Under the lights of an oil lamp, in the "Rua dos Imigrantes" (Immigrants Street), the labourers Joaquim Ambrósio, Antônio Pereira, César Nunes, Rafael Perrone, Anselmo Correia, Alexandre Magnani, Salvador Lopomo, João da Silva, Antônio Nunes founded the first popular club in São Paulo.
Among the founders, the first ideas for the name of the club were full of Brazilian national spirit: Carlos Gomes Football Club and Futebol Clube Santos Dumont. However, these prominent Brazilian names were put aside after the English amateur team Corinthian, that used to wear pink and brown shirts, won all six games in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro during an exhibitional tour of Brazil. The name Sport Club Corinthians Paulista was agreed upon, as an homage to the great British club of the beginning of the past century. The name was suggested by Joaquim Ambrósio, one of those five labourers who founded the club.
Corinthians played their first match on September 10, 1910 playing away against União da Lapa, a respected amateur club in São Paulo, and despite being defeated by 1-0, this match would mark the beginning of a successful age as an amateur club.
With good results and an ascending number of supporters, Corinthians joined the Liga Paulista, after winning two qualifying games, and played in the São Paulo State Championship for the first time, in 1913, and just one year after joining the league, Corinthians was crown champion for the first time, in 1914 and again two years later.
As football was almost exclusively played at Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo by that time, the two state champions were considered to be the two top clubs in Brazil. And defeating the Rio de Janeiro State Championship champion of that year, América, Corinthians definitely joined the hall of the great teams in Brazil.
The beginning of the decade of 1950 made history in Corinthians and the São Paulo Championship. In 1951, the team composed of Carbone, Cláudio, Luisinho, Baltasar and Mário marked 103 gols in thirty matches of the São Paulo Championship, registering an average of 3,43 per game. Carbone was the artilleryman of the competition with 30 gols. It would also win the São Paulo Championship of 1952 and 1954.
In this same decade, Corinthians was champion three times of the Rio-São Paulo Championship (1950, 1953 and 1954) the tournament that starts to be the championship of most importance in the country, because counted on the participation of the greatests clubs of the two states that were more blunted in the country.
In 1953, in a championship carried through in Venezuela, Corinthians won the Small Goblet of the World, a championship that many consider as a precursor of the World-wide Championship of Clubs. In the occasion, Corinthians, substituting Vasco da Gama, went to Caracas, Venezuelan capital and conquered six consecutive victories, against the teams of A.S. Roma (1-0 and 3-1), CF Barcelona (3-2 and 1-0) and Selection of Caracas (2-1 and 2-0). It would also conquer the Goblet of IV the Centenarian of São Paulo, in the same year of 1954.
But after the headings of the São Paulo Championship and the Rio-São Paulo of 1954, Corinthians would live great lack of titles. The breakthrough finally came when they won the São Paulo state championship in 1977, breaking a string of 23 years without a major title.
In 2000, Corinthians won the first edition of the FIFA Club World Cup, beating Vasco in the final, at Estádio do Maracanã. To reach the final, Corinthians finished ahead of Real Madrid of Spain, Al-Nasr of Saudi Arabia and Raja Casablanca of Morocco. In the same decade, the club won the state championship in 2001 and in 2003., and the Copa do Brasil in 2002, beating Brasiliense in the final.
Between 1990 and 2005, the club also won the Ramón de Carranza Trophy in 1996, the Rio-São Paulo Tournament in 2002, the São Paulo Youth Cup in 1995, 1999, 2004, and 2005, and the Dallas Cup in 1999 and 2000.
This situation was one of the factors which enabled Corinthians' president, Alberto Dualib, to convince the club's advisors to sign a controversial deal with an international fund of investors called Media Sports Investment. The deal granted the company a large degree of control over the club for 10 years in exchange for large financial investments in return. This has brought many quality players to the team, such as Carlos Tévez, Roger, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Alberto.
Despite the MSI investiments, Corinthians had a slow start in the 2005 state championship, but managed to improve as it progressed, eventually managing to finish second. Their start to the Brazilian championship during 2005 was difficult, too, but after Daniel Passarella's dismissal (due to an unexpected 5-1 loss to Corinthians' rivals, São Paulo), the club finished the championship well, and were eventually crowned Brazilian Champions for the fourth time, after some controversial annulment of eleven games due to a betting scandal.
The relationship between Corinthians' managers and the MSI president, Kia Joorabchian is not good, and after being eliminated in the Copa Libertadores de América, the club experienced a crisis which was responsible for the bad performances for the rest of 2006. Is still unknown whether the partnership will continue for the coming years and whether the club will get more funds to sign new players, although Kia Joorabchian has left the partnership.