Marta (footballer)

Last updated

Marta Vieira da Silva 2013.jpg
Personal information
Full nameMarta Vieira da Silva
Date of birth (1986-02-19) 19 February 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth Dois Riachos, Alagoas, Brazil
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in) [1]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Orlando Pride
Number 10
Youth career
1999 CSA
Senior career*
2000–2002 Vasco da Gama 16 (4)
2002–2004 Santa Cruz 38 (16)
2004–2008 Umeå IK 103 (111)
2009 Los Angeles Sol 19 (10)
2009–2010Santos (loan) 14 (26)
2010 FC Gold Pride 24 (19)
2011 Santos 12 (13)
2011 Western New York Flash 14 (10)
2012–2014 Tyresö FF 38 (27)
2014–2017 FC Rosengård 43 (23)
2017– Orlando Pride 53 (22)
National team
2002 Brazil U-19
2002– Brazil 147 (112)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 25 August 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 June 2019

Marta Vieira da Silva (born 19 February 1986), commonly known as Marta ( [ˈmaɾtɐ] ), is a Swedish-Brazilian footballer who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League and the Brazil national team as a forward. With 17 goals, she holds the record for most goals scored at FIFA World Cup tournaments. [2] Moreover, she is the first footballer of either gender to score at five World Cup editions, [3] followed by Christine Sinclair.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Orlando Pride American womens soccer club

The Orlando Pride is a professional women's soccer team based in Orlando, Florida. The team joined the National Women's Soccer League, the top level of women's soccer in the US, for the 2016 season. It is the tenth team to be added to the league. It is affiliated with the MLS team Orlando City SC and play their home games at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando.

National Womens Soccer League Professional soccer league, highest level of womens soccer in the United States

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league owned by the teams, and under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federation. At the top of the United States league system, it represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The NWSL was established in 2012 as a successor to Women's Professional Soccer (2007–2012), which was itself the successor to Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2003). The league began play in 2013 with eight teams, four of which were former members of Women's Professional Soccer. With the addition of three expansion teams in Houston (2014), Orlando (2016), Salt Lake City (2018) and the loss of FC Kansas City and Boston Breakers, it now has nine teams throughout the United States.


Marta is often regarded as the best female player of all time and was given the nickname "Pelé in skirts" by Pelé himself. [4] [5] [6] She has been named FIFA World Player of the Year six times, five of them being consecutive (from 2006 through 2010) and the latest award 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.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

FIFA World Player of the Year association football award

The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award presented annually by the sport's governing body, FIFA, between 1991 and 2015. Coaches and captains of international teams and media representatives selected the player they deem to have performed the best in the previous calendar year.

2004 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, held in Athens in 2004

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004 with the motto Welcome Home.

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. [7] She also appeared in the Sveriges Television television documentary series The Other Sport from 2013.

2014 FIFA World Cup 20th FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil in 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organised by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007. It was the second time that Brazil staged the competition, the first being in 1950, and the fifth time that it was held in South America. Many fans and pundits alike also consider this edition of the World Cup to be one of the greatest ever held.

Amarildo Tavares da Silveira Brazilian footballer and manager

Amarildo Tavares da Silveira, also known as Amarildo, is a retired Brazilian footballer who played as a striker.

Bebeto Brazilian association football player

José Roberto Gama de Oliveira, known as Bebeto, is a Brazilian former professional football player who played as a forward. He entered politics in the 2010 Brazilian General Elections and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro representing the Democratic Labour Party.

In August 2016, Marta was one of the 8 to carry the Olympic Flag in the Olympic Games in Rio.

Olympic Games Major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

Club career

Career start

Marta was discovered by well-known Brazilian female coach Helena Pacheco when she was only 14 years old. After playing for the CSA youth team, Marta started her professional career at Vasco da Gama in 2000. After two years, she was transferred to Santa Cruz, a small club in the state of Minas Gerais, [8] where she would play for two more seasons, before defending Umeå IK of Sweden.

Umeå IK

Marta joined Umeå IK prior to the 2004 season during which Umeå reached the final of the UEFA Cup, winning 8–0 on aggregate against Frankfurt with Marta scoring three goals over the two-legs. In the league, despite amassing a total of 106 goals, which was 32 more than the Champions, Umeå finished second, beaten by a single point by Djurgården. Marta scored 22 league goals, and also got on the scoresheet at the cup final against Djurgården, scoring the only goal in a 2–1 Umeå loss.

Umeå IK

Umeå IK[ˈʉːmɛɔ ²iːkoː] is a women's association football club based in the city of Umeå, Sweden. Established in 1917 as a general sports club, the women's football section began competing in 1985. In 1996 the team reached the Premier Division (Damallsvenskan) only to be relegated the following year. In 1998 they were promoted again and have since remained in the top division. Umeå IK has won seven Swedish championships, four Swedish Cups and the UEFA Women's Champions League twice, in 2003 and 2004. They also reached the Champions League finals in 2002, 2007 and 2008.

Her second season (2005) ended with Marta scoring 21 goals and with Umeå winning the league, having gone undefeated. Once again, Umeå were beaten by Djurgården in the cup losing by a score of 3–1 in the final; thus avenging a 7–0 league defeat to Umeå some three weeks earlier.

In 2006, Umeå once again won the league without losing, and Marta, as in the previous year, was the league's top scorer with 21 goals. Umeå cruised to an 11–1 aggregate win over Norwegian side Kolbotn FK in the UEFA Women's Cup, with Marta scoring twice in both matches. For the third time in a row, she was on the losing side in the Swedish cup final when her side were defeated 3–2 by Linköpings FC.

Marta in the 2009 WPS All-Stars match against Umea IK. Marta star.jpg
Marta in the 2009 WPS All-Stars match against Umeå IK.

The 2007 season was a relatively successful for Umeå with the club winning both the league, in which they finished nine points ahead of Djurgården, [9] and the Swedish Cup, beating AIK 4–3 in a match in which Marta scored a hat-trick, the last (winning) goal coming three minutes from time. Marta scored 25 goals in the league finishing one goal behind the top scorer Lotta Schelin. [10] In the UEFA Women's Cup they reached the final for the fourth time but suffered a disappointment, losing 1–0 on aggregate to Arsenal.

The 2008 season saw Umeå and Marta win another Swedish championship title. After the end of the season, speculation arose concerning the future of Marta and a couple of months later, on the day of the FIFA World Player of the Year Awards in January 2009, Marta announced that she would play for the American side Los Angeles Sol for the next three years. [11] At the request of Marta, the Los Angeles side also purchased Johanna Frisk from Umeå IK, [12] which led to a report by Swedish TV4 sports presenter Patrick Ekwall that Marta and Frisk were a lesbian couple. [13] Both players denied this to be true. [14]

Marta's life and football prowess was depicted in the 2005 Swedish Television documentary "Marta – Pelés kusin" ("Marta – Pelé's cousin").

Los Angeles Sol

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. [15] [16] 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." [17]

Marta was the league's top scorer for the 2009 season with ten goals and three assists. [18] The Sol were regular season champions and reached the WPS Championship Final, where it lost 1–0 to Sky Blue FC. [19]


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, [20] [21] helping her club win both competitions, and scoring a goal in the Libertadores final and two in the Copa do Brasil final. [22] [23]

FC Gold Pride

Marta at 2010 WPS Championship Marta at 2010 WPS Championship 5.JPG
Marta at 2010 WPS Championship

In January 2010, the Sol ceased operations [24] 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. [25] 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. [26] She became a free agent after the Gold Pride folded on 17 November 2010.

Return to Santos

On 16 December 2010, Santos presented again Marta . It was a two-month contract that could become a link of a year, but it did not. The board of directors has confirmed it is finalizing negotiations for the club to dispute the women's football league in the United States in 2011. However, pursuant to the competition regulation, the club would have only five Brazilian players – Marta and four.

Western New York Flash

On 25 January 2011, Marta joined her third WPS team in three years, the expansion team Western New York Flash, who took over the third year of her contract with the Gold Pride. [27] Marta's 2 goals and 4 assists were a key part to the 3–0–1 start for the team's 2011 season.

Western New York Flash forward Marta helped her team to the Regular Season Championship title, scoring her tenth goal of the season in a 2–0 victory over the Atlanta Beat on Sunday, en route to earning her third consecutive PUMA Golden Boot award. The Brazilian soccer star edged out fellow Flash forward Christine Sinclair, in the tie breaker having a greater production rate based on goals per game average. [28]

Tyresö FF

Marta interviewed by Anna Brolin of TV4 in 2013 Marta interviewed by Anna Brolin Oct 2013.jpg
Marta interviewed by Anna Brolin of TV4 in 2013

As WPS cancelled the 2012 season, Marta decided to return to Damallsvenskan in Sweden. On 22 February 2012 she signed a two-year contract with Tyresö FF. [29] Her extraordinary salary of about $400,000 [30] [31] per season was paid by external sponsors and not the club, its owners stated. [32] Tyresö won the Damallsvenskan title for the first time in the 2012 season and Marta collected her fifth league winner's medal. [33]

Marta scored twice in Tyresö's 4–3 defeat by Wolfsburg in the 2014 UEFA Women's Champions League Final. [34] Tyresö had suffered a financial implosion in 2014 and withdrew from the 2014 Damallsvenskan season, expunging all their results and making all their players free agents. The Stockholm County Administrative Board published the players' salaries, showing Marta was the highest earner at SEK 168 000 per month. [35]

As news of Tyresö's financial difficulties spread, Marta had been linked with a transfer to Avaldsnes IL. But the Norwegian Toppserien club's chairman warned that she would have to take a substantial pay cut. [36] Paris Saint-Germain Féminines were also reported to have approached Marta and Tyresö teammate Caroline Seger. [37]


In July 2014 she signed a six-month contract with defending champion FC Rosengård in Sweden. [38] While with the Swedish club, Marta won the Damallsvenskan league title in 2014 and 2015, the Svenska Cupen in 2016, and the Svenska Supercupen in 2015 and 2016.

Orlando Pride

After Rosengård lost to Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women's Champions League, Marta joined Orlando Pride on a free transfer from Rosengård, which agreed to terminate her contract. Her new contract with Orlando is for two years with the option for a third. [39] In her first season at Orlando, she finished second in the league in both goals and assists and was voted MVP by her teammates. [40] The Pride ended the season in third place earning their first ever play-off appearance where they lost in the semi-finals to the Portland Thorns.


Los Angeles Sol 2009 WPS 2010----2010
Santos FC 2009 Série A --718671325
FC Gold Pride 2010 WPS 2520----2520
Santos FC 2011 Série A ----4242
Western New York Flash 2011 WPS 1510----1510
Tyresö FF 2012 Damallsvenskan 211244--2516
FC Rosengård 2014 Damallsvenskan 9552642011
Orlando Pride 2017 NWSL 24132413
2018 174174
2019 125125

International career

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. [41] 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 wearing the Brazil number 10 Marta2.png
Marta wearing the Brazil number 10

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. [42]

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. [43] 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. [44] [45]

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. [46] Brazil lost to Australia in the round-of-16.

During the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup she became the first player, male or female, to score at five FIFA World Cup tournaments when she scored a penalty against Australia in Brazil's second group game. In the next match, she scored another penalty, this time against Italy, to become the outright leading goalscorer, male or female, at the World Cup with 17 goals in total. [3] After Brazil were knocked out by hosts France in few Round of 16, Marta gave an emotional interview to television cameras where she pleaded with Brazilian girls to continue the legacy of ageing legends such as herself, Formiga, and Cristiane. She implored them to "value [women's football] more" and to "cry at the beginning so you can smile at the end". The interview went viral during the tournament, with videos getting tens of thousands of retweets on Twitter. [47] In that period of time Marta entered top 10 the most popular footballer in the global ranking of the Wikipedia. [48]

Matches and goals scored at World Cup and Olympic tournaments

Marta has competed in 5 FIFA Women's World Cups: USA 2003, China 2007, Germany 2011, Canada 2015, and France 2019; and four Olympics: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. Marta, with her Brazil teammates, finished second at China 2007 Women's World Cup, 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Selected international goals


Marta during the 2014 Match Against Poverty in Bern, Switzerland Football against poverty 2014 - Marta (2).jpg
Marta during the 2014 Match Against Poverty in Bern, Switzerland


Umeå IK


FC Gold Pride

Western New York Flash

Tyresö FF

FC Rosengård

National team



Style of play

Marta in 2014 Football against poverty 2014 - Marta.jpg
Marta in 2014

A small, quick, yet sturdy and tenacious player, [55] 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, [56] Romário, [57] and also Pelé, who himself dubbed her as Pelé with skirts. [4] [5] [6] [58] In addition to her vision and technical skills, [57] Marta is also known for her pace when dribbling at speed. [57] [59] [60] Marta is capable of playing in several offensive positions: she began her career in an offensive midfield role as a classic number 10, [61] [62] although she was later deployed in a more advanced role, [63] both as a supporting forward [64] and as a main striker, [65] or even on the wing, a position which allows her to cut into the middle and shoot on goal with her stronger left foot. [57] [61] [66] [67] Although she is primarily known for her creativity, chance creation, and ability to play off of her teammates as an advanced playmaker, [57] [60] [68] [69] Marta is a prolific goalscorer, who is renowned for her striking ability; [70] she is also accurate from penalties and set-pieces. [71] In addition to her footballing abilities, Marta has also stood out for her leadership. [72]

Personal life

Marta has three siblings, José, Valdir, and Angela. Her parents are Aldário and Tereza. Her father left the family while Marta was a baby. [73] As of 2010, she lives in San Jose. On 11 October 2010, Marta was named a UN goodwill ambassador. [74] Marta is fluent in Portuguese, Swedish and English. [75] She is a Catholic and states that God is very important to her, although she does not go to Church often. [76] In 2016, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women. [77]

As of 14 March 2017, Marta has become a Swedish citizen, but has stated that she will keep her Brazilian citizenship. [78]

Marta is currently in a relationship with her Orlando Pride teammate, Toni Pressley. [79]

See also

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Further reading