Cássio recalls the Libertadores title with Corinthians: “I’ll only know when I stop” | Corinthians

The 4th of July is a special day for Cássio and the tens of millions of Corinthians fans. On this date, in 2012, Timão beat Boca Juniors 2-0, at Pacaembu, and won their unprecedented Copa Libertadores title.

In an interview with geCássio recalls his trajectory until the final, tells behind the scenes of the day of the decision and the importance of that achievement.

– The most remarkable (game) I think was against Emelec. The first game. Tite put me as a starter in a championship that we really wanted to win, and in a very difficult game in Ecuador. It was a game that was well marked for me, having gone through that first match as a starter, it gave me a lot of confidence – said the goalkeeper.

Cássio with the Libertadores Cup in 2012 — Photo: Photo by Buda Mendes/LatinContent via Getty Images

And guess what the most important defense for him is?

– Defense doesn’t have much to say. When they talk about Cássio up front, it’s Diego Souza’s defense against Vasco. In the distant future, when they talk about Cássio, Diego Souza’s defense will always be remembered as Cássio’s defense – he recalled.

Read the interview with Cassio below:

ge: How was it for you to reach the day of the final after having only started in the round of 16?
cassio: – It was a very special day. I was arriving at Corinthians, I was the first-choice goalkeeper for a few games. I didn’t have so many games, since the focus after the elimination of Paulista was Libertadores, so I played a mixed team or reserve in the Brazilian. For me it was special. I came from Holland without playing, at first without the fans’ perspective, from everyone, about me, but I managed to show my work and become a first-choice goalkeeper. When I arrived, there was a lot of pressure for Corinthians to win the Libertadores. It was a demand that it was past time to win the Libertadores, which was a title that Corinthians did not have. Normal of a big team in search of titles. Reaching the final is a different thing, it was a new thing, a long-awaited title.

Cássio Diego Souza Corinthians Vasco Libertadores 2012 — Photo: AP Agency

Julio Cesar was being criticized a lot when Tite decided to put you in the starting lineup…
I think it’s unfair (with Julio), but everyone has their opinion. Júlio was the starter, he had made a brilliant Brasileirão in 2011, when they were champions, but he was always questioned. The team won, he made the saves, but he never got the credit. There was no credibility because he was playing, look that he did a lot for Corinthians. There was always this questioning about Corinthians needing a goalkeeper. And I got into that situation. I remember that when I joined, people said that if I didn’t sign, Corinthians would have to hire the ninth goalkeeper, situations that created more pressure.

Julio Cesar and Cássio – Corinthians — Photo: Publicity

How was the night before the final? Did you sleep?
I don’t have a problem with that, you know? As much as it was a very important game, I’m calm. Even my wife, today she talks like this, because sometimes I have some important games… And we play at 21:30 or 16:00… I’m concentrated, I play important games at night, she calls me and I don’t answer, I’m sleeping in the afternoon . She says, “How can you sleep? There are important games and such” (laughs). I’m pretty cool about that. I remember I managed to get a really good sleep, but in the afternoon I couldn’t. I managed to rest well at night.

And woke up early?
I remember waking up around 8 or 9 am. We focus on the CT itself. And fireworks, people outside the CT singing, you could hear it, it was a very positive atmosphere, where things were going well and everything was going to end well. It was a very favorable atmosphere. It helps a lot, because waiting until 9:30 am to play is a time that doesn’t pass (laughs).

About that finale atmosphere, what was the pre-game mood?
– I felt a very confident atmosphere. A lot of confidence indeed. Both in Tite’s lecture, in the players. I remember Andrés came here for the afternoon snack and joked with me: “Oh, if you don’t score a goal today, we’ll be champions”. Then I: “Gee, don’t you need anything else? Do you want anything else?” But, you know, what marked it… It felt like if we lost that title it would be for ourselves. It was a degree of trust, friendship, all flowing into winning the title. Everything that happened in the championship, the growth of the club in general, structured, training center, I played at Pacaembu, a very nice stadium that looked like home to Corinthians, so everything flowed towards the title. Everything was very organized and in sync.

Pacaembu at a party with Corinthians on the field for the 2012 Libertadores final — Photo: Daniel Augusto Jr./Ag. Corinthians

Did the confidence continue even after the first half ended 0-0?
– I remember that when we went to the locker room, everyone was very calm, confident that we were going to win the title. It was trust, everyone believing everyone else. Arriving at Pacaembu, completely packed, it was a phenomenal atmosphere. It’s my 11th season here. It was one of the only games we got to warm up and it was completely packed. I think it was a harrowing day for the fan until game time, but everything happened naturally, and it went well.

Remember something in the stands that marked you?
I try to stay as focused as possible. Now at Arena it is less because it is closer, but at Pacaembu it was further away. But one thing I remember is that I got to see my family members. I got the people that are special to me to be there, so they could be at the games. The cousins ​​I lived in their house when I started back at Grêmio. My mother was there, some aunts, my manager, my uncle who took me to take the tests, special people for me. I managed to say goodbye there, but a little shy, to say that I saw them, but then I focused again. I like to go in as concentrated as possible. It was something that over time, with Tite, at the time, I started to evolve. Sometimes I came in a little unfocused, but I gained this experience over time. And a packed stadium, right? It was really crowded, amazing atmosphere.

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Best moments of Corinthians 2 x 0 Boca Juniors in the final of the Libertadores Cup 2012

Best moments of Corinthians 2 x 0 Boca Juniors in the final of the Libertadores Cup 2012

What does this title represent for your life?
– I’ll get a sense of what this title represents when I stop playing and telling the stories. As much as it is a title that the Corinthians fan wanted, it’s hard to get a sense of it while you’re playing. I know it was very important, but we who play, particularly I, still can’t get that idea. I think you have it when you stop. I know it was very important for me to have won that title by taking on the Corinthians goal, it gives me the morale to continue the work and establish myself as a starter.

– But with the team and the coach we had, it gave me a lot of peace of mind to continue. Winning this title, the way it was, with the importance it has for the institution, gave me a lot of confidence to go on working, we were winning other titles, a very victorious time for Corinthians.

Cássio before Fluminense x Corinthians — Photo: Rodrigo Coca/Corinthians

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About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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