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Marta, a Brazilian soccer star Posted by on Jun 22, 2019 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Sports, Sports

Ei você! Hey there! Needless to say that futebol (soccer) is one the most popular sports in the world. It gets bigger every year and spreads across many countries, conquering new hearts. Even though it was invented in England, Brazil is the birthplace of a number of famous jogadores (players), and the title país do futebol (soccer country) is not by chance. Pelé, Mané Garrincha, Zico, Romário, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Neymar to name a few, are just some of the idols who have made their name inside and outside the country. Today, however, this text will not be dedicated to any of these players, but to a player of the seleção feminina (female Brazilian team): Marta Vieira da Silva.

marta playing

Seleção brasileira de futebol feminino disputa semifinal com a Suécia, no Maracanã. O Brasil perde nos pênaltis e vai disputar o bronze (Fernando Frazão_Agência Brasil)

If you’ve been keeping up with the Women’s World Cup, you’re probably already familiar with Marta. Born in a small town in the Brazilian sertão (backlands), Marta had to “dribble” her family that tried to keep her from jogar (playing) soccer. She often skipped school to play with boys or even face her Physical Education teachers who did not let her practice it. Her obstinacy and talent had an effect. Today, she is considered the best soccer player of all time and was voted six times as the a melhor jogadora do mundo (best player in the world) by FIFA.

As if that was not enough, last Tuesday (June 6), Marta earned an unprecedented título (title). With 17 goals scored during the tournaments she was in, she is the leading artilheira (top scorer) in the history of the World Cup, overrunning stars like the Polish Miroslav Klose (16 goals) and Brazilian Ronaldo “Phenomenon” (15 goals).

However, life is not a bed of roses. Despite having achieved this historic record, Marta has used the world tournament as a platform to lutar contra (fight against) gender inequality in the soccer market. She recently declined um patrocínio (a sponsorship deal) because her value was much lower than the salaries offered to male players. Just so you have an idea, the amount spent with Neymar’s season is 91.5 million euros, while Marta received only 340 thousand euros, less than 1% of her fellow countryman’s pay. Instead of the sponsor’s logo, she bears the symbol of the “Go Equal” movement, which fights for equidade de gênero (gender equity). With each goal and celebration in the World Cup, her feet go up in the air and she flashes the logo, reminding everyone of her reivindicação (claim).

This is another fight Marta has been leading against preconceito (prejudice) since her infância (childhood), when people thought she was weird or even scolded her because they thought a woman should not be playing soccer. Today, despite the disparidade salarial (wage gap) in relation to male players, she still se destaca (stands out) and was the only female player honored in the largest stadium in Brazil, Maracanã.

And you, who are your favorite soccer players? And what do you think of Marta as a player and a woman who fights for equal rights? If you’ve never seen Marta em campo (on the field), do not worry, we have selected a video with some of her best scores so you can check it out her performance for yourself:

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