Copa América: Remembering Corinthians’ Brazilian stars in the 1950’s

06/17/2019 17h45 Corinthians Agency

Photo caption: Gylmar dos Santos Neves defending the Alvinegro net. Image: Corinthians Archive

Copa América 2019 kicked-off with two Timão players in Tite’s squad, goalkeeper Cássio and right-back Fagner. During the coming days, will remember the best moments from Alvinegro players at the Copa América.

A trio of Corinthians stars made their way to the 1953 Copa América, taking place in Peru. Midfielder Cláudio, reliable goalkeeper Gylmar dos Santos Neves and natural header Baltazar were part of the squad. Brazil may have just missed out on the title but that didn’t take the light from the Corinthians’ players. Out of the 269 goals Baltazar scored in his 12 years at Corinthians, at least 71 were scored with his head, earning him the nickname ‘Cabecinha de Ouro’ or ‘Gold Little Head.’ One of the best stars of his time and a Timão idol, the attacking midfielder was the top scorer of several championships during the 50’s and represented Brazil at the World Cup in 1950 and 1954. Gylmar dos Santos Neves, considered by many as one of the best goalkeepers in Corinthians’ history, was an Alvinegro idol, playing for the club from 1951 and 1961. Very reliable and agile, the goalkeeper was a crucial part of the title winnings sides of 1951, 1952 and 1954. The goalkeeper was also part of Brazil’s back-to-back World Cup triumphs of 1958 and 1962.

Eight Corinthians’ players helped give a black and white feel to the 1956 championship in Uruguay. Baltazar, Cabeção, Gylmar, Índio, Olavo, Oreco, Roberto Belangero and manager Oswaldo Brandão. Of those players, Luizinho stood out. Known as the Pequeno Polgar or ‘Little Thumb’, he stood at 1.64m high and thrilled the fans with speed and dribbles. He won six titles with Timão after joining the club in 1948. With 606 appearances for Corinthians, only Wladimir has more for Corinthians with 805.

Manager of Corinthians on five occasions, Osvaldo Brandão was taking charge of Brazil during the South American Championship in 1957, in Peru. Brazil would finish in second place, losing out to Argentina.

Brandão won five honours during his spells at Corinthians with his most iconic success coming in 1977. The manager returned to the club from managing Brazil and helped end a 23-year wait for a championship.

Following a first ever World Cup triumph in 1958, Brazil headed to Argentina for the Copa América.

Even lead by Pele, Brazil could only finish in second place, losing to Argentina with a side that featured the great Gylmar dos Santos Neves.