England Women v Brazil Women: Why Marta is still the one to watch
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From Emma Sanders
When Brazil traveling to Middlesbrough to take on Saturday on England, theres one player everybody will have their sights set – Marta.
The legend was a flag bearer in a home Olympics is the one time best scorer for her nation, received a telephone call if she was a teenager and is largely considered the best player of her generation.
But what makes her so special?
Martas seven goals from China in 2007 led Brazil to their first ever Womens World Cup final.
At five World Cups having a penalty against Australia, the 33-year-old became the first player to score at this seasons championship in France.
Then under a week after, her goal in a 1-0 triumph over Italy left her all-time top goal scorer in World Cup history with 17, moving ahead of Germany guyss striker Miroslav Klose (16).
With 112 targets in 147 looks, Marta has a superior ratio than some other Brazilian – plus shes averaging more than just a quarter of the World Cup goals of the side.
Between 2010 and 2006, Marta remains the sole female footballer to have won over three occasions and also won five Fifa World Player of the Year awards.
When she overcome Ballon dOr winner Ada Hegerberg and midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan she also added a sixth award in 2018.
Marta has placed inside the top three a further seven days and produced the XI in 2016, 2017 and 2019 – only Frances Wendie Renard has been included on more occasions.
Shes also won a range of top scorer accolades playing clubs in Sweden and America, and the Golden Ball award for the best player at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, then equally the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in the senior World Cup in 2007.
American journal Sports Illustrated called Marta in the best 20 athletes of the decades between 2000 and 2009.
As well as her accomplishments on the pitch, a new generation has inspired and has struggled for equality in womens soccer.
Following the last-16 exit in France of Brazil, Marta gave an emotional language calling on young players to follow in her generations footsteps.
Womens football depends on you to survive, she said. Consider it, value it more. Were asking for help, you have to shout in the start and grin at the conclusion.
Its about needing more, it is about training longer, its about looking after yourself its about being ready to play 90 minutes and then 30 minutes longer.
Marta said she expected her achievements wouldpush womens empowerment.
Allow me to be more clear, this is not merely in sport. This is a battle for equality across the board, she added.
England ahead Beth Mead, wholl face Marta at Saturdays match at the Riverside, described Marta as alegend and stated she isa player that we respect on and off the pitch.
Marta is someone that I have watched for several years growing up, Mead told BBC Sport. The things she has done from the girls game are incredible.
Just like Lionel Messi using Argentina, the individual brilliance of Marta has not been sufficient to lead Brazil to World Cup glory.
A second-place end in 2007 has been the closest she came, while gold medals have slipped through her grasp on 2 events.
When you speak of Brazilian footballers, you think of three-time world champion Pele, and iconic striker Ronaldo who picked up the Golden Ball in 2002 at the 1998 World Cup and the Golden Shoe.
Marta has done her little separately but aside from 2007, Brazil Women left at the last-16 in the two recent tournaments and have failed to go past the World Cup quarter-finals.
Marta is running to acquire World Cup, however, it is not from the question.
Brazilian team-mate Formiga, 41, became the oldest participant in the tournaments history when she collaborated this summer.
Elsewhere, American Kristine Lilly – that the very capped (352) footballer ever – retired at 39, although Canadian Christine Sinclair, 36, captained her country at the fourth time at a World Cup this summer.
Two-time Globe Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, 37, also appeared in every match for the USA at France, while the oldest player to feature in a final is American defender Christie Pearce (previously Rampone) who picked up a winners trophy in 2015 at the age of 40.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase athletes in ways they never have been. Through reside womens sport available to observe across the BBC at 2019, complemented with our journalism, change perceptions and were aiming to turn up the volume to womens game. Find out more here.
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