Though the state of São Paulo has given birth to some renowned football clubs, none are more famous or successful than Sport Club Corinthians Paulista (SC Corinthians). Ever since it was founded in 1910, Corinthians has reached 30 state championships, along with 7 Brasileirão titles, 3 Copa de Brasil trophies, and 1 Copa Libertadores. The club is also known for its signature black-and-white kits and a fierce rivalry with neighbors Palmeiras.

Basic facts

Founded: 1910
Country: Brazil
City: São Paulo

Home grounds

Ponte Grande (1918–1927)
Ponte Grande (1918–1927)
Parque São Jorge (1927–1940)
Pacaembu Stadium (1940–2014)
Neo Química Arena (2014–)

Main trophies

Campeonato Paulista: 30
Brasileiro Série A: 7
Copa Libertadores: 1

Prominent players

Neco, Baltazar, Teleco, Cláudio, Rivellino, Ze Maria, Sócrates, Freddy Rincon, Carlos Gamarra, Paulinho, Ronaldo

Club records

Most games played: Wladimir (805)
Top goalscorer: Wladimir (306)

SC Corinthians line-up in 1914
The team that won the 1914 Campeão Paulista.


Early exploits

At the beginning of the 20th century, football was seen as an upper-class sport in Brazil. In 1910, five São Paulo railway workers decided to buck this trend by creating their own football club. Having previously watched a match featuring the London-based Corinthian FC, the name of the club was easy to agree upon. Though they were defeated 1-0 by União da Lapa in their first outing, the future of Corinthians seemed bright.

In 1913, Corinthians joined the Campeonato Paulista for the first time. They made their mark in the league immediately, winning the championship the very next year. They continued to claim state championships through the ‘20s, establishing themselves as one of the best Brazilian clubs of the era.

Ups and downs

Though the Corinthians teams in the late ‘30s -- led by prolific goalscorer Teleco -- were quite successful, the ‘40s were a different story. By that time, São Paulo and Palmeiras were enjoying successful revivals, forcing Corinthians to play third fiddle. The club regained their footing by claiming three state championships in the early ‘50s, but they wouldn’t win another major trophy for the next 23 years.

One of the greatest of Brazilian footballers, Roberto Rivellino joined the club in 1965 and would play over 200 matches and score 70 times. But not even Rivellino could take the club from their biggest trophy drought in its history.

The year 1978 is best remembered for the arrival of Sócrates, who became the club’s biggest star during the following six-year period. In addition to winning three more state championships, this Corinthians team became known for its political activism. Before each game, the players practiced “concentração,” discussing politics and other important matters.

Domestic and national success

In 1990, Corinthians won its first Brasileirão title by defeating São Paulo at their own stadium. Despite the relatively late start, this title marked the beginning of the club’s ascent to domestic stardom. By the turn of the century, the club’s trophy room featured two additional Brasileirão titles, as well as the 1995 Copa do Brasil trophy.

In spite of claiming another Copa do Brasil in 2002, the club’s financial situation seemed grim. The club was briefly saved by a controversial partnership with Media Sports Investment; in exchange for providing a financial investment, MSI gained a certain amount of control over the club. However, this relationship lasted for just two years. In 2007 -- two years off a Brasileirão title -- Corinthians was relegated to the Second Division for the first time in its history.

In 2008, however, the club’s fortunes changed for the better. After returning to the First Division and signing Ronaldo, they won a Copa do Brasil in 2009 and the Brazilian Championship in 2011. The following year, they won their first Copa Libertadores, becoming the most valuable football club in Brazil in the process. By 2017, their trophy room was richer for two additional Brasileirão titles.

By Martin Wahl



Corinthians logoThe logo in red and black colors includes a flag and an anchor, the latter was introduced in the logo in 1939 and was a legacy from the club's early involvement in nautical sports. In the black circle the name of the club, SC Corinthians, and the foundation is written in white letters.

Image sources:
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista