The Real Story Behind Max Payne 3′s Fictitious Soccer Club


Most of Max Payne 3 takes place in Sao Paolo, Brazil. One set-piece in particular takes place at the stadium of a fictitious soccer club, “Galatians FC.” This is a clear reference to Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, one of the two major teams in real-world Sao Paolo and the richest and most valuable team in Brazilian football. The team is known colloquially as just “Corinthians,” or in Brazil by its imposing nickname “Timão” (“the big team”).

Since being founded in 1910, Corinthians has won the Paulista, the Sao Paolo state championship, a record-setting 26 times, while also capturing five titles in the Brasileirão, the national league. Several major international stars have spent part of their careers at Corinthians, including Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano. The club also signed three-time world player of the year Ronaldo when he returned to Brazil after playing in Europe.

To hide their tracks from Corinthians’ legal department, Rockstar have changed the colors, the year of founding, and the Galatians logo, which interestingly enough appears to be inspired by the logo of another major Brazilian team, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (better known as just “Flamengo”), which plays in Rio de Janeiro. Still, their attention to detail is impressive: the thug against the wall in the above screenshot wears the away jersey of Sao Paulo Futebol Clube, Corinthians’ main rival. Not exactly an Easter Egg, but still pretty cool.

Though Rockstar’s reference is pretty clear, it still managed to befuddle Kotaku author Owen Good, who published an article this afternoon entitled “Wounded Galatian: Max Payne’s Soccer Mission, and the Meaning Behind its Fictitious Team.” According Good, “Galatians FC is likely also a reference to the Corinthian FC, an amateur team founded [in England] in 1882 and dissolved in 1939.” It’s not clear what combination of Google and Wikipedia mistakes led him to this conclusion, but he couldn’t be more wrong. “It’s a direct reference to English football,” Good smugly claims — “the reference is obvious.” The reference is, of course, obvious. Just not the reference he’s talking about. [Update: since this article was published, Good has edited the article.]

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3 Comments on The Real Story Behind Max Payne 3′s Fictitious Soccer Club


On June 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

You’re a great observer. Not even the Brazilians or Corinthians fans who’ve played this game might have noticed, it took a guy from around the world to notice that.

It’s funny that they have changed the Corinthians logo and name. I don’t see why they would have any problem with their name on the game. I have seen many exclusive Brazilians trademarks on many games before. On Driver 3 I saw the ice cream Kibon being sold on the beach and streets of Rio, people there usually prefer ice creams instead of hotdogs because of the hot weather. And on SOCON I saw boxes of Skol in a favela bar, Skol is the most popular beer in Brazil.

All the Corinthianos (Corinthians fans) would love too see their team on the game. I guess only Palmeiras (the rival team) would have a problem with that.

Something else you should know about Corinthians that I don’t think you will find it translated to english on Wiki. Is that Corinthians got a bad reputation because is usually the favorite team from most criminals, the people in Brazil even on the media, love to joke about it. When people often get robbed in Brazil by a guy armed with a 38mm pistol, is also no surprise that you’ll see a Corinthians uniform. That maybe explains why the kidnappers have chosen that spot for the delivery, even so they haven’t got the luck they expected. Would be great to see they wearing the actual Corinthians uniform, just like the realistic cops uniform, would all make perfect sense. Even with all this bad reputation the Brazilian former president Lula is a very big fan of Corinthians.


On July 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

I’m sorry but the shirt that guy against the wall is wearing isn’t the away jersey of Sao Paulo FC. This team uniform is red and BLACK with some white stripes. That shirt on the screenshot is red and GREEN with white stripes. So that jersey is probably from Fluminense FC, another team of Rio de Janeiro (Flamengo’s main rival)!

Jay the mack

On March 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

Whatsup with the Corinthians rant? the team in the game is obviously heavilly influenced by Fluminese fc. Get some Football Savy bro lol