Marta: Organise A Copa America
Never has a female football player captured the hearts and imagination of men and women of all ages like Marta. On the back of Brazil’s 2-0 loss to Germany in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, this global phenomenon shared some of her immediate thoughts with FIFA magazine.
FIFA magazine: Why do you like football?
Marta: Ever since I was a child I have loved to play. I was born with a gift and I guess, a talent, and football really gives me a lot of joy. I feel a lot of emotions when I run on the field, when I get the ball, and when we win, I feel so excited. Even when we lose, I realise that we have to stand up again and keep on fighting to get the victory next time.
What did it mean to you to win the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe awards?
Marta: I would like to share the two trophies with my team-mates. While they are individual awards, I achieved them due to the support of my colleagues. Every one of the players and the coaching staff has a share in these trophies.
What are your dreams?
Marta: I want to keep on playing for the next eight or nine years. My desire is to see a professional league in my country where the players can find support and can be appreciated. I am fighting for this objective. I also want to give a better quality of life to my mum, who is my idol, and provide a better future for her.
We had two South American teams in China 2007, Brazil and Argentina, but the level was very different. What needs to be done for women’s football in South America in order to redress the balance?
Marta: Women’s football in South America is a bit neglected – nobody takes care of it. There are of course big teams in our region, but it only relates to men’s football. For women’s football, there is really only Brazil and Argentina. The Argentinians have the same problem as us, they don’t have competitions, clubs or any structure. They only play because they love the sport. With that background it is very difficult to perform well at World Cup level. The first step for us would be to implement a national league that is ongoing and consistent, and when this works we can organise a Copa America in order to get the national teams in form.
What do you think women’s football needs to go one step further?
Marta: Our team is very strong and we are close, just like a family. Now we need some help, and we certainly want some support. Brazil does not have a national league, but the national team still manages to reach the finals of the biggest events, such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics. We’ve already proved what we are capable of achieving – we cannot do much more. Now, we can only hope to get something back, a reward maybe …
Who has been the most influential person in your football career?
Marta: I have never had anybody who helped me. I was born in a very small city and where I grew up, it was very rare that a girl wanted to play football. Only boys played football there. So I had to get used to playing with boys but the people did not like it. At that stage, my family wanted to protect me and they tried to persuade me not to play for my own good. But later my mum said, “Let her play. Let her do whatever she wants to do in her life.” For that reason, I am always inspired by my family, because of all the difficulties they have been through and are still going through. Football for me is a way to help them financially and to bring some joy to them. My success is dedicated always to my mum.