I will definitely be watching the World Cup final on Sunday, but it just got more interesting to me. Wikipedia has the info on the “Unofficial Football World Champions” (UFWC), a boxing-style recognition of who’s the best soccer team in the world, and The Netherlands currently holds the title. Not only is the World Cup at stake, but also the UFWC.
The UFWC works like this: The team that holds the title successfully defends it if it wins or ties an international match. If it loses, the victor gets the title of UFWC. How is the original title-holder decided? By going back to the first international soccer match where a team won (England over Scotland in 1873).
Interestingly, the US has held the title twice, most recently by beating Portugal in the US Cup in 1992. They defended the title versus Italy 3 days later, but in the following game versus Australia (not part of the US Cup), they surrendered the title to Australia. The US could have captured the crown again during the friendly versus The Netherlands earlier this year, but lost 2-1.
After the World Cup, I will be marking my calendar for future matches with the UFWC at stake.
Follow all my World Cup statistical analysis here.