The most successful teams have been the United States, with nine titles, and Norway, with four. Norway's titles all came in the early years of the tournament, while the USA has won all its titles since 2000, including seven in nine years since 2003. Sweden and Germany have both won three times, China has won twice. The USA, Norway and Germany are the only nations to have won both the FIFA Women's 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 that there are fewer professional women's leagues and thus fewer scheduling conflicts. It is played the same time as the Cyprus Cup, which is played in the same format.
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 teams first play round-robin within their pool. Then the placement round proceeds as follows:
11th place: The two 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.