As she paid a painful goodbye to the game, iconic forward Marta claimed that Brazil’s elimination from the Women’s World Cup at the group stage on Wednesday was “not even in my worst nightmares.” Marta is leaving the tournament.
The 37-year-old player, who is widely considered to be the best women’s footballer in the history of the sport, began the game but was unable to assist Brazil in scoring the goals they needed as their campaign came to a disappointing conclusion with a 0-0 tie against Jamaica.
Brazil and Marta were eliminated in the group stage, marking their worst showing at a World Cup tournament since they were eliminated at the same level in 1995.
“It’s difficult to have a conversation at a moment like this. Marta, who seemed to be in as much disbelief as she was sad, said, “This is not the World Cup I dreamed of — not even in my worst nightmares.”
“But this is just the beginning, the Brazilian people have been asking for renewal, and now there is renewal.”
“I’m the only one who’s over 30, the rest of the girls on the team are all teenagers with incredible potential, and this is only the beginning for them.”
“This is where I come to an end, but they go on.”
Marta, who was given the moniker “Pele in a skirt” by the late great Pele, can never add winning the World Cup to her already impressive list of accomplishments.
She is the player with the most goals scored in World Cup history, regardless of whether the competition was for men or women; nevertheless, she was unable to add to her total of 17 in Melbourne.
“Marta ends here, there is no more World Cup for Marta,” said the striker, whose career has been plagued by injuries in its late years.
“I am very happy with what is happening with women’s football around the world and I am grateful that we will have the opportunity to compete in one more World Cup.”
Pia Sundhage, Marta’s coach, expressed her confidence that Marta would continue her playing career, citing the fact that “she loves the sport.”
She did, however, add an important caveat, saying, “Whether she is good enough for the national team, let’s see.”
“In order to make it more difficult for Marta, I am going to seek for excellent players. We need to be stronger than we are right now.