It’s harder staying on top than getting there, as the saying goes. And São Paulo FC maintained its global supremacy in 1993. That year’s Club World Cup was decided against the mighty, and almost mythical, Milan. Fate conspired to make the greatest names of football meet in the International Stadium on that fateful day of December 12.
The match started at noon (or midnight back here). Relentless pressure; the “Rossoneri” had the upper hand; São Paulo FC only had its first chance – and what a blessed chance it was – at 19’, in a counter-attack. And that is all it took. With two defenders on him, André Luís crossed the ball to Cafu on the other side of the field. The ball bounced and found its way to the midfielder, who one-shotted it back to the penalty box, straight into the feet of São Paulo FC’s number 9, Palhinha, who touched it to a beautiful goal. Open score: 1×0 for São Paulo FC!
Milan’s reaction came in the second half. Massaro tied the match at 3’. Maintaining its strategy and pace, Tricolor once again found its way in a counter attack. At 14’, Palhinha passed to Leonardo on the left, who dribbled and passed for Cerezo to make the goal in the goal box. 2×1 for Tricolor!
In desperation, the Italian team started to bet on aerial plays. They managed to tie the game at 36’ of the second half. What a shame. Everything indicated that the match would move on to overtime. Would the team that played almost 100 matches that year be able to endure overtime? No one will ever know, because at 41’ it was clear that if there was a higher power in the universe, its hand was helping São Paulo Futebol Clube that day.