Legend. Role Model. Inspiration. Queen.
When someone talks about Marta, one of those four words is usually brought up, and if not one of those then many words of praise and admiration are common replacements. Today, Marta is seen as one of the best football players in the world, with the most goals ever scored in a FIFA World Cup among the many other accolades she has to her name.
Marta, born in Dois Riachos, Brazil grew up with near to nothing. She played on boys' teams since there were none for girls in her town. She constantly was told to give up and that it wasn’t ladylike to play football, but she persisted and was eventually scouted and began her professional career at the age of 14. Marta was never able to have a female role model while growing up but she quickly became one for people all over the globe and still continues to inspire. Along with being an inspiration to other people, she has greatly influenced a certain style of women’s play that will leave people referencing her for many years to come,
She not only means a lot to her fans but even more to her teammates from the Seleção Brasileira Feminina de Futebol, also known as the Brazilian Women’s National Team. Following the early and unexpected departure from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, many teammates and players from other federations have shared their adoration for the footballer, often calling her Rainha, meaning queen in Portuguese.
In both the 2019 and 2023 Women’s World Cup, Marta gave an exit speech that showed the beautiful future of women’s football all over the world. “It's about wanting more, it's about training more, it's about looking after yourself more, it's about being ready to play 90 minutes and then 30 minutes more. This is what I ask of the girls," Marta begins her passionate speech. “There's not going to be a Formiga forever. There's not going to be a Marta forever. There's not going to be a Cristiane. The women’s game depends on you to survive. So think about that. Value it more.” She finishes her speech strongly by saying, “Cry in the beginning so you can smile in the end.” Marta has not only touched the world with her skills but also her words of wisdom.
As Marta’s World Cup career comes to a close, the joy and hard work she brought to the game of football will never be lost. Her work ethic will be engraved in generations to come and for that, we say thank you. Thank you for everything.