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The Legend of Marta Will Live On

The Legend of Marta will live on as one of the greatest female footballers of all time. Marta had just played in her final World Cup match that ended in group stage elimination. However, this will not ruin her legacy as she has been an icon to the sport, while often recognize as one of the best Brazilian footballers ever.  

Marta began her professional career in Brazil playing for Vasco de Gama. She got her feet wet before moving to Sweden to play for Umea IK. Her career launched immediately while becoming one of the best players in the world at the time, scoring 11 goals in 103 appearances with the Swedish side. She led the team to four straight league titles from 2005-2008 while being the top scorer in 2004-2005 and in 2008. Marta also led them to their second UEFA Champions League title in 2004.  

While her club career took off, so did her international career. She made her first appearance with the Brazilian senior team in 2002, taking her just a year to score her first international goal against Peru during the 2003 Copa America. From 2003-2010, she scored 61 international goals in just seven years. Within this time, she led Brazil to two Pan American titles, two Sudamericano titles, two Silver Olympic medals and runner-up of the 2007 World Cup. 

No other female player was close to her success within this time, shattering every record that have yet to be broken to this day. She had won five straight Ballon D’or trophies from 2006-2010, which at the time was more than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi combined.   

She continued to play in Sweden, where she was later granted citizenship in 2017. After that, Marta decided to play in the NWSL and has been a part of the Orlando Pride since 2017. Her best season was her debut year, where she totaled 13 goals in 24 appearances. This later won her yet another Ballon D’or, giving her a total of six. 

Unfortunately for Marta, she’s the most successful World Cup player that hasn’t been able to lift the trophy. Her best finish was runner-up in 2007 after falling to Germany 2-0. She won both the golden boot and ball that year after scoring seven goals. She is also the all-time World Cup scorer for both men and women with 17 goals in five tournaments.  

Failing to win a World Cup will not prevent her from being one of the greatest female footballers. She also has another incredible record. She’s the all-time Brazilian scorer with 115 international goals. It’s a record that no male or female Brazilian player has yet to beat.

In 2021, she scored during a 5-0 win over China during the Olympics. This gave her the title as the first player to score in five Olympic tournaments. Brazilian icon Pele took to Instagram and thanked Marta for what she has done for the sport and congratulating her on her achievement: 

“Your achievement means much more than a personal record. This moment inspires millions of athletes from so many other sports, from all over the world, who fight for recognition. Congratulations on your trajectory. Congratulations, you are much more than a football player. You help build a better world with your talent, in which women gain more space.” 

At the age of 37, Marta is near the end of her career. Her legacy and her involvement in women’s football will never be forgotten. She stands alone as one of the most individual successful footballers in the world and is leading the path for the younger generation to achieve even more success for the Brazilian women side.  

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