A brief history...

Sao Paulo Futebol Clube are the youngest of the major teams from the capital of Sao Paulo state, an area in constant development which already accommodates over 40 per cent of Brazilian industry.

Founded by Edgar Souza Aranha on 27 January 1930, Sao Paulo struggled for a long time to earn themselves a place in the sun alongside the state's two traditional giants, Corinthians and Palmeiras.

Nevertheless, the club's motto "Football is an art, we have another approach to the game" quickly helped them build a fan base of loyal Torcedores. And taking to the field in a white shirt with a black and red horizontal stripe across the front, the team benefited no end in the early days from two extraordinary talents. First of all, legendary goalscorer Artur Friedenreich netted an incredible 1,329 strikes in a 26-year career to become the darling of the crowds packed into Sao Paulo stadium, known more commonly as Morumbi stadium. Officially, the ground holds a maximum of 80,500 supporters.

Either way, they were soon being dazzled by the skills of Leonidas da Silva, the 'black diamond', who made his debut for Sao Paulo on 1 April 1942. By the time he retired on 30 October 1951, the extremely agile and seemingly elastic striker had scored 140 goals in 211 games, many of them thanks to his speciality - the bicycle kick. His record with the Brazilian national team was perhaps even more impressive, and he struck for the Seleçao at the rate of a goal per game, scoring 25 in 25 appearances.

Thanks to these exceptional players, a list which should also include Brazilian captain Carlos Bauer, Sao Paulo won themselves a steady stream of titles. But the club's real heyday came in their third era of sustained success - the 1990s - as coach Tele Santana and elegant midfielder Raï drove them to success at home and abroad.

Adding a third Copa Libertadores triumph to their list of honours in 2004, Sao Paulo have managed to remain true to their motto over the years, proving that football is the most thrilling of games when played in the proper spirit.