This small four-team tournament was played in what was then West Berlin over the Easter weekend of 1988, and served as something of a warm-up for the 1988 European Championships later that year. As West Berlin’s Olympiastadion would not be on the list of Euro ’88 venues, this gathering of the hosts Germany, Argentina, the Soviet Union and Sweden would also provide the ground with the opportunity of hosting four international fixtures in a something approaching a competitive setting.
There was no round-robin group, just two semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final; in their semi-final against Sweden, Franz Beckenbauer’s side would be defeated in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw – the only other occasion apart from the Euro 1976 final in which the Mannschaft had been beaten in an Elfmeterschießen.
Germany would then go on to beat world champions Argentina to take third place in the tournament, with the Swedes defeating the Soviets 2-0 in the final.
The two matches against Sweden and Argentina would see the debut of the Mannschaft’s two new Trikots – against the Swedes they would appear in the now famous white “flag” shirt, while the match against Argentina would see the first appearance of the green “patchwork” design shirt.