Marta dedicates World Cup record to 'anyone fighting for equality'

2019-06-19 08:22
Marta (Getty Images)

France - Marta secured her place among the legends of football on Tuesday after the Brazilian become the World Cup's all-time leading scorer in the 1-0 win against Italy in Valenciennes.

"This record doesn't belong to me, it belongs to all of us," said the 33-year-old after crashing home a penalty with 16 minutes left to score her 17th World Cup goal. 

"I share it with anyone fighting for more equality."

Brazil set up a knockout stage clash with either hosts France or Germany after the 74th-minute strike moved Marta one goal ahead of the German Miroslav Klose in the record books.

"Do you think he'll change his mind about retiring and play at the next World Cup?" Marta joked.

Brazil finished third on goal difference in Group C behind Italy and Australia -- who beat Jamaica 4-1 -- after all three ended level on six points.

Marta wasn't fazed by the possibility of facing France, who topped Group A with a perfect nine points after scraping past Nigeria on Monday.

"To play against the host nation would be a privilege. The stadium would be full of fans singing," she said. 

"I love playing in front of a big crowd whether it's supporting me or is against me. I just want there to be fans who are watching us."

Marta is widely considered the greatest player in the history of the women's game and was hailed by her teammates as an inspiration for others wanting to take up the male-dominated sport.

"She is like an icon for us and I think every year she is breaking records and that's no just important for us but for all of women's soccer. I'm so happy she is Brazilian," said centre-back Monica.

Fellow defender Tamires added: "We have a lot of young players coming up and I hope they look to her and how she plays, what makes her so special and so incredible and follow her."

Four-star Kerr

The defeat wasn't enough to dislodge Italy from top spot and a match with one of the four best third-placed finishers.

"It's a shame about the result because we didn't want to lose but we played well enough to have drawn it," said Juventus attacker Babara Bonansea, who twice went close for Italy before Marta claimed her record goal.

"We knew that today was going to be difficult but we were good. Let's see who our next match is with."

Marta's winner overshadowed another historic feat for Sam Kerr, who became the first Australian to score a World Cup hat-trick as she crashed four past eliminated Jamaica in Grenoble.

"It's one to tell my kids about," Kerr said. "Any time you break a record, especially for your country, it is an amazing feeling."

The Matildas will play Norway in Nice in the last 16 on Saturday.

England need a point against Japan on Wednesday to ensure they top Group D and avoid a potential last-16 clash with European champions the Netherlands.

Topping the group would, however, also put them on the same side of the draw as both France and potentially the World Cup holders USA.

Coach Phil Neville said Tuesday admitted there were "pitfalls in finishing first and second" as he reported that his squad was fully fit with striker Toni Duggan available after missing the wins over Scotland and Argentina.

Read more on:    brazil  |  womens world cup 2019  |  marta  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.