Corinthians fans wanted to break players’ legsPato was one of the players targeted by the club's fans -
In the latest controversy surrounding Brazilian football, Corinthians fans that broke into the team’s training complex on Saturday wanted to break the legs of Emerson Sheik and Alexandre Pato according to the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.
Approximately 100 fans cut through a wire-mesh fence on Saturday to invade Corinthians' training ground. Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero was grabbed by his neck, forcing other players to flee into a locker room and barricade themselves until police arrived.
"This represents the failure of the Brazilian state. It was something that shocked everyone, and it still hurts. Teams don't lose because they want to lose. It's something that happens in football. Authorities are the ones responsible for handling this type of violence, not the clubs." Corinthians President Mario Gobbi said on Monday.
Corinthians won the 2012 Club World Cup thanks to a goal by Guerrero in the final against Chelsea but things have not been so sweet for the São Paulo outfit since then. Players threatened not to play on Sunday because of the attack, but in the end players were convinced to do so in respect to other fans and sponsorship deals. The team lost 2-1 to Ponte Preta, marking the third defeat in a row for the country's second-most popular club.
"We can't accept this type of violence. This is not the football that we want to see here in Brazil. When something like this happens, you just feel like going home," said Corinthians and ex-Brazil coach Mano Menezes.
Sheik e Pato are thought to have been targeted for different reasons. Sheik was pictured last year kissing a male friend whilst the ex-Milan forward faced the wrath of fans after missing the decisive penalty, taken in nonchalant fashion, that eliminated the Timão from the Copa do Brasil.