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.]