Marta: Brazil

Former USWNT player Nikki Marshall highlights Brazil's goalscoring legend Marta.

Brazil: Marta

To be honest, if you don’t know Marta by now, you haven’t been paying attention for the last 10 years. 

Named the world player of the year six times — and runner-up another five — Marta is arguably the best footballer of the last 15 years, if not all time. 

But she’s yet to get her team a major international title, and she’s out to change that this year. 

Brazil has dominated South American women’s soccer, winning seven of eight Copa Ámericas. The one time the Seleção didn’t win, in 2006, Marta did not play. 

But on the global stage, in the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, Brazil has fallen short time after time.

During Marta’s international playing days since 2002, Brazil has finished second at the Women’s World Cup once and at the Olympics two times. Marta owns the record for most goals scored in Women’s World Cup history with 15, one more than Germany’s Birgit Prinz and the United States’ Abby Wambach, neither of whom will be competing this summer in France.

Now 33, Marta will be looking to make her fifth World Cup a memorable one. While she may no longer be the focal point of the Brazilian attack — Bia Zaneratto has taken the mantle as the primary goal scorer — Marta is still one of the most creative playmakers in the game.

And she still wants the one thing that’s eluded the most decorated individual player in women’s football history — a Women’s World Cup trophy.

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