Author Topic: 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Contenders  (Read 2239 times)

Offline David

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2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Contenders
« on: December 08, 2006, 11:26:44 PM »
Marta blends speed and technique

Memories of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens still give Marta a twinkle in her eye. Sixteen months ago, Brazil battled through to the final of the Olympic football tournament, only to be narrowly thwarted by USA after extra-time. "Winning the silver medal was the greatest sporting moment of my career. It was historic - the people in Brazil ran out into the streets," says the Brazilian prodigy, replaying the finest hour in her career to date.

The 20-year-old's rise to fame is something of a fairy tale. Marta started playing football at seven years of age in her small home town of just 13,000 inhabitants, Dois Riachos in northern Brazil. "I was surrounded by boisterous boys and we used to play in the street - but they didn't want to play with me," she recalls. Her mothered supported her - much to the chagrin of her less football-crazed brothers.

However, in an interview with earlier this year, Mia Hamm - a legendary voice of experience - pointed out that the 20-year-old, who stands at just 1.60m, still has many years and major tournaments ahead of her.

"Marta is one of the best players I have ever played with or against," said the US icon. "She still has a long way to go, we're still talking about a baby, she's just a kid still. A long way to go or not, I would take her on my team any day. She can dribble, go right at defenders and she has the heart of a true competitor. If she stays healthy and surrounds herself with the right people, she's going to become frighteningly dominant." 

Asked why she chose football, Marta admits: "It was not a conscious decision. I just wanted to play football naturally." Besides the beautiful game, Marta also enjoyed Futsal and handball, where she played in goal. And she is no doubt as to where her exceptional technique was developed: "That comes from Futsal. I used to play tournaments with boys."

Even in her free time, football is high on the agenda. Marta likes to prove that she is just as invincible on the Playstation as she is on pitch. She also enjoys chatting with friends in Brazil, wandering through UmeƄ or meeting her team-mates for a coffee.
Her friend and international team-mate Cristiane says: "I am a huge fan of Marta's game. She can do unbelievable things with the ball at her feet. I admire her style and her success because she works hard and has made a lot of sacrifices." Who could begrudge her if all of that hard work was rewarded with the game's greatest accolade on 18 December...?,1451,126506,00.html?articleid=126506