The hosts of Euro 2022 will welcome three of the world’s best international teams next February, and every year up to and including 2025
England will welcome Germany and Spain for a new women’s international invitational tournament in February 2022, with a fourth participating nation to be confirmed.
The Lionesses have regularly competed in the SheBelieves Cup in the February international window, hosted by the U.S. women’s national team, even winning the competition in 2019.
However, they skipped the trip to the States this year with then-coach Phil Neville citing plans of their own. This tournament provides competition against some of the best teams in the world just months before the European Championships, to be hosted by England.
How will the tournament work?
The invitational, which will run every year up to and including 2025, will see four nations compete in a round-robin format with the winner sitting at the top of a four-team table after three matches.
The fixtures will take place as double-headers across seven days, providing all participants with preparation for the summer’s major tournament against some of the best teams in the world.
“This exciting new addition to the international calendar promises to further accelerate the rapid growth we are already seeing in women’s football,” Baroness Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at the Football Association, said.
“Giving England fans the opportunity to see their team take on some of the best opposition in the world on an annual basis will create substantial interest, leading to a broader fanbase and strengthening grassroots participation. It will also provide the England team with the best preparation heading into the major tournaments over the next four years.”
Who are the participants?
Sitting at third and tenth in the FIFA world rankings respectively, Germany and Spain are two of the best international teams in the world.
Germany have won the Euros eight times, as well as two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal back in 2016. With names like Dzsenifer Marozsan in their ranks, as well as exciting youngsters like Lena Oberdorf, Goal’s 2020 Women’s NXGN winner, they are a well-established force in the women’s game.
Spain, meanwhile, are a nation on the up. After qualifying for their first ever Women’s World Cup in 2015, they reached the knockout rounds four years later where they gave the USWNT a difficult round of 16 tie.
Barcelona’s triumph in last season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League only further underlined the growth of the game in the country, with many of the stars of their treble-winning campaign starring in Spain’s rise.
A fourth participating nation is to be confirmed in the coming weeks, as are venues and ticket information.