For the sixth time in her illustrious career, Orlando Pride and Brazil Women’s National Team legend Marta has been named the FIFA women’s world player of the year. The 32-year-old was presented as The Best FIFA Women’s Player on Monday at The Best FIFA Football Awards in London, beating out Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg.
“I’m really speechless because this is a fantastic moment and people tell me, ‘You’ve been in this position so many times before, and every time you get emotional.’ I do this because this means so much to me, since the first moment that I saw that this is the best thing I can do with my life, which is to play soccer, and to practice this fantastic sport,” Marta said from the stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. “Firstly, I would like to thank God for constantly giving me health and for always giving me the ability to fight and to reach my goals. I can’t go without thanking, obviously, my teammates — from the Club and the Brazilian team – the people who are with me and constantly supporting me, the fans, the press and all the athletes that are my coworkers who voted for me. I can only thank everyone, this is fantastic. It really is a magical moment, thank you.”
The honor makes Marta the all-time leader in the award, having been named the best player in the world more times than any other male or female player. Marta was previously named Women’s World Player of the Year five consecutive years from 2006-10. She finished second in voting in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016, and third in 2004 and 2013.
The Best was voted on by fans, media, national team captains and national team coaches based on the players’ accomplishments from Aug. 7, 2017 to May 24, 2018.
In 2017, her first season with the Pride, Marta immediately made her mark in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The veteran forward set a Club record with 13 goals on the season, while also contributing six assists. Her efforts would help lead the Pride to their first playoff appearance, finishing the regular season in third place after posting a league-high 45 goals as a team.
For her individual efforts, Marta was named to the NWSL Team of the Month every month from June to September, while also earning NWSL Best XI honors at the conclusion of the 2017 campaign.
Over two seasons in Orlando, Marta has totaled 17 goals - five of them game-winners - and 10 assists. She was also named to the FIFPro World XI and CONCACAF Best XI at the end of 2017.
Internationally, the Brazilian captain paced her team to a dominating 2018 Copa América Femenina title, which qualified the Seleção for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Along the way, Brazil outscored opponents 31-2 over the tournament’s seven matches.
The Copa América Femenina win was Brazil’s third straight and seventh all-time.