Luiz will give Rafa the lowdown on Chelsea's Club World Cup final opponents Corinthians… and we'll do the same for you
15:30 GMT, 14 December 2012
David Luiz is planning to give his Rafa Benitez all the information he needs on Corinthians, his boyhood club and the team which stand between Chelsea and the world title.
He will tell them about the famously frenzied fans, about the selfless and workmanlike ethic which is their chief characteristic and about star player Paulinho.
'I know all about Corinthians,' said Luiz. 'I can talk about them to the rest of the team for half an hour or more.
Words of wisdom: David Luiz will tell Rafa Benitez how to cope with his boyhood side Corinthians
CORINTHIANS: The lowdown
THEY'RE THE CHELSEA OF BRAZIL
Well, kind of. They're Brazil's richest club but, like Chelsea in the Champions League, they never managed to translate their spending power into success in the Copa Libertadores until this year. Both clubs have also won a similar number of league titles, five and four, respectively.
THEY HAVE ENGLISH HERITAGE
Indeed. Their name was inspired by Corinthian Football Club, a London-based team who toured Brazil in 1910. Thankfully, Corinthians' founders did not delve too much deeper into the principles of their namesakes, who refused to enter the Football League or FA Cup for years because their rules forbade them from competing for 'any challenge cup or prizes of any description'. Corinthian FC's white shirts also inspired those of Real Madrid.
THEY'VE WON THIS CUP ALREADY
Again, kind of. Remember the fuss that was made back in 1999 when Manchester United withdrew from the FA Cup That was after FIFA decided to organise their own club tournament, seemingly in a bid to extend their dominion over the game in an era when UEFA's Champions League was becoming as big as international football. Anyway, Corinthians won the bloated eight-team tournament despite only qualifying as 'hosts'.
THEIR NEW STADIUM LOOKS SENSATIONAL
And so it should, as it's due to host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup. Work on the 68,000 Arena Corinthians began last year and is due to be completed in 2013 at a cost of 350 million US dollars (217million). Corinthians have been tenants at the 40,000 Estadio do Pacaembu for 72 years and it certainly looks its age, having hosted games at the 1950 World Cup.
NOT NEIL WARNOCK'S FAVOURITE CLUB
UEFA last week announced rules to outlaw third-party ownership of players, which was banned in England after West Ham took advantage of the practice to bring Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to the Premier League six years ago from Corinthians. It caused an almighty storm after the club survived relegation at the expense of Warnock's Sheffield United. Co-incidentally, Chelsea's next game is against his Leeds side.
BEN RUMSBY, PA
'They have Paulinho, yes but more important are their tactics. They are a very tactically aware team, playing with two lines, always compact and solid.
'The key to Corinthians is their passion. They work hard as a team, they run hard, they are energetic and they are united. They are strong throughout, and they have a passionate support.
'Paulinho plays for the national team, and other experienced players like Douglas, who has a lot of quality with his left foot.
'I have lots of friends there, like Cassio the goalkeeper, who I played with in the Brazil U20s and the national team. Wallace played with me as a 14-year-old, Fabio Santos their left-back played with me when we were younger as well.
'They are my friends. I know them, they know me. It’s a great game for me to have.'
Luiz was born in Sao Paulo state, although he moved away to pursue his career as a teenager.
'I was a Corinthians fan,' he said. 'I started out playing for Sao Paulo, not Corinthians, and Kaka was always my idol, because he was not just a good player, but also a good person as well.
'I saw a lot of Corinthians game but now I am a professional, a Chelsea player, so I know what I have to do. I just hope Chelsea win. That’s my focus.
'I saw the Club World Cup final in 2000, when Corinthians beat Vasco Da Gama, two teams with real quality. It was good for me to watch the game and the big teams, because Real Madrid were there as well as Manchester United.
'I remember Ryan Giggs scoring against Palmeiras in 1999, a month before that Club World Cup. He's a special talent, a fantastic player. For him to play well for so many successive years is incredible.
'Scolari was manager of Palmeiras then and I remember that – because Palmeiras had taken out Corinthians in the semi-final of the Copa Libertadores! If we'd won, we'd have been playing United, not them.
'Corinthians won their first Copa Libertadores this year. Now they have their first opportunity to win the Club World Cup. It's different in South America. For us in Brazil this is the last game of the season, like the Champions League Final was for Chelsea.
'For the fans in Brazil all the build-up and preparation means it feels like an early Christmas present, because the calendar is different.
'People dream, a lot, about this competition. I did, too. When I was young I always talked about this competition, dreaming that one day I would get the chance to play in it, in the final. Now I have that opportunity.'
Advantage: Luiz hopes his information will help team-mates like Fernando Torres flourish
Meet Corinthians' Mr Perfect who is out to get Chelsea – by Ben Rumsby, PA
He paints, he writes, he plays chess, poker and tennis – and he is a male model.
And if that were not enough to make Chelsea fans sick of Corinthians' Mr Perfect, Paulo Andre was today also plotting the European champions' downfall in Sunday's Club World Cup final.
Andre is the ideal antidote to the stereotype of the modern footballer, the defender as much of an exception to the rule in Brazil as he would be in England.
Mr Perfect: Paulo Andre (centre) is plotting the downfall of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final
Speaking in near-flawless English he learnt during pizza-eating sessions with two Americans while a youth-team player, Andre said: 'I'm unusual. It's very hard to find players like that.
'I'm not sure if it's because they are not capable or because they are shy about saying they do different things from football.
'We have a culture in Brazil where the football player can only play football. He can't think, he can't talk, he's there just to play.
'And I'm trying to show people that you can be different.'
The 29-year-old does not hide his light under a bushel.
Unusually in football these days he wrote his own autobiography, 'The Game of My life', and celebrated Corinthians' Brazilian title win last year by creating a giant painting using footballs dipped in black paint kicked at the canvas by his team-mates.
It can only be imagined what he would do if they are crowned world champions on Sunday.
'I could never dream that I would play a final game like this,' Andre said.
'So, this is the chance of my life, it's the moment I live for.'
It has become a cliche that the Club World Cup means more to South American teams than their European counterparts.
'I think it's cultural in our country,' said Andre, who nevertheless claimed the Copa Libertadores had become even more of an obsession for Corinthians before their maiden triumph this year.
They had already won the one-off Club World Championship in Brazil back in 2000, although if their fans care less about the current tournament, they have a funny way of showing it.
Around 30,000 of their estimated 30 million following are expected to attend Sunday's final and Andre said: 'We see from our fans – 30 million fans – that they ask us just to make them proud and show them who Corinthians are and that's what we're going to do.'
Tough: Santos knows Chelsea will be tricky to beat but says his side knows how to do it
Andre is a lifelong supporter himself, finally realising his dream of playing for the club three years ago via a stint in France and a trial at Rangers.
The Glasgow giants failed to meet the asking price of his Brazilian club but Andre had no regrets about not moving to the UK.
The man who has yet to be capped by his country, but was crowned Brazil's Footballer of the Year last year, said: 'I think I went the right way. I'm playing a final in a World Cup.'
For that final to be a success, Andre must tame Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard and put an end to Fernando Torres' mini-revival.
'We know exactly what to do to try to stop them, so let's try to put into practice what we have in mind, what our coach said to do,' Andre said.
'Of course, it would've been much better if it was a month ago because of Torres…'
On song: Juan Mata will need to be shackled if Corinthians are to suceed
Andre was referring to the latest goal drought for the 50million man, ended emphatically after he netted five times in his last three games.
That included yesterday's semi-final win over Monterrey, in which Chelsea looked far more comfortable than Corinthians did in their own semi against Al Ahly.
Andre warned his side were capable of creating their own shock on Sunday, something that is sure to see him release an updated version of his autobiography.
There could be plenty more volumes to come as well, with the defender already planning for his retirement.
'I would really like to help my country to rediscover their brilliant football, with organisation and everything else,' he said.
'I don't know about coaching, but maybe with sports politics.
'I think I have the knowledge – practical and theoretical – to do that.'