The 1981 Intercontinental Cup was an association football match between Liverpool of England and Flamengo of Brazil on 13 December 1981 at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, the annual Intercontinental Cup contested between the winners of the European Cup and Copa Libertadores. Flamengo went on to play the Intercontinental Cup after having won the first ever Libertadores Cup they played. Liverpool were also appearing in their first Intercontinental Cup, having declined to take part in 1977 and 1978 after they won the European Cup.
The teams had qualified for the competition by winning their continent's primary cup competition. Liverpool qualified by winning the primary European cup competition, the European Cup. They won the 1980–81 European Cup defeating Spanish team Real Madrid 1–0 in the final. Flamengo qualified by winning the primary South American cup competition, the Copa Libertadores. They beat Chilean team Cobreloa 2–0 in a playoff after the previous ties finished 2–2 on points to win the 1981 Copa Libertadores.