Liverpool's European Cup triumphs of 1977 and 1978 resulted in the club qualifying for the Intercontinental Cup, but on both occasions the English club declined the invitation.
However, when the Reds defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris in 1981 to claim the trophy for a third time, this time around they decided to participate.
Their opponents in Tokyo 33 years ago today would be Brazilian outfit Flamengo, who had won the Copa Libertadores courtesy of a 2-0 win over Cobreloa.
However, those big-name players would be placed in the shade by Flamengo captain Zico as the playmaker created all three of his side's first-half goals.
Then, with 34 minutes played, Flamengo made it 2-0. Grobbelaar failed to hold Zico's shot and after a goalmouth scramble, midfielder Adilio was on hand to bundle the ball in.
The scoring was then completed four minutes before the break as a neat passing move concluded with Zico threading the ball through for Nunes, who fired his low shot into the far corner of the net.
Liverpool created chances of their own after the restart, but they were unable to find a route back into the contest as Flamengo held out to win the trophy.
For his efforts, Brazil international Zico was named man of the match and would later be voted as the World Football of the Year.
Liverpool: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, Lawrenson; Lee, McDermott, Souness, Kennedy; Dalglish, Johnston
Flamengo: Raul; Leandro, Marinho, Mozer, Junior; Andrade, Adilio, Zico; Tita, Nunes, Lico