April 20, 2020
Black x Green. Working and humble workers x Italians. East side x West side. 30 million x 18 million supporters. Deaths. Rivalry. This is Corinthians x Palmeiras.
2000 and 2012 World Cup of Clubs Winner Corinthians is a club in the east part of São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. With more than 30 million supporters around the world, it is the second biggest fan base in the country (behind Flamengo) but definitely the most passionate of them all.
Their Ultras, called Gaviões da Fiel, has more than 100.000 associates and it is the most representative group among supporters in the world. Most people don’t know, but they compete in the Brazilian Carnival Parade and has won already 4 times. The one and only between Ultras Groups.
The craziness of its supporters is something the world has never seen. In 1976, Corinthians played the semifinals of the National Championship against Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro (almost 500 km from São Paulo) and 70.000 supporters dislocated to the city to watch the game, dividing Maracanã with Fluminense fans. It is considered the biggest dislocation / distance by football fans. It is called “Corinthians Invasion”.
In 2000, Corinthians beat Real Madrid in the World Cup of Clubs and faced Vasco da Gama in the finals. Guess what happened this day? More than 100.000 fans invaded Maracanã again and celebrated the title almost “at home”.
The last of the invasions happened in 2012, when Corinthians won against Chelsea in the World Cup of Clubs in Japan. Around 40.000 fans flew more than 25 hours from Brazil to Japan to see two games and their club winning the most prestigious title in the history. Of course, I was there!
I am a passionate and completely mad about Corinthians. I’ve been to a lot of Derby, away games, I have a tattoo on my body, my face stuck in our stadium forever, but there is nothing like Corinthians x Palmeiras.
Around two weeks before the Derby, me and my friends already start discussing it, making our line-up, organizing our pre-match sacred barbecue before going to the stadium and living the game every hour and every day. And when the time comes? There is nothing in the world better than beating Palmeiras!
The game is intense. In São Paulo, because of the deaths involving Ultras Groups, away fans are not allowed anymore. That means the whole stadium is black and white. When you take the subway, it is possible to see what I mean:
The party in the stands is something you will never see in your life. Pyros, huge flags, and all kinds of things to make their life difficult. The noise is absurd and as we say, it is much more than passion, it is a religion!
I’ve been to memorable Derby, but this one I’ve never seen something like this in my entire life. Corinthians was playing the 2018 State Championship final against Palmeiras and lost the first game at home for 0 x 1. Palmeiras was going to play at home in the week after just for a tied. To motivate the players, Corinthians directors opened the training for the supporters on a Friday. They were expecting around 10.000 of them, but when they turned up, there were 45,000 crazy fans signing and showing support! It is considered the biggest training section in the history of football! In the end, Corinthians beat Palmeiras 1 x 0 and won the title again!
It is difficult to explain what the game is about. You have to feel it and live this match like no other else in the world. Come to Brazil and see what this is all about!
Written by Pedro Godoy