England Women v Brazil Women: Why Marta is still the one to watch
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By Emma Sanders
When Brazil traveling to Middlesbrough to take on England on Saturday, theres 1 player everyone will get their sights set on – Marta.
The Brazilian legend has been a flag bearer in a home Olympics would be the scorer for her country, also received a phone call when she was a teen and is regarded as the best player of her generation.
But what makes her so special?
The seven goals from China in 2007 of marta led Brazil to their first ever Womens World Cup final.
In five World Cups with a penalty against Australia, the 33-year-old became the first player to score at this years tournament in France.
Then under a week after, her goal in a 1-0 triumph over Italy left her the all-time top goal scorer in World Cup history by 17, moving before Germany mens striker Miroslav Klose (16).
Together with 112 goals in 147 appearances, Marta includes a far superior ratio compared to any other Brazilian – plus shes averaging more than a quarter of the World Cup targets of the side.
Between 2010 and 2006, Marta remains the sole footballer to have won over three times and won five successive Fifa World Player of the Year awards.
If she conquer Ballon dOr winner Ada Hegerberg and German midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan she included a award in 2018.
The top three have been put inside by marta a seven times and produced the very best XI at 2016, 2017 and 2019 – Frances Wendie Renard was included on occasions.
Shes also won a variety of high scorer accolades playing clubs in Sweden and America, and the Golden Ball award for the best player in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, then both the Golden Ball and also the Golden Boot in the senior World Cup in 2007.
American journal Sports Illustrated named Marta at the top 20 athletes throughout this decades between 2000 and 2009.
Also as her achievements on the pitch, a generation has prompted and has struggled for equality in womens soccer.
After the last-16 exit in France of Brazil, Marta gave an emotional language calling on players to follow in her generations footsteps.
Womens football is dependent on you to survive, she explained. Think about it, appreciate it more. We are asking for assistance, you need to shout in smile and the beginning at the end.
It is about needing more, its about training longer, it is about looking after yourself more, its about being ready to play 90 minutes after which 30 minutes longer.
Marta said she expected her achievements wouldpush womens empowerment.
I want to be very clear, this isnt simply in sport. This is a battle for equality across the board, she added.
England forwards Beth Mead, who will face Marta in Saturdays match at the Riverside, clarified Marta as alegend and said she isa player that we respect on and off the pitch.
Marta is someone that I have observed for many years growing up, Mead told BBC Sport. The things shes done in the womens game are incredible.
Much like Lionel Messi using Argentina, Martas individual brilliance has not been enough to lead Brazil.
A second-place end in 2007 was the closest she arrived, while gold medals have slipped through her grasp on 2 events.
When you speak of footballers, you believe about three-time world champion Pele, and renowned striker Ronaldo who picked up the Golden Ball in 2002 at the 1998 World Cup and the Golden Shoe.
Marta has certainly done her little individually but aside Brazil Women left in the last-16 in the two most recent tournaments and have failed to go past the World Cup quarter-finals.
Marta, at 33, is operating to win a World Cup, but its not out of the question.
Brazilian team-mate Formiga, 41, became the oldest participant in the tournaments history when she competed this summer, making four appearances such as the last-16 overcome by France.
Elsewhere, American Kristine Lilly – the very capped (352) footballer in history – retired at 39, while Canadian Christine Sinclair, 36, captained her nation at the fourth time at a World Cup this summer.
Two-time World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, 37, also appeared in every match for the USA in France, although the oldest player to incorporate in a final would be American defender Christie Pearce (formerly Rampone) who picked a winners medal in 2015 at the age of 40.
#ChangeTheGame to showcase athletes have been established by BBC Sport in a way theyve never been. Through the sport available to see across the BBC at 2019, complemented by our journalism of live women, we are planning to develop the volume on womens sport and alter perceptions. Learn more here.
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