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It is a simple story - win on Sunday and Chelsea have the right to call ourselves champions of the world. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look closely at a momentous match…

So the World did end for some Mexicans after all - just a day later than their Mayan ancestors prophesied. As occasional Chelsea supporter Frank Sinatra might have observed, it didn't happen for Monterrey.

'Time to dance with the ugliest,' their coach Victor Vucetich had said after his side qualified for the quarter-final against the champions of Europe. But the event turned out to be more of a gentleman's excuse-me for the Blues, with plenty of Mexicans left as wallflowers.

The samba boys of Corinthians Paulista, one of the most storied clubs in Brazil, are more likely to put the Londoners through their paces. As expected, the FIFA Club World Cup final will be contested between the teams who used to compete for the old Intercontinental Cup: the respective winners of the European Cup and its South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores.

Chelsea fly the flag for the capital in the final for the first time. Corinthians were the 2000 winners of a different format, the FIFA Club World Championship.

Chelsea are hoping to ensure a European team wins the trophy for a sixth successive year.

It is fair to say that the interest in this competition is substantially greater in Brazil than in England. Media from that country have been in touch with Chelsea since early summer, filming around the club museum at Stamford Bridge, which features several South American connections, and eager to explore the Blues' history of Brazilian players. One would like to think Corinthians staff have been equally bothered by the English media, especially as the Coringão have English roots.

Corinthians, like Chelsea five years earlier, were founded from nothing. In 1910 a group of enthusiasts were inspired by watching a tour match involving a famous British amateur side. A few months later Corinthians Paulista were born.

They have won the state title a record 26 times and the national league five times, most recently in 2011. As with Chelsea, 2012 brought their first pan-continental triumph in the Copa Libertadores.

Among the players who have passed through their doors are ornaments of Brazilian football such as Rivelino (pictured below), Sócrates and Ronaldo. Chelsea's Deco began his professional career there.


Their club anthem contains the wonderful sporting adage: 'Your past is a banner. Your present is a lesson.' Perhaps Chelsea fans should adopt it.

The disparity between how seriously the respective continents have taken this inter-continental battle goes back decades and reflects a certain snobbery on the British side and an inferiority complex on the other.

South American sides see the annual match-up as an opportunity duff up the European grandees of the game and prove that more money and superior organisation aren't everything in football. It also comes at the end of South and Central America's season rather than the middle, as in Europe.

English sides several times protested about rough play in matches, and some turned down invites to participate altogether.

Looking further back, when Uruguay hosted FIFA's first World Cup in 1930 The FA huffily rejected any involvement, claiming it was 'magnifying the minnows.' Chelsea were dispatched to South America for a three-month tour of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil the year before to check English football was not missing a trick.

The Copa Libertadores was founded in 1960, five years after UEFA's initial European Cup, and the first inter-continental face-off happened the same season. Manchester United represented England in 1968 and the second leg against Argentina's Estudiantes was marred by violence, creating a wound that took years to heal.

The modern, shiny FIFA Club World Cup, hosted by Japan or UAE since 2005, has been won by the European finalist each year since 2007.

This is the ninth Club World Cup final. The winners will become club world champions and receive prize money of $5 million and the privilege of wearing a gold shield on their shirts. The runners-up are presented with $4 million.

Previous tournaments
Host Year Winner Runner-up
Brazil 2000 Corinthians (Brazil) Vasco da Gama (Brazil)
Japan 2005 São Paulo (Brazil) Liverpool
Japan 2006 Internacional (Brazil) Barcelona
Japan 2007 AC Milan Boca Juniors (Argentina)
Japan 2008 Manchester United LDU Quito (Ecuador)
UAE 2009 Barcelona Estudiantes (Argentina)
UAE 2010 Internazionale Mazembe (DR Congo)
Japan 2011 Barcelona Santos (Brazil)


Competing teams Confederation
(England) - UEFA
Corinthians (Brazil) - CONMEBOL
Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea) - AFC
Al-Ahly (Egypt) - CAF
Monterrey (Mexico) - CONCACAF
Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC
Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) - Host Representative - J League winner

Competing teams Confederation

Chelsea (England) - UEFA
Corinthians (Brazil) - CONMEBOL
Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea) - AFC
Al-Ahly (Egypt) - CAF
Monterrey (Mexico) - CONCACAF
Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC
Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) - Host Representative - J League winner

The Yokohama International Stadium has a capacity of 72,327.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.

FIFA Club World Cup results

Play-off for quarter-finals

Dec 6 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 Auckland City (Yokohama)

Dec 9 - Ulsan Hyundai 1 - 3 Monterrey (Toyota)
Dec 9 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 - 2 Al-Ahly (Toyota)

5th/6th place play-off
Dec 12 - Ulsan Hyundai 2-3 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Toyota)

Dec 12 - Al-Ahly 0-1 Corinthians (Toyota)

FIFA Club World Cup fixtures

Thu Dec 13 - Monterrey 1-3 Chelsea (Yokohama)

3rd/4th place play-off
Sun Dec 16 - kick-off 7.30am UK time (Yokohama)

Sun Dec 16 - kick-off 10.30am UK time (Yokohama)

The predecessor of this tournament was the European-South American Cup, better known as Intercontinental Cup that ran between 1960 and 2004 between the European Cup/Champions League winners and the South American Copa Libertadores winners over a two-leg home and away basis and from 1980 as a one-off match in Japan.

English winners were Manchester United in 1999, and runners-up Manchester United 1968, Nottingham Forest 1980, Liverpool 1981 and 1984 and Aston Villa 1982.

This is Chelsea's third attempt to win a trophy this term, having failed in the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea will have contested a British record eight trophies this season.

Sunday's match will be Chelsea's 11th cup final in the last eight years.

2005 - League Cup - Won
2007 - League Cup - Won
2007 - FA Cup - Won
2008 - League Cup - Lost
2008 - UEFA Champions League - Lost
2009 - FA Cup - Won
2010 - FA Cup - Won
2012 - FA Cup - Won
2012 - UEFA Champions League - Won
2012 - UEFA Super Cup - Lost
2012 - FIFA Club World Cup

Who will be Chelsea's hero on Sunday? Which Corinthian do you fear?  #CFCPMB

The rest of the Capital One Cup quarter-final stage proceeded in Chelsea's absence. When the Blues travel to Leeds on Wednesday we will be aiming to put our names in the hat next to Premier League Aston Villa and Swansea City and fourth-tier Bradford City (who were taken to penalties by Arsenal).

Barring high margins of victory, none of the sides on 26 points - Everton (+4 goal difference), Tottenham (+4) or West Brom (+3) - will usurp the Blues (+11) from third place in the Barclays Premier League this weekend.

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Sunday's showdown with Corinthians Paulista recalls an epic tour of South America undertaken by Chelsea in 1929, during which we met this great São Paulo club for the first time. It was 4 July, David Calderhead's squad having arrived on the night train from Rio de Janeiro the previous morning, Brazil's independence day. The Pensioners would become the first professional British side to play in the country's then business capital.

The game kicked off at in mid-afternoon at Parque Antarctica, the home stadium of city rivals Palmeiras.

Already dubbed 'Timão' (the Big Team), Corinthians would earn another nickname after this match: the 'team of the turn'. Several greats featured for both sides. Chelsea's reliable keeper Sam Millington, long-serving full-back Tommy Law and stylish skipper Andy Wilson (pictured below) all played. Some of Corinthians' and Brazil's most feted stars also figured: defenders Pedro Grané and Armando Del Debbio, Alexandre De Maria and José 'Rato' Castelli, who as a youth coach later developed the great Roberto Rivelino. They were the back-to-back champions of Brazil and would make it a treble the following season.


Chelsea were in Division Two, and the spirit engendered by three months together touring Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil would drive the Londoners on to promotion the next May.

Despite Corinthians having the more attacks, it was the Brits who seized the initiative in São Paulo with a devastating eight-minute lesson in finishing. A direct move through midfield created the first for winger William Jackson. Inside-left Wilson made it 2-0 directly from a free kick soon after, and striker Sid Elliott broke clear, eluded challenges and beat Tuffy for a third.

Corinthians replied swiftly with a deflected shot in off Tommy Law. Another set-piece striker, from Grané, made it 3-2 before Gambinha equalised. Winger De Maria confirmed the hosts' comeback from a three-goal deficit - hence 'team of the turn' - by putting his side 4-3 ahead.

Elliott scored his second, the tourists' fourth, and Millington starred in the final moments as Chelsea held on for a 4-4 draw. Chelsea played one more match in the same city, a 1-2 loss to São Paulo, before catching the train back to Rio, from where they sailed home.

The Pensioners' record in Brazil ended as two draws and two defeats, but as English football pioneers they given a rousing send-off by a huge crowd at Estação da Luz.

Chelsea have faced other compatriots of Corinthians including Olaria in 1954 and Santos, the club of Pele et al, in 1970 and 1971. The latter set a record crowd for a football match in Jamaica where it was played.

This is the first time we have met Brazilian opposition in a truly meaningful match.

Details of the 1929 tour match
4 July 1929 (Sao Pãulo, Brazil)
Corinthians……..………4 Chelsea………..……4
Gambinha 31, 42               Jackson 20
Grané 35                              Wilson 26
De Maria 55                         Elliott 28, 65
                     Att: 10,000

Other friendlies against Brazilian opposition include
28 Jun 1929 - Rio de Janeiro XI (away) - D 1-1
30 Jun 1929 - Rio de Janeiro XI (away) - L 1-2
7 Jul 1929 - São Paulo (away) - L 1-3
1 May 1954 - Olaria (Luxembourg) - D 1-1
2 Apr 1957 - Bahia (home) - W 3-1
22 Apr 1958 - Canto do Rio (home) - W 3-2
12 May 1970 - Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) - L 1-4
2 Feb 1971 - Santos (Kingston, Jamaica) - L 0-1

Visit tomorrow for part two of the Briefing. 

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