A FIFA world cup between world champions?
In 1980, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first FIFA World Cup, a "Gold Cup" was held between the champions.
In 1980, the World Champions' Gold Cup, also known as Mundialito ("Little World Cup"), was held. It was a tournament organized by the Uruguayan Football Association (UFA) and supported by FIFA. The theme of the event was simple, to celebrate 50 years of the most prestigious tournament in the world. The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay and 1980, it was its 50th anniversary.
This "Gold Cup" was played in Montevideo between December 30 (1980) and January 10 (1981) and had a lot of repercussions at the time, being considered a high-level tournament. Unlike the normal tournament, which currently has 32 teams participating (or 24 at the time), that competition was only played by 6 teams. To play this prestigious tournament, the only requirement was to have won a FIFA World Cup. And by the year 1980, there were a total of 6 winning countries, Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, England, Germany and Argentina. Countries like France or Spain could not play that tournament because they had not yet won the FIFA World Cup.
However, this tournament had an exception. The English league is known worldwide for maintaining its activity, even at Christmas or New Year. For these reasons, the English clubs denied the possibility to English players and therefore England could not play. Instead, the Netherlands was invited, the runner-up at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. The stadium chosen to host all the matches of the Gold Cup was the Centenario Stadium, the scene where the first World Cup final was played fifty years before.
Due to the number of teams (6), it was decided to make 2 groups with 3 teams each. Only the leader of the group would qualify for the final. Group A was made up of the Netherlands, Italy and Uruguay, while group B was made up of Argentina, Brazil and Germany. In the end, Uruguay was the winner of Group A, after beating the Netherlands 2-0 and Italy 2-0. On the other hand, Brazil drew 1-1 with Argentina and beat Germany 4-1. By goal difference, Brazil qualified for the final.
Interestingly, Diego Maradona (20 years old) played in that tournament and even scored a goal.
Finally, Uruguay claimed the title of the World Champions' Gold Cup, after beating Brazil 2-1 with goals from Barrios and Victorino. This last player also won the award for the tournament's top scorer with 3 goals. Coincidentally, the same confrontation from the 1950 World Cup was repeated and the result was exactly the same.
Although this tournament was endorsed by FIFA, it is not considered official. Despite that, FIFA was very pleased with the idea of this tournament, which is why it is possible that a similar tournament will be held in 2030, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first FIFA World Cup. For now, that tournament would be played by 8 teams (adding Spain and France), unless there is a new champion in Qatar 2022 or Canada/United States/Mexico 2026.