Marta Vieira da Silva, commonly known as Marta, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Brazil national team as a forward. With 15 goals, she holds the record for most goals scored at FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, ahead of Birgit Prinz and Abby Wambach, both with 14 goals. Marta is often regarded as the best female player of all time and was given the nickname “Pelé in skirts” by Pelé himself. She was named FIFA World Player of the Year six times, five of them being consecutive, from 2006 and 2010, and the latest one coming in 2018. She was a member of the Brazilian national teams that won the silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. She was also awarded the Golden Ball (MVP) at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, and won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer in the 2007 Women’s World Cup after leading Brazil to the final of the tournament. In January 2013 she was named as one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, alongside Amarildo, Bebeto, Carlos Alberto Torres, Ronaldo and Mario Zagallo. She also appeared in the Sveriges Television television documentary series The Other Sport from 2013. In August 2016, Marta was one of the 8 to carry the Olympic Flag in the Olympic Games in Rio. As of 14 March 2017, Marta has become a Swedish citizen. She’s stated that she’ll keep her Brazilian citizenship.
September 26th 2010
Santa Clara Gold Pride vs Philadelphia Independence
WPS 2010 Final
Match Worn & Signed Shirt
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FC Gold Pride was an American professional soccer club based in Santa Clara, California which participated in Women’s Professional Soccer. The club replaced the San Jose CyberRays of the defunct Women’s United Soccer Association as the top-level women’s soccer team in the San Francisco Bay Area. FC Gold Pride moved to its final home of Pioneer Stadium on the campus of CSU East Bay in June 2010 after opening their 2010 home schedule at the Castro Valley High School Athletic Stadium. The club ceased operations in November 2010 after struggling financially and being unable to find new investors. FC Gold Pride started fast and kept its momentum running throughout the 2010 season. Despite the departure of Solveig Gulbrandsen and trading Kaley Fountain to the Atlanta Beat, the Pride dominated the league’s regular season and on September 26, 2010, won their first WPS Championship by defeating the Philadelphia Independence, 4–0. Three members of the team garnered end of season honors: Marta was named Player of the Year and won the Golden Boot, both for the second consecutive season; Nicole Barnhart was named Goalkeeper of the Year; and Ali Riley was named Rookie of the Year. After the close of the 2010 season it was revealed on November 16, 2010 that FC Gold Pride had folded and would not be returning for the 2011 season.
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On the day she was named FIFA World Player of the Year in January 2009, Marta announced that she would be joining Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) team Los Angeles Sol for the league’s inaugural season on a three-year contract. Of her signing, she said, “For me the most important thing is to be in a place where the best players in the world are playing and this is what they are trying to do here. The American League is being considered one of the best in the world, so I had to come now.” Marta was the league’s top scorer for the 2009 season with ten goals and three assists. The Sol were regular season champions and reached the WPS Championship Final, where it lost 1–0 to Sky Blue FC. During the off-season with Los Angeles Sol, she signed a three-month loan contract with Santos to play in the Copa Libertadores and in the Copa do Brasil, helping her club win both competitions, and scoring a goal in the Libertadores final and two in the Copa do Brasil final. In January 2010, the Sol ceased operations and the rights to Marta and her teammates were made available in the 2010 WPS Dispersal Draft. The rights to Marta were acquired by the FC Gold Pride as their first pick. She appeared in all of the Pride’s 24 games and scored 19 goals, earning her the WPS MVP and WPS Golden Boot for the second year in a row. Marta also appeared in the WPS All-Star 2010, where she captained one of the teams as the top international vote-getter. She led the Gold Pride to the regular season championship and had two assists and a goal in the WPS Championship against the Philadelphia Independence, earning MVP honors. She became a free agent after the Gold Pride folded on 17 November 2010.
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A small, quick, yet sturdy and tenacious player, who is regarded by many in the sport as the greatest female footballer of all time, Marta is renowned for her flair, quick feet, and exceptional skill on the ball, which has earned her comparisons with Ronaldinho, Romário, and also Pelé, who himself dubbed her as Pele with skirts. In addition to her vision and technical skills, Marta is also known for her pace when dribbling at speed. Marta is capable of playing in several offensive positions: she began her career in an offensive midfield role as a classic number 10, although she was later deployed in a more advanced role, both as a supporting forward and as a main striker, or even on the wing, a position which allows her to cut into the middle and shoot on goal with her stronger left foot. Although she is primarily known for her creativity, chance creation, and ability to play off of her teammates as an advanced playmaker, Marta is a prolific goalscorer, who is renowned for her striking ability; she is also accurate from penalties and set-pieces. In addition to her footballing abilities, Marta has also stood out for her leadership. Marta has three siblings, José, Valdir, and Angela. Her parents are Aldário and Tereza. Her father left the family while Marta was a baby. As of 2010, she lives in San Jose and is a competent Swedish speaker. On 11 October 2010, Marta was named a UN goodwill ambassador. Marta is fluent in Portuguese and Swedish. She is a Catholic and states that God is very important to her although she does not go to Church that often. She holds dual citizenship for Brazil and Sweden.
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On 26 July 2007, Marta and the Brazilian women’s team beat the US U-20 national team to win the Pan American Games at the famous Estádio do Maracanã in front of a crowd of 68,000. She was compared, by the Brazilian fans, with Brazilian great Pelé, being called “Pelé with skirts.” Even Pelé himself agreed with the comparison. Marta has stated that he called her to congratulate for the win and that she was extremely happy to hear that one of the greatest ever players followed her team’s games. Afterwards the imprint of her feet was recorded in cement at the stadium, making her the first woman to be so honoured. Marta participated in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Brazil who strolled through the group stage, winning all three games with Marta scoring four goals. In the quarter final Brazil won 3–2 against Australia with Marta netting from the penalty spot. In the semi-final Marta scored twice as Brazil won 4–0 against the United States—the second goal scored in spectacular fashion. In the final Brazil lost 2–0 to Germany. Marta had a penalty kick saved midway through the second half, which would have tied the match. She finished the 2007 Women’s World Cup as the winner of both the ‘Golden Ball’ as the top individual player and the ‘Golden Boot’ as the competition’s top scorer with seven goals. Marta also played in the 2008 Summer Olympics, earning a silver medal. After her personal duel in the final with United States goalkeeper Hope Solo, a 1–0 defeat consigned Marta to her third consecutive runners–up medal in major international tournaments. Marta was part of the Brazil team at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup where Brazil was eliminated by the United States in the quarter finals. She recorded four goals and two assists in the tournament, to move joint top of the all–time Women’s World Cup goalscorer list alongside Birgit Prinz on 14. It also earned her the Silver Boot as the tournament’s second leading goal scorer. From her first touch in the tournament against Australia, Marta was heavily jeered by local and opposing fans. During her fourth World Cup in 2015, Marta became the all-time top scorer of the women’s tournament with 15 goals once she scored the second goal in Brazil’s debut against South Korea. Brazil lost to Australia in the round-of-16. Marta competed in four FIFA Women’s World Cup: USA 2003, China 2007, Germany 2011 and Canada 2015; and three Olympics: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012; starting and playing every minute Brazil teams played at those six global tournaments; altogether played 30 matches, and scored 22 goals. Marta with her Brazil teammates, finished second at China 2007 Women’s World Cup, and won silver medals at 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics.