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List of world champion football clubs
This list includes the world champion football clubs(de jure) for FIFA; the official competitions are organized by FIFA or affiliated federations (for FIFA statute). The two competitions considered for this achievement are the Intercontinental Cup (defunct) and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The FIFA Club World Cup is an international men's association football competition organised by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The tournament officially assigns the world title. The competition was first contested in 2000 as the FIFA Club World Championship. It was not held between 2001 and 2004 due to a combination of factors, most importantly the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner International Sport and Leisure. Since 2005, the competition has been held every year, and has been hosted by Brazil, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. The FIFA Club World Cup's prestige is perceived quite differently in different parts of the football world; while it is widely regarded as the most distinguished club level trophy in South America, it struggles to attract interest in most of Europe compared to the UEFA Champions League and commonly lacks recognition as a high-ranking contest.
The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in 2000. It ran in parallel with the Intercontinental Cup (also known as European/South American Cup), a competition organised jointly by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) first disputed in 1960 by the winners of the European Champions' Cup and the Copa Libertadores. In 2005, after the Intercontinental Cup's last edition, that competition was merged with the Club World Cup's pilot edition and renamed the "FIFA Club World Championship". In 2006, the tournament took its current name. As required by the regulations, a representative from FIFA present the winner of the World Cup with the FIFA Club World Cup trophy and with a FIFA World Champions certificate.
From its formation in 1960 to 1979, the competition was contested over a two legged tie, with a playoff if necessary until 1968, and penalty kicks later. During the 1970s, European participation in the Intercontinental Cup became a running question due to controversial events in the 1969 final, and some European Champions Club' winner teams withdrew. From 1980 until 2004, the competition was contested over a single match held in Japan and sponsored by multinationalautomakerToyota, which offered a secondary trophy, the Toyota Cup.
Despite being chronologically the fourth international competitions created to define "the best club team in the world" – such as the Lipton Trophy, the Copa Rio and Pequeña Copa del Mundo - due to FIFA's lack of interest or inability to organize club competitions, – the Intercontinental Cup is considered by FIFA as the predecessor to the FIFA Club World Cup, which was held for the first time in 2000.
^The records of clubs from currently non-existing associations such as Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Yugoslavia are attributed to those federations, since the corresponding titles were won when the clubs were affiliated to those associations.
^"FIFA Statute"(PDF). FIFA Statute. Zurich: Fédération Internationale de Football Association: 5, 17, 18, 19. May 2013.