North Korea, World Soccer Champions

Most soccer standings agree as to which national team is the best in the world. Paul Brown doesn't.
Share |

Spain, winner of the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship, and No. 1 in both the FIFA World Ranking and the World Football Elo Ratings, is the consensus best soccer team on the planet. Vicente Del Bosque's side, which features the magical playmaking of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, holds nearly every international trophy of note. Spain is the only logical choice for current world champion.

Unless your name is Paul Brown. The football writer argues that North Korea can stake at least a claim to the throne, and he makes a compelling—or at least compellingly weird—case. 

In 2003, Brown took a simple idea he heard floating around and made it a reality: What if someone tracked every game—starting with the first international fixture between England and Scotland in 1872—and created a boxing-style tournament with a single championship on the line? The first match was a 0-0 draw (soccer haters: snicker here) but England defeated Scotland 4-2 on March 8, 1873, taking the fictitious championship belt. They lost the honor less than a year later when Scotland prevailed 2-1 in Glasgow.

Brown continued his quest to find the true champion of international football and wrote up the results in an article for FourFourTwo. The answer he found nearly a decade ago surprised him: Angola. It was so shocking, in fact, that he decided to start a website dedicated to the endeavor. The formal Unofficial Football World Championship was born. Brown began highlighting specific games, both well-known ones like the United States' 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup, and games no one would otherwise care about such as a friendly between Israel and Russia in Haifa on February 23, 2000. The UFWC gave some of these games a point, even if only a few people understood the stakes. "You throw the Unofficial World Championship into the mix, and obviously it's tongue and cheek, but from a spectator's point of view it throws a little bit of interest in there," Brown says. 

The website gained traction with a small subset of football fanatics, a fact Brown reports with a tone suggesting he would be surprised by this if he weren't one of them. The effort spawned a book, which delves deeper into the history, highlighting more matches and fixing earlier errors. "FIFA's records aren't always correct, especially in the early years. The records can be patchy," Brown says. "Over the years, we've found some games that changed chronology slightly, but luckily, it always seems to right itself within a couple of matches. As it stands at the moment, I'm pretty confident that the results that we have on the website are not going to change."

Those results have Scotland at the top of the all-time Unofficial Football World Championship ranking with 86 title match defenses. It's an honor to which the Scots, also-rans in the current footballing universe, have attached themselves. "It's the only thing that Scotland has ever won in international football," Brown says. "Scottish fans have really taken to that."

England (73 title defenses), Argentina (51), the Netherlands (49), and Russia (41) round out the top five. The United States sits tied with Georgia and Portugal for 38th place on two title defenses, one more than Mexico but three behind CONCACAF minnow Costa Rica. According to UFWC lore, titleholders receive an emailed image of the CW Alcock Cup, named for Charles William Alcock, the secretary of the English Football Association who organized the first match between England and Scotland. The UFWC is currently seeking a sponsor to create a physical version of the trophy.

The UFWC is one of those quirky ideas that increasingly move from the mind of some impassioned soul to the greater collective conscious. The Internet gave Brown the perfect platform to tinker while simultaneously allowing other fans to fact-check his work and add their own suggestions. It gives meaning to games that don't matter, all across the world. 

"Japan was the champion [in 2010 and 2011]," Brown says. "The UFWC went massive in newspapers and websites there. A Japanese publisher republished my book in Japanese and it's sold more in Japan than it has in the rest of the world. We're still talking a relatively small number, but it shows that Japanese fans really jumped on board with the prospect of winning something when otherwise they wouldn’t have a chance."

Which bring us back to North Korea. 

The Chollima, ranked No. 81 in the world by FIFA, officially ascended to the unofficial top spot with a 1-0 victory over Japan in Pyongyang on November 15, 2011. They have defended the title 12 times since then, most recently defeating Hong Kong 4-0 in the semifinal of the EAFF East Asia Cup. But it was a game against the Philippines on March 9, 2012 that showed the potential reach of the UFWC in the age of social media. 

"It seems that the majority of the Philippines players are on Twitter. They got really invested in it. There was quite a big build up to the match on Twitter. And then they lost. They didn't become Unofficial World Champions," Brown says. "That's the nearest we've gotten to knowing that players know what is up for grabs. Unfortunately, they couldn't take advantage."

North Korea retained the title after defeating the Philippines 2-0. They don't play again until 2013, so it will be theirs for at least another few months and likely more after that, as they generally play inferior competition. Being unofficial champions of the football world doesn't have the same ring as FIFA No. 1. Still, it's not hard to imagine Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un using the title for propaganda purposes, provided he has sufficient wireless capacity. If only someone would tell him such a tournament exists.


Share |

Comments

gun mayhem
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this!

motu patlu games
The web site is lovingly serviced and saved as much as date. So it should be, thanks for sharing this with us.

chota bheem games
I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this web page who has shared this wonderful paragraph at at this place

hampton bay fans
I’m happy Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips.

hampton bay ceiling fans
Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.

Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon
happy wheels demo

affords nutritious food by using following prescribed nutritional requirements and vitamins standards; making ready, cooking, and serving food and snacks. Basement Waterproofing NJ

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.voyance audiotel

It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested one.I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.NEG SEO PACK

colourful swimwear
Hollo+Kwan is an African inspired fashion marketplace with bespoke original swimwear, casual and home decor collections.

I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site medical symptom checker

A revolutionary new nutrition featuring five unique attributes that create an all-in-one multivitamin nutritional experience. Take advantage of the technology and know-how, and enjoy the benefits of the phytoplankton, antioxidants, vitamins, energy. medical symptom checker

voyance-amour-eternel.com
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this!

دانلود قسمت چهارم فصل دوم شهرزاد 2, دانلود رایگان شهرزاد, دانلود سریال جدید شهرزاد ایرانی دانلود سریال شهرزاد با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم
دانلود قسمت چهارم شهرزاد دوم

It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested one.I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.chiropractic care

Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.americas family moving

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.Sintra

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. wrinkle cream

horn vs pacquiao
Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips.

While listen the explanations of a local expert you will eat and taste their amazing flavors.Portugal has amazing craft beers to taste

This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks! pest control

Truly strong article. It appears like you’ve put a considerable measure of thought into this and accompany a viabel thought. The entertaining thing was that I was pondering this privilege before unearthing to your site. Boat Carpet

Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on.
live stream nfl

I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this web page who has shared this wonderful paragraph at at this place
Mod Apk

ATLG Locksmith Brisbane
You've been out partying, it's the middle of the night and you've lost your car keys again!
You're out shopping with the kids, you're arms are full of groceries, you've got tired hungry kids and you've gone and misplaced your car keys. Damn!

Upvc Windows
upvc Windows, Double-glazed windows, Two-piece PVC windows, Sale of old iron furniture replacement, Sale of double-glazed windows

Aussie Outdoor
Are you forced to abandon your outdoor entertainment area because of the harsh outdoor elements? Both summer and winter in Australia present unique problems that often force families to stay indoors.

As the power of PageRank is getting lower, flow metrics matter. Google gives a huge importance to metrics like domain authority, trust flow or citation flow as a ranking factor. high trust flow

ATT
For those who want to excel, both inside and outside of the classroom, it is of vital importance that you identify what your learning habits are. How do you learn best? If you tend to find out better in groups, you will want to find others who you get along with to talk about concepts and work out their details. If you tend to learn better when there is music playing, you can use that to your advantage when you practice school materials outside of school.

دانلود قسمت 11 یازدهم سریال عاشقانه رایگان, دانلود رایگان سریال عاشقانه, دانلود سریال جدید عاشقانه ایرانی دانلود سریال عاشقانه با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم
دانلود قسمت 11 یازدهم سریال عاشقانه رایگان

Good post and thanks for the information shared and this make me to visit your portal again, http://www.epf-uanlogin.co.in/

World Championship into the mix, and obviously it's tongue and cheek, but from a spectator's point of view it throws a little bit of interest in there," Brown says.get new york notary license

This is an awesome motivating article.I am practically satisfied with your great work.You put truly exceptionally accommodating data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing your next post. http://gstgov.co.in/

Goodness, cool post. I'd like to compose like this as well – requiring significant investment and genuine diligent work to make an incredible article… yet I put things off an excessive amount of and never appear to begin. Much obliged however. http://www.examvilla.co.in/

"Boredom is a killer—which is why a cure for boredom can be a lifesaver.

The truth is, portable Bluetooth speakers have been the handheld solution to elevate the moment, whether at the beach, the middle of a party, or a lazy afternoon at home for years now—and your brand can get in on that excitement.

Right now—with C2BPromo.com, you can put you logo on a wide array of Promotional Bluetooth Speakers, in all different shapes and sizes, from waterproof to resilient wood—with models coming in at 6-7 dollars all the way up to high-end luxury designs. Multiple surfaces on almost every customized Bluetooth speaker can showcase your logo—so no matter which way it’s turned, your name is always center staged." Bluetooth Speaker with logo

I truly value this superb post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be helpful for a large portion of the general population. sbitutorial.com

so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post.
2 week diet plan

A debt of gratitude is in order for imparting decent data to us. i like your post and all you impart to us is uptodate and entirely useful, i might want to bookmark the page so i can come here again to peruse you, as you have made an awesome showing. mens clothing cheap

songspk list
To say the truth I am very impressed by what you told. You share tons of interesting info, neat and excellent design you’ve got here. It’s certainly one of the most informative stuff on this topic I’ve ever read.

You throw the Unofficial World Championship into the mix, and obviously it's tongue and cheek, but from a spectator's point of view it throws a little bit of interest in there," Brown says.school chess sets

I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. womens designer handbags sale

that is why NYC search engine optimization is one of the directional marketing and advertising implementation in US. DA domains in bulk | Web marketing

They didn't become Unofficial World Champions," Brown says. "That's the nearest we've gotten to knowing that players know what is up for grabs. Unfortunately, they couldn't take advantage."fast charging

the mix, and obviously it's tongue and cheek, but from a spectator's point of view it throws a little bit of interest in there," Brown says. minecraft gratuito |
psn code

Much obliged for offering pleasant data to us. i like your post and all you impart to us is uptodate and very instructive, i might want to bookmark the page so i can come here again to peruse you, as you have made a great showing. Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
visit techexclusive.net

Most customers rely on menus for their orders so providing a brochure for them is very helpful to sell your products. affordable brochure prints

I got what you mean , a debt of gratitude is in order for posting .Woh I am glad to discover this site through google. tint a car

Much thanks to you such a great amount for sharing this incredible blog.Very motivating and accommodating too.Hope you keep on sharing a greater amount of your ideas.I will love to peruse. assisted living placement in torrance

The material and aggregation is excellent and telltale as comfortably. Domino Online