Brazil Legend Marta To Play At Sixth World Cup At The Age Of 37

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Brazil forward Marta will play at her sixth Women’s World Cup after she was included in coach Pia Sundhage’s squad for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand next month.

The six-times Fifa World Player of the Year is part of Sundhage’s 23-player squad for the July 20-August 20 tournament, where Brazil are in Group F with Panama, France and Jamaica.

Marta, who holds the record for the most goals at the World Cup – men’s or women’s – with 17 goals, is among the greatest in the women’s game.

Alongside Cristiane and Formiga, Marta changed the face of women’s soccer in Brazil. While Formiga retired from international duty in 2021, Cristiane is still playing, but she was not included in the squad by Sundhage.

Marta’s role at the World Cup could be limited as the 37-year-old continues to recover from a left knee injury, Sundhage recently said in an interview with the Associated Press.

“Marta is the queen; she is an icon. Just being around her is contagious,” said Sundhage told reporters on Tuesday. “If she will be in the starting line-up, I don’t know, not yet. She will play the role I will give her, and I am sure she will do well.”

Marta’s Legacy

Marta made her World Cup debut as a 17-year-old in 2003, scoring three goals for Brazil as they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Four years later, she won the Golden Boot for her seven goals as the South Americans finished runners-up, their best finish, after losing to Germany in the final.

She also won two silver medals at the Olympics, in 2004 and 2008, while in club football, she won the UEFA
Women’s Cup at Swedish club Umea IK in 2004 and seven Swedish league championships during her time playing for various teams in the country.Marta and Canada’s Christine Sinclair are the only two women’s players who have scored at five different World Cups.

Cristiane Left Out, Barbara Surprise Inclusion

Cristiane, who has scored 11 goals at the World Cup, was the highest-profile player to be left out of the Brazil squad, which also included Debinha, Tamires and Andressa Alves. Goalkeeper Barbara was a surprise inclusion after missing out on earlier squad selections.

Eleven out of the 23 players will be playing at a World Cup for the first time, and Sundhage believes “that mix could be the winning formula”.

Brazil have played at eight World Cups, but they are yet to lift the trophy. The Brazilians reached the round of 16 at the last edition in France in 2019.

The team will start a training camp this week and face Chile in a farewell friendly on Sunday before travelling to Australia for the World Cup.

Brazil’s World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Leticia Izidoro (Corinthians), Barbara (Flamengo), Camila (Santos)

Defenders: Antonia (Levante), Bruninha (Gotham FC), Kathellen (Real Madrid), Lauren (Madrid CFF), Monica Hickman (Madrid CFF), Rafaelle (Arsenal), Tamires (Corinthians)

Midfielders: Duda Sampaio (Corinthians), Kerolin (North Carolina Courage), Luana (Corinthians), Adriana (Orlando Pride), Ana Vitoria (Benfica), Ary Borges (Racing Louisville)

Forwards: Andressa Alves (AS Roma), Geyse (Barcelona), Nycole (Benfica), Bia Zaneratto (Palmeiras), Debinha (Kansas City Current), Gabi Nunes (Madrid CFF), Marta (Orlando Pride)

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