- Algarve Cup
The Algarve Cup is a global invitational tournament for national teams in
women's football (soccer). Held annually in the Algarveregion of Portugalsince 1994, it is one of the most prestigious women's football events, alongside the Women's World Cup and Women's Olympic Football. Currently, 12 teams are invited, with the top eight competing for the championship. The teams are divided into three groups of four — A, B and C. Group C was added in 2002 to provide second-tier teams with high-level match experience every year. The current holder is the United States.
The teams first play
round-robinwithin their pool. Then the placement round proceeds as follows:
*11th place: Bottom teams in Group C play one game.
*9th place: The Group C runner-up plays one game against the lower-ranked of the fourth-place teams from Groups A and B.
*7th place: The Group C winner plays one game against the higher-ranked of the fourth-place teams from Groups A and B.
*5th place: The third-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
*3rd place: The second-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
*1st place: The first-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
The most successful teams have been the USA with six titles and Norway with four. Norway's titles all came in the early years of the tournament, while the USA have won all their titles in the 2000s, including five in six years since 2003. Sweden and China, also traditional powers in the women's game, have won two titles each, while current
FIFA Women's World Cupholders Germany have won once. The USA, Norway and Germany are (so far) the only nations to win both the FIFA World Cup and the Algarve Cup.
The Algarve Cup, as an annual event featuring most of the world's top women's football teams, has no parallel in the men's game, given the fact that professional women's leagues are few and far between, thus not being likely to have scheduling conflicts.
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesw/wom-algarve.html RSSSF.com history page, with links to full results]
* [http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/resource_center/womens_soccer/448839.html "Tell Me About: The Algarve Cup"]
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