Just four years after the sales of players such as Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano eventually helped lead to their relegation in 2007, Corinthians have won their fifth title all-time in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, besting Vasco Da Gama by two points.
A variety of factors, including business partnership with MSI gone wrong sent the club into a period of crisis in the last decade. Even though Andres Sanchez has helped guide Corinthians back to their old standing as one of the biggest clubs in South America, things looked grim earlier in the year. They were embarrassingly bounced out of Copa Libertadores and the fans reacted poorly, vandalizing the cars of players. Brazilian legends Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo departed, with the former going to Anzhi in Russia and the latter retiring from football altogether.
The club made intelligent acquisitions after that debacle and re-shaped the team, setting themselves up for a great run to the title in the 2011 Brasileirao.
Coming into the final round of the tournament, Vasco needed to win and needed Corinthians to lose in order to jump them in the standings. Both teams drew, giving the Timão the title. Though Corinthians have been good in front of goal all season, with Portuguese international Liedson scoring 12 times this year, they couldn't produce a draw in a wild 0-0 draw with Palmeiras that featured four sendings off. Chilean international appeared to give Corinthians a path to a win and a title when he was shown a straight red for a wild elbow at the beginning of the second half, but his red would be only the first of many in a stalemate.
Vasco couldn't have known what was happening in that match and almost made things interesting in the title race when Diego Souza scored in the 29th minute, heading in a cross from Nilton. Renato would score a 55th equalizer, however, squashing Vasco's title hopes.
That draw got Flamengo into the Copa Libertadores, where they will join Corinthians, Vasco, and defending tournament champions Santos FC in January. Also joining those four will be Internacional, who won on the final day, and Fluminense, who drew Botafogo to clinch their spot.