Since finishing third in 2004 and second one year later, Marta has been the exclusive recipient of the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award. That has not, however, quenched the 25-year-old’s thirst to prolong her relentless reign.
The Brazil forward is on the ten-woman shortlist for the 2011 gong, along with Sonia Bompastor (France), Kerstin Garefrekes (Germany), Aya Miyama (Japan), Alex Morgan (USA), Louisa Necib (France), Homare Sawa (Japan), Lotta Schelin (Sweden), Hope Solo (USA) and Abby Wambach (USA).
Marta nonetheless feels that the outcome of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ could leave her at a disadvantage. For while her Brazil side crashed out to USA on penalties in the quarter-finals, Japan went on to edge the Americans in a thrilling final, with Sawa seizing both the adidas Golden Ball and adidas Golden Shoe.
“There has been a lot of good girls [this year],” Marta said. “I think [Sawa] has a big chance because she was decisive in the World Cup, in which she was the top scorer and the best player.
“The girls from USA are also strong, and that country is a powerhouse. I don’t know what will be the key factor in the voting, but I’d love to win it again.”
American legend Mia Hamm (2001 & 2002) and Germany striker Birgit Prinz (2003, 2004 & 2005) are the only other two players to have won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award.
Ronaldo (1996, 1997 & 2002) and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000 & 2003) are the joint-record recipients of the men’s award, while Ronaldinho (2004 & 2005) and Lionel Messi (2009 & 2010) are its only other multiple winners.
This year’s king and queen will be revealed at a ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on Monday 9 January 2012.