It is already your 4th participation
in a World Cup with the Brazilian national team. Do you remember the feelings
you had when going into the very first tournament back in 2003?
remember it well actually, and my big dream hasn’t really changed until now. We
would love to win the title, we wanted it in 2003 and we want it now. But of
course my situation back then was very different to now. I have grown up within
these 12 years and my role in the team is a different one. I was so young in my
first tournament, but I scored a few goals, and it was an amazing feeling to
score for my home country on such a big stage.
What are your expectations for this tournament?
a very young team this year, and our structure has changed quite a lot
recently. But the team is not only young, the girls are also extremely talented.
We also have a fairly new coach and he has worked hard with us to be prepared
for the tournament. We are his first
women’s team, so he was trying out a few things to find the perfect team, and
now I feel we are in a good position to impress in Canada.
What is the biggest challenge for the Brazilian
team in regards to your own performance?
many creative players, and we are also patient normally. However, in the past
we have sometimes been a little disorganized, but we have worked with Vadão on this and I
believe we have improved a lot in this area.
How do you like the extension of the tournament
to 24 countries compared to the former set-up with 16 teams?
it is great, as it really mixes up the traditional set-up, as we normally see
similar teams participating. Eight countries will debut this year, and I feel
this makes the tournament a lot more interesting, especially from a spectator
point of view. Some people say, it will have an impact on the quality of the
games, but I definitely disagree.
Group D with the USA, Sweden, Australia and
Nigeria is called the ‘group of death’. If you were to find a name for your
group, what would it be?
call it the ‘group of possibilities’. We have the highest FIFA ranking, but
none of the other teams in our group should be underestimated. Costa Rica has
some brilliant individual players, South Korea is always a tough opponent to us
as they are being very technical and well organized. Spain will have their
World Cup debut in our group, which could definitely cause a surprise.
Some people call you ‘Pele in a skirt’. Do you
like this nick name?
Of course I do. It is an honor to be compared with Pele. I would be happy if
one day someone will be called ‘Marta with pants’.
You have done a lot for the reputation of
women’s football, within Brazil but also worldwide, especially through your
work as the UN Global Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment. What is your vision for female football when
looking ahead to the future?
Brazilian football, I would wish to get more support from the federation. It
has improved a lot in the past years, but I still think it should be more. It
is a long-term investment that is needed and doesn’t help if only the current
senior team is being supported. We need the youth teams to become more
professionally organized, so more girls in our country can make their dream of
being a footballer come true. And for worldwide football I would love to see
more women being the manager of male teams. This is still a very uncommon
scenario, whilst many men coach female teams. I think this has a lot of
potential to change and to become more accepted overall.
as a UN ambassador for the empowerment of women of course helps to support
female football around the globe, but it is also a lot more than that. I have
had the chance to visit Sierra Leone for example, and spoke to university
students, civil society groups and female parliament members. Together we work
on spreading the message ‘When women succeed, we all win’, and I truly believe
in this. We have to be patient, but in the long run I think our work will become
fruitful and rewarding for women worldwide.