The 22nd edition of the Algarve Cup women’s football starts today, this year as the first without restrictions in the draw and, therefore, Portugal will play against Japan, the defending champion of the world.
Three-months from the World Cup 2015, the Algarve tournament will serve as preparation for the competition that will be held in Canada, especially for teams like the Japanese, but also to the United States, Germany, France, Sweden and Brazil – with its first debut in this competition.
The encounter with the world champion, scheduled for March 6 in the Algarve Stadium, is the most expected on this first round.
In group C, the Portuguese team will also face France, the last World Cup semifinalist, and Denmark, 16th in FIFA ranking. Portugal occupies the 42 place and never qualified for the finals of a major tournament.
In the group of ‘stars’, this will be the first time for Brazilian Marta, one of the greatest figures of female soccer – winning best player of the FIFA award five times.
In group A, the Brazilian team will face Germany, current leader of the world rankings and holder of the Algarve Cup. The German team, which was dominant in the tournament last year, won’t count with Nadine Kessler, who earlier this year was considered the best player for today’s FIFA.
The German team is considered as the big favorite to win this edition of the Algarve Cup, as well as the United States, which holds the record for the tournament with nine victories.
The 22nd edition of the Algarve Cup starts today and ends on 11th March.