Star Sixes: Steven Gerrard and England to face Spain in six-a-side tournament at The O2
Last Updated: 24/03/17 2:05pm
England have been drawn against Spain in the inaugural Star Sixes tournament - live on Sky Sports - in London this July.
Steven Gerrard will lead England in the six-a-side competition for former international players, and they will face Spain, Mexico and Scotland in the group stages.
The ex-Liverpool captain will come up against former team-mate Luis Garcia, who will compete for Spain alongside Carles Puyol, Gaizka Mendieta and Michel Salgado.
Germany's Michael Ballack and France's Robert Pires were in the Sky Sports studio to make the draw on Friday afternoon, and the duo will face one another in Group C, with the two nations also drawn against Portugal and Denmark.
Star Sixes group draw
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
Meanwhile, Group B sees Brazil, Italy, Nigeria and China face off for a place in the knock-out stages.
The tournament will take place at The O2 from July 13-16 - but here's all you need to know...
What is Star Sixes?
Presented by Pitch International (London), in partnership with Football Champions Tour, a leading sports management agency, Star Sixes will reunite the world's greatest players in their national team colours to renew old rivalries over four days of intense competition.
Top seeds England, captained by Gerrard; Brazil, featuring Roberto Carlos; and Germany, also starring Jens Lehmann, avoided each other in the initial group phase of the 12-team tournament.
The top two countries in each of the three four-team groups, plus the two best third-placed teams, will progress to the quarter-finals.
Star names on show
Garcia, who helped Liverpool to Champions League and FA Cup glory during his time at Anfield, admits he is looking forward to seeing Gerrard again.
"Stevie was one of the greats, a real leader on and off the pitch and a great teammate. It wasn't only in Istanbul that he drove us on, if you remember," Garcia said.
"But in the final, his goal gave us the belief that we could go on and win it, and he was the real inspiration for us. He made us believe, and winning one of the greatest finals of all was the highlight of my career."
Every Star Sixes player will be a fully-capped former international, and with each country selecting a 10-man squad, more star names will be announced in the coming weeks.
Players confirmed so far include England's Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand, Emile Heskey and David James, France's Marcel Desailly, Eric Abidal, William Gallas, Ludovic Giuly, Olivier Dacourt and Sebastien Frey.
Ex-Chelsea and Barcelona defender Juliano Belletti will be on duty for Brazil, while former Premier League duo Deco and Jay-Jay Okocha will skipper Portugal and Nigeria respectively.
Confirmed Scotland players include Dominic Matteo, Barry Ferguson, Don Hutchison, Paul Dickov, Christian Dailly, Simon Donnelly and Rab Douglas, while Martin Jorgensen and Stig Tofting will line-up for Denmark.
When is Star Sixes?
Group stage matches will be played during three 'sessions' on Thursday, July 13, Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 (afternoon session). All 12 countries will play one 20-minute match in each of these sessions.
Thursday July 13 evening session (Doors open 6pm)
Group A: England v Spain, Mexico v Scotland
Group B: Brazil v Italy, Nigeria v China
Group C: Germany v France, Portugal v Denmark
Friday July 14 evening session (Doors open 6pm)
Group A: Spain v Mexico, Scotland v England
Group B: Italy v Nigeria, China v Brazil
Group C: France v Portugal, Denmark v Germany
Saturday July 15 afternoon session (Doors open 11.30am)
Group A: England v Mexico, Spain v Scotland
Group B: Brazil v Nigeria, Italy v China
Group C: Germany v Portugal, France v Denmark
The evening session on July 15 will then feature four quarter-finals, before Star Sixes reaches a pulsating conclusion the following day. With the silverware at stake, the Sunday 16 July session will include two semi-finals, a third-place decider and the Star Sixes final.
Where can I get tickets?
Tickets, which start at £30 for adults and £10 for U16s, are on sale now: www.theo2.co.uk/starsixes. Keep track of the latest Star Sixes info at facebook.com/starsixes or on Twitter and Instagram @StarSixes