Tite pays tribute to Corinthians supporters after Club World Cup triumph

The 51-year-old trainer thanked their vociferous fans for cheering them to victory, and claimed that Timao's success in the tournament proves the value of teamwork
Corinthians coach Tite has hailed the club's supporters after their 1-0 Club World Cup final win over Chelsea.

Paolo Guerrero's 69th-minute header was enough to settle matters in Yokohama in front of approximately 15,000 Timao faithful who had travelled from Brazil for the match.

And the 51-year-old boss, who was applauded by the media after entering his press conference carrying the trophy, told reporters: "The supporters have been great since we left Brazil.

"All the way into the stadium we heard them the whole time, we really made it this far because of them.

"Each time we snatched a ball they cheered us so much. The supporters played with us, they are like players. I don't know where they get the energy, but when the team is running out of stamina, the supporters inject energy into us. They really are so passionate."

Corinthians had been the underdogs going into the final against the European champions, but Tite insists his side's recent defensive record left them full of confidence as they prepared to take on Rafa Benitez's men.

"We respected Chelsea, but we charged into the game confident that we conceded very few goals in recent games," he continued.

"The first half was quite balanced, we had opportunities and Chelsea have agile players who counter-attacked well. Also they used long balls. They ran a lot and quickly, so we adjusted our marking system to stop them, as we did not want to give them space to run. We had to stop Lampard and their fast players.

"In the second half we were getting tired, but we were able to score. We could have killed the game, but we did not, but we stayed calm."

But Tite remained humble after it was suggested he could now be considered the side's greatest-ever manager, after guiding them to their first global title one year after claiming the Copa Libertadores.

"I don't think I am the greatest coach in the history of the club, there were other great coaches before me," he said.

 "But there were hard times and the club always supported me. At times, coaches get changed when things don't work, but they trusted me, invested in me. I am very grateful."

The Brazilian also paid tribute to the efforts of his side, adding that lifting the trophy was a sign of the importance of teamwork in modern football.

"There are many elements in a victory, but the main ones were teamwork and support," he added.

"Corinthians winning this cup teaches us an important lesson: football teams are more important than individual talent. Even if you have a lot of talent, teamwork is more important, just running more, doing more, defending more, co-operating. This is what we do at Corinthians."