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Thousands of fans are expected to travel to Japan next week in order to support the Timao's attempts to capture their first win in the tournament since the 2000 edition

The 2012 FIFA Club World Cup kicked off Thursday and is set to cap off the year in football as the world's most well-known clubs vie to be named the best.

The tournament, which runs from Dec. 6 to 16 in Japan, will see the top clubs from all the world's confederations battling it out. In this series, Goal.com presents to you all seven teams that will be taking part in this highly-anticipated tournament. Here, we profile Corinthians.

SHORT HISTORY

Under the light of a lantern, the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista was founded on Sept. 1, 1910, in the Bom Retiro neighborhood of São Paulo by five young workers. The team name came from a tribute to England's Corinthian Football Club, who toured Brazil in the same year. In the late '20s, 'The Timao' inaugurated the stadium Alfredo Schurig (Parque Sao Jorge); however, the "little farm" as it is known, was hardly used games for the team because of its small capacity of 18,000 suporters.

In more than 102 years of existence, Corinthians has experienced many historic moments, such as the invasion corintiana to watch the semifinal of the 1976 Brazilian Championship against Fluminense at the Maracana. On that occasion, more than 70,000 supporters went to Rio de Janeiro. The next year, 'The Timão' ended their period of 22 years without titles, beating Ponte Preta at Morumbi with a goal by Basílio. In 1982 and 1983, the club experienced the Corinthiana Democracy, where, after 18 years of dictatorship, Corinthians came to breathe the air of freedom.

In the 90s, Corinthians won four national titles: three in the Brazillian Championship (1990, 1998, 1999) and the 1995 Brazilian Cup. Right at the turn of the decade, 'The Timao' became the first champions of the FIFA Club World Cup by beating Vasco on penalties. In 2007, the team experienced their worst moment in its history: relegation to the Brazillian Championship Serie B. The next year, Corinthians came back to Serie A. In 2009, with the presence of Ronaldo in the squad, 'The Timão back to win important titles. This year, 'The Timão' conquered its first Copa Libertadores, earning the right to compete in this year's Club World Cup.

TACTICS & PLAYING STYLE

Tite is experiencing the best moments of his career as coach of Corinthians and wields a very strong lineup. In the Club World Cup, the commander intends to organize his team with a 4-2-3-1, using a line of three attacking midfielders, with only striker, Guerrero, dropped in the offensive sector.

During the matches, Tite's side will use several tactical patterns that will change depending on the situation and the substitutes. Especially worth noting is how strongly the attackers are able to mark their opponents.

THE STAR | Paulinho

The absolute starter of the Brazil and the Corinthians, Paulinho is more of a defensive midfielder who joined 'The Timão' as an unknown, but today is the most important player in the team. The 4-2-3-1 used in most games by Tite allows No. 8 to participate in more of the offensive action.

His play was directly responsible for Conrinthians' achievements in the 2011 Brazilian Championship and the Copa Libertadores; Paulinho and "watchdog" Ralf can be considered the best pair of defensive midfielders in the country.

THE SYMBOL | Emerson Sheik

After arriving at Corinthians in 2011, Emerson became the first athlete to win the Brasileirão three consecutive times by different clubs and wrote his name in the history of the Timao by scoring both goals in the final of the Libertadores against Boca Juniors.

Highly praised for his energy on the field, the attacker usually creates plenty of trouble for his opponents. Moreover, the Sheik is primarily responsible for many of Corinthians' prettiest moves - and daring provocations.

THE YOUNGSTER | Romarinho

The hero of the Corinthians draw against Boca Juniors in the first match of the Copa Libertadores' deciding series, Romarinho has already achieved acceptance from loyal fans. The attacker was hired by Timon after being elected the revelation of the Paulista Championship (State Championship) this year by Bragantino.

Taking advantage of injuries to fellow teammates, Romarinho played often in the second half of the year; however, he should start the tournament on the bench.

THREE FUN FACTS
  • In 2000, Corinthians won the first tournament of the FIFA Club World Cup by beating Vasco on penalties. The tournament is now hotly contested by fans in Brazil.
  • Fifa expects an invasion of Corinthians supporters to Japan. The Japanese Football Association (JFA) has stated that more than 8,500 supporters have obtained the necessary travel visas to visit Japan, while Corinthians themselves claim that more than 20,000 will make the journey.
  • Left back Fábio Santos and midfielder Danilo already won the Club World Cup for Sao Paulo in 2005.

PROBABLE STARTING XI

Coach Tite used the last rounds of the Brasileirao to make adjustments and set the team that will begin playing the Club World Cup. The two front lines are the only sector that remain unfilled. Danilo, Douglas, Emerson, Guerrero, Jorge Enrique, Martínez and Romarinho seek the last four spots in the starting line-up. It's believed that the first four are in prime position to earn Tite's approval.

With a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, the Peruvian is the only doubt. If not able to play, Jorge Henrique should get the job.



Cássio
Alessandro, Chicão, P. André, F. Santos
Ralf, Paulinho
Danilo, Douglas, Emerson
Guerrero

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