France 2-1 Netherlands
9 September 2018
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Scorers: Mbappe, Giroud (France); Babel (Netherlands)
France beat the Netherlands in this UEFA Nations League match to retain the UFWC title and remain unofficial (and official) football world champions. France were again without injured captain Hugo Lloris. Alphonse Areola deputised in goal. And the Netherlands were without Wesley Sneijder, who played his last match for the Dutch on Thursday after announcing his retirement from international football.
Kylian Mbappe gave France the lead in the 14th minute from close range. The Netherlands equalised midway through the second half when Ryan Babel finished a nice team move. But France regained the lead when Benjamin Mendy set up Olivier Giroud to score the winner.
The win means France remain undisputed official and unofficial world champions, and combined FIFA and UFWC title holders. It was France’s 27th title match victory, and moves them up to 9th place in the all-time UFWC rankings, level with Italy, who have an identical record – 27 wins in 56 matches.
The next UFWC title match is a friendly between France and Iceland in Guingamp on 11 October. Iceland have never won a UFWC title match in eight attempts, the last of which ended in a 3-1 defeat to Peru in March. France and Iceland have played before in the UFWC, in 1998, when France were champions, and the match ended as a 1-1 draw – Iceland’s best UFWC result.
New for 2018,the latest edition of the official UFWC book, Unofficial Football World Champions.
This is the fourth edition of the book that has been published in every World Cup year since 2006. Expanded and updated to include new matches, teams, players and statistics, it’s a complete guide to the UFWC, including all 936 title matches played since 1872, and all 48 unofficial football world champions.
It’s available exclusively from Amazon stores worldwide, priced at £9.99 or $13.95 – click here.