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It's commonly believed that Brazil's first ever international game was played against Exeter City Football Club, in July 1914. A game played at the Estádio das Laranjeiras stadium of Fluminense FC in Rio de Janeiro which saw the Brazilians win, 2-0.

However, overlooked by football historians, is the fact that the Corinthians played against a select team referred to as "The Brazilians" a whole four years earlier - on the 29th August, 1910.

The first ever Brazilian XI
Having previously bested the national teams of South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and France - Brazil were the latest nation keen to challenge the mighty English amateurs on their first legendary tour to South America in 1910. The fixture came after two previous encounters with Fluminense and a Rio select XI. All the games were played at the Fluminense ground and, ahead of the match against "The Brazilians", local papers reported:

"To watch the match of the invincible Corinthians team against a team of Brazil - the President of the Republic, the Ministers of England, Argentina and Portugal, and other persons, ladies and gentlemen of high social standing, will attend."

It's unclear why the game has been forgotten (the match appears to have been the social event to attend in 1910) but perhaps it is because Brazilian historians would prefer to remember a victory rather than a defeat! It's said that all the players came from the Rio state, and so it's possible that's why the game has been overlooked, but - having just played a "Rio select XI" a day earlier - it would seem that this "Brazilian" side was considered more than just another state XI.

A match report from the Times, written by a member of the Corinthian team reported:

Corinthian FC vs The Brazilians

At Rio de Janiero - August 29th

Next came our last game - for the time being, at any rate - in Rio, our opponents being a picked Brazilian team, and very well they played. A feature of the football out here has been the thoroughly sporting spirit in which the Brazilians play the game. They have so far been beaten in every game, but they have never ceased to do all they can, and the matches have all been fought out in the true, clean spirit of amateur football. In this last match in Rio, Mr Todd, of H.B.M.S. Amethyst, very kindly and most capably officiated as referee.

We lost the toss for the first time, and kicked off uphill before a large crowd, which included, amongst all the elite of Rio, the President of the Republic, who did us the honour of coming to see the game, and who, we understand, was highly delighted with the good account the Brazilians gave of themselves, as indeed he had reason to be. The match, although hardly so close as the score of five goals to two in our favour might suggest, was yet quite the hardest we have yet played. The Corinthian forwards, tired by their previous efforts and by the unlimited hospitality we have all received out here, hardly did themselves justice, the shooting being particularly weak. On the other hand, the Brazilian defence was very fine and they packed their goal very cleverly. The Corinthian halves and backs played a strong game, Morgan-Owen being indefatigable both in attack and defence, while Braddell and Tetley looked after their wing men excellently. We fear at present that Howell-Jones, who received a bad kick in the match against Rio, will not be able to play again during the tour, which is a great misfortune.


Brazil's first international, being played in the shadow of Rio's iconic Corcovado mountain. 


The Brazilian forwards played a very keen game, but were not often dangerous since, apart from their two goals and a strong shot from a free kick early in the game, Rogers was not often called upon. From the start the Corinthians took the ball up to their opponents goal, but the shot went wide. After this the Corinthians for some time continued to press, but the shooting was weak, and Day and Kerry, the former suffering from a cut knee and the latter from an indisposition which had kept him out of the team before, were feeling the heat very much. Eventually, however, Day scored a good goal - the first point of the game. Shortly afterwards Coleby obtained another point and then Day added a third. Following this came a run by the Brazil forwards, and Rogers had to run out to save, but failed to clear properly, and Cox scored with a fine shot, with the goalkeeper absent. Following this the Corinthians pressed again, but no further points were added, and half-time arrived with the tourists leading 3-1.

In the second portion the Corinthians, with the slope in their favour, pressed continually, but could only succeed in scoring two goals, one by Day and the other from Brisley’s foot, the Brazilian defence being very fine. Their goalkeeper played a good game except for the last item, which he should have avoided. Their backs kicked and tackled well and their halves played strongly, the wing never leaving their man alone and the centre being both ubiquitous and indefatigable. With the score 4-1 the Brazilians got another goal, Abelado scoring cleverly with a long dropping shot. Just after this Coleby scored again, and time came with the score 5-2 in favour of the Corinthians, after a very fast game in sultry weather.


Brazilians: Alvarenga (goal), Villaea and Paranhos (backs), Rolando, Mutz and Almeida (half-backs), Lauro, Gilbert, Cox, Abelardo and Gomez (forwards).

Corinthians: R.Rogers (goal), C.C. Page and W.U. Timmis (backs), J.C.D. Tetley, M.Morgan-Owen and R.L.L. Braddell (half-backs),  J.E. Snell, C.E. Brisley, S.H. Day, A.T. Coleby and A.H.G. Kerry (forwards). 


The Corinthians that toured Brazil in 1910

Click here to read more about this extraordinary chapter in the Corinthian history, which led eventually to the founding of the Brazilian titans SC Corinthians Paulista.

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