FIFA is taking a different approach to the Intercontinental Cup.
On Friday, the FIFA Council convened in India and approved recognition of all European and South American clubs that won the Intercontinental Cup as club world champions. The tournament, which was played between 1960 and 2004, pitted the winner of the European Champions Clubs' Cup against the winner of the Copa Libertadores, and served as the predecessor to the Club World Cup.
European champions include:
South American champions include:
In its first five years, the Intercontinental Cup was an epic tournament. Pele had his best performance in the competition as Santos beat SL Benfica, and the tie, more often than not, was a gripping and intense affair. But it started to unravel in the mid-1960s, when cultural differences translated to violence.
In 1967, a clash between Racing and Celtic featured five sending-offs and was so rancorous that, at one point, armed police took the pitch. In 1968, United, England's first representative, lost to Estudiantes in a bad-tempered match which saw George Best sent off. In 1969, there was so much violence and blood as Milan beat Los Pincharratas that it was clear the Intercontinental Cup was doomed.
European clubs decided that the Intercontinental Cup wasn't worth the trouble, and, in 1980, the tournament was reformatted as a one-off game in Japan. It was played that way until its death in 2004.