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Corinthians pay tribute to Ayrton Senna by wearing helmets before game

In a football-mad country like Brazil, one would expect the most popular sportsperson of all time to be Pele. However, the general consensus is that the honor belongs to Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, the man many consider to be the greatest racing driver who ever lived.

The Sao Paulo native's devout Catholicism struck a chord with the South American nation, he frequently spoke out for the impoverished and always maintained that he wanted to "achieve something for Brazil." He was a winner, his story touched people all over the world and he is nothing short of a demigod in his home nation. At his funeral, over a million people lined the streets of Sao Paulo city on a Brazilian day of mourning.

Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Senna's fatal accident at the San Marino Grand Prix. On Wednesday evening, his local football club Corinthians paid the three-time F1 champion an unusual tribute as they came out onto the field for their Copa do Brasil match at Nacional.

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Wearing their third-choice yellow strip, the team carried replicas of Senna's famous yellow and green racing helmet. When they put them on, they received a huge cheer from the crowd, even though they were the visiting team.

Corinthians completed their tribute fittingly by winning the match 3-0.

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Ryan Bailey is a writer for Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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