The win represented a revival for the team after their shock relegation from the National League for the first time two years earlier.

It came off the back of a partnership with MSI Investments, the company with previous part ownership on Tevez (as Sheffield United fans will recall), that had started in 2004.

Corinthians were struggling financially and in exchange for financial injections, the company had a big say in the running of the club.

Under the Hammer: Tevez and Mascherano arrived at West Ham in the summer of 2006

A ten-year deal was signed but once Tevez and Mascherano had departed for Upton Park, results dipped alarmingly and upon the disastrous relegation - the deal was terminated.

Timao bounced back the very next season, topping Serie B to earn an instant return to the top flight.

Corinthians hold a strong rivalry with all the big clubs in Sao Paulo but it's with Palmeiras especially where incidents take place that make the Manchester derby look like a playground squabble.

Incidents have included 22-man brawls (and the rest) on the pitch while even local futsal games can spark riots between those in attendance. 

Hand on heart: Socrates was an inspiration on-and-off the pitch

The club which is historically left-wingdue to its founding by immigrant labourers has had a fair share of legends plying their trade at the 40,000 Pacaembu Stadium. Most notable of all was Socrates.

The Brazilian captain from the magical national side of 1982 was in his pomp for Corinthians between 1978 and 1984.

The Doctor was inspirational on and off the pitch where he would often take to the field wearing a shirt printed with 'Democracia' in protest at the military government running the country at the time.

Before him there was Roberto Rivelino, famed for taking trickery to a new level and having a powerful left-foot shot.

The attacking midfielder was christened 'King of the Park' by fans after coming through the youth ranks in 1965 and featuring for the next nine years.

He infamously played in the shock state final defeat to Palmeiras in 1974 in what turned out to be last game.

The fans made him a scapegoat and never forgave him, accusing him of bringing bad luck in an era where the club went without a state trophy between 1954 and 1977.

So just who will Tevez be playing with? The outstanding name in the current squad is former Inter Milan striker Adriano who joined in March.

He has yet to make his debut for the club after being ruled out for five months with an ankle injury, but a Tevez-Adriano partnership in attack would be a mouth-watering prospect.

While the Brazilian is sidelined, Sporting Lisbon legend and Portugal international Liedson is banging in the goals with the 33-year-old re-joining at the start of the year following a one-year spell in 2003.

It's not a team packed with recognisable stars or major internationals though. Most of the squad contains Brazilians where club captain Chicao is uncapped and has only been at the club for three years.

Star name: But former Brazil international Ronaldo retired earlier this year

It's a long way from the big earners and internationals bursting at the seams inside Eastlands. The Brazilian and South American leagues have always been seen as a stepping stone for talented youngsters looking to earn a living in Europe, and as such have always been viewed much weaker in comparisons to their European counterparts.

But if Tevez really has his heart set on returning 'home' to South America, Corinthians is a wise choice.

He knows the ins and outs of the club that has a rich history and is capable of challenging for big honours on the continent.

He does miss out however on teaming up with Brazilian legends Roberto Carlos, who left for Russia earlier this year, and Ronaldo who retired following the club's Copa Libertadores exit to Deportes Tolima in February.

Just like Rivelino in 1974, fans put heavy blame on the World Cup's greatest ever goal scorer for the shock defeat and Tevez knows the pressure on him will be just as intense if not greater to deliver titles.

He may be heading out of the frying pan at Manchester City, but it will be straight into the fire at Corinthians.

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Source: Daily_Mail