Croatia Will Defend The Unofficial World Title Against England

We already know that we'll have new world champions come Sunday night with Germany having long gone home and unable to defend their title but Croatia are already defending the unofficial world title.

Before the World Cup started Germany were hoping to become the first team to defend the title since Brazil did it in both 1958 and 1962, it's fair to say it didn't go too well with Joachim Low's side not even getting through the Group Stage.

Now France and England have the chance to become world champions for just the second time, and first time away from their own home whilst Croatia look to become the World Cup winners for the first time, not bad considering they've only been a country since 1991.

However Croatia, who made the semi-finals in 1998 only to lose to hosts and eventual winners France, have already been world champions in fact they're officially the unofficial world champions right now.

The 'Unofficial Football World Championships' records the linear footballing world championship. So like boxing everytime the champion plays football they are defending the title.

UFWC track their lineage back to the first two internationals both played between England and Scotland. The first was a draw in Glasgow but the second in London was a victory for England, making them the first champions.

Fast forward to tonight and Croatia, having won the title against Denmark on penalties two rounds ago, are defending their title against England, meaning whoever wins the final on Sunday will be official and unofficial world champions.

Last 10 UFWC matches. Image: UFWC
Last 10 UFWC matches. Image: UFWC

Weirdly before the World Cup started the title was actually held by Peru and, had they drawn all three of their games, they'd have ended the tournament with the title too. Peru held it for quite some time too.

Germany had held the title after winning the World Cup four years ago but lost their very next game, a friendly, to Argentina.

After that the title stayed in South America through friendlies, World Cup qualifiers and two Copa Americas and Peru eventually won it by beating Bolivia in a qualifier.

The Peruvians successfully defended it 10 times, including a friendly win over Croatia, but the loss to Denmark in their opening World Cup game saw the Danish become champions.

Draws against Australia and France meant they held onto it until the knockout stages but the penalty loss to Croatia handed the title over to Luka Modric and co.

UFWC also rank sides based on a points system. Teams win a point by winning a game where the title is on the line but nothing for a draw or loss and Scotland are actually the highest ranked side.

Scotland have won 86 of the 149 title matches they played in but haven't been champions since 2007. That though is more recently than England. The Three Lions last held the title in 2000 and are second with 73 wins from 144 games.

All time rankings. Image: UFWC
All time rankings. Image: UFWC

Can England take the title off Croatia before Sunday?

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013 ODDSbible safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013