Tag Archives: Italy

Photo: Arena Pernambuco, Recife by Nelson Filho
Italy 0-1 Costa Rica: England are next challengers

Costa Rica successfully defended the UFWC title with this impressive victory over Italy. Temperatures hit the high 20s celsius during what was a 1pm kick-off at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, in the north-east of Brazil. Italy boss Cesare Prandelli had called ahead of the game for water breaks, and without them his team visibly wilted in the heat. Unsurprisingly, Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto went with the same team that had taken the UFWC title from Uruguay in a 3-1 win on Saturday, playing a 5-4-1 formation, with Joel Campbell as a lone striker.

Photo: Football in Sao Paulo by Michael Hudson
Enjoy the World Cup – except when you play against us!

While the public mood is muted in Argentina and one of building resentment in Sao Paulo, enthusiasm for the forthcoming World Cup is bubbling on the streets of Montevideo, capital city of reigning Unofficial Football World Champions Uruguay. ‘Welcome! Enjoy the World Cup – except when you play against us,’ a friendly customs officer greeted me at Colonia del Sacramento, an hour-long ferry ride from Buenos Aires. Two-time winners of FIFA’s showcase competition, Uruguayan fans on Montevideo’s main boulevard, the Avenida 18 de Julio, described a draw which places La Celeste in the same group as England, Italy and Costa Rica as ‘both a dream and a nightmare’.

Photo: Arena Castelao, Fortaleza, Brazil by Crystian Cruz
UFWC World Cup preview: Uruguay’s chances in Brazil

The UFWC title is going to the World Cup, in the hands of Unofficial Football World Champions Uruguay. The WC tournament begins in Brazil this Thursday, 12 June, and the UFWC action begins on Saturday, 14 June, when Uruguay play Costa Rica in Group D. Also in Group D are England and Italy, both likely to be involved in UFWC title matches over the next couple of weeks. Depending on results, the unofficial title may then be contested in the knock-out stages, which would mean UFWC title matches all the way to the WC Final.

Paolo Rossi celebrates, 1982
UFWC World Cup Classics: Italy vs West Germany, 1982

Peru took the UFWC title into the 1982 World Cup in Spain, only to be beaten 5-1 by Poland and Zbigniew Boniek. Poland had a great tournament and reached the semi-final but, without the suspended ‘Zibi’, they lost to Italy and two-goal Paolo Rossi. So Spain 82 culminated with another UFWC / World Cup final decider, between UFWC champions Italy and West Germany. Italy had the likes of Dino Zoff, Guiseppe Bergomi, Marco Tardelli and the afore-mentioned Rossi. West Germany also had an impressive line-up, including Harald Schumacher, Paul Breitner, Pierre Littbarski and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

UFWC Top 50 Goals Part 1: 1948-1979

Many of the UFWC goals scored in the past 65 years or so can be viewed online. Watching the goals provides further proof of the brilliance of the UFWC – the competition has provided more than its fair share of special goals. I have chosen my favourite 50 goals from those I have seen, in chronological order, with my top ten highlighted along the way. Some of these goals are famous; however, many are not, and they are a treat for all UFWC fans. The numbers in brackets after the description correspond to the approximate time in the video that the goal appears – in each case start a few seconds earlier to enjoy the goal in all its glory.