AHEAD FRANCE 2019
Marta certainly knows how to find the back of the net at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Indeed, the Brazilian hot-shot goes into France 2019 as the tournament’s all-time leading scorer.
The Canarinhas legend has found the net a staggering 15 times at the global finals since making her debut as a 17-year-old at USA 2003, before going on to pick up the top scorer accolade four years later at China 2007.
So, which strikes are Marta’s most memorable at the last four global finals? “It’s difficult to choose one because I’ve scored so many,” Marta told FIFA TV yesterday before bursting out laughing.
Nonetheless, the Brazilian runs the rule over her World Cup goals and gives us her top three – all of which come against the same opponent.
Samba skills and sublime strikes ensured that Marta lit up China 2007 and emerged with a Golden Ball and Golden Boot double. Of the seven Marta scored at that tournament two stand out in particular: her brace against titans USA in the semi-final.
When asked to choose her top three goals, Marta replied: “I’d say my two goals against USA in the 2007 in China. For the first one, I dribbled past at the defender outside of the box and then shot in low.
“Even though the goalkeeper got a touch, it went in. That was my first goal in that game.
Marta’s second – and Brazil’s fourth – in that semi-final was a goal of sheer brilliance. The No10 left USA players in her wake with her fabulous flashes of skill and tantalising technique before firing past goalkeeper Briana Scurry.
“I was facing away from goal with someone marking me and I received a pass,” she recalled. “I slightly touched the ball one side and turned to the other side, got the ball and dribbled past two players and shot with my right foot.”.
One of the FIFA Women’s World Cup’s all-time thrillers, Brazil and USA were reunited at the global finals in the quarter-finals of Germany 2011. Just as A Seleção looked like they were advancing to their second successive semi-final, Abby Wambach’s thumping header took the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Marta, who netted a brace on that occasion, includes her first from that quarter-final among her top three Women’s World Cup goals.
Recalling that clash against the Americans, the Brazilian star said: “There was a long ball, I was inside the box and I hit it on the volley with my left foot. That made it 2-1 but we lost the game on penalties.”