Germany's 2-0 victory in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup Final shattered Marta's dream of a first major trophy for Brazil. On a fateful day at the Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai, the tournament's outstanding player stepped up to take a penalty which would have levelled the scores, but Germany keeper Nadine Angerer was equal to her spot-kick.
It was with a heavy heart that Marta came forward to accept the adidas Golden Shoe and Golden Ball after the match. "If I'd scored, it could have been a completely different story. We might still have gone on to lose, or a goal might have given us a lift as a team. Fate decided Brazil were to lose the final," the 22-year-old reflects.
FIFA.com visited the 2006 and 2007 FIFA World Player at her home in Sweden, where she plays for Umea, and listened to her hopes for a revenge victory in 2011.
FIFA.com: Marta, are the 2011 finals the last chance for an
entire generation of Brazilian women to claim a major trophy?
Marta: The 2011 World Cup is definitely a tremendous opportunity for Brazil. It's important we're not unlucky with injuries and that our players are in peak form. Maybe we'll get sweet revenge in 2011.
jogo bonito won plaudits at the 2007 finals, but it was
Germany who claimed the trophy. Do tactics matter more than
That's a very difficult question. Germany and Brazil are both exceptional teams with contrasting styles of play. You could argue Germany were the better team because they won the Final, but it all comes down to details in the end.
Are Germany and Brazil the biggest favourites for the FIFA
Women's World Cup 2011?
I think Germany and Brazil will be the favourites, but you can definitely never rule out Sweden, USA and Norway.
How do you feel about Germany hosting the FIFA Women's
World Cup 2011?
Germany will lay on a superbly organised World Cup with plenty of events supporting the tournament itself. The 2011 World Cup will be a wonderful festival for the teams and the fans. Germany are one of the leading women's footballing nations and the infrastructure there is second to none. I think it's important for the women's game to stage the World Cup in a country where the conditions are truly excellent.
And what do you think of the German fans?
It'll be terrific if we play Germany in 2011. It would be a real thrill to take on Germany in front of a German crowd, particularly because of the special rivalry between Germany and Brazil which has developed in women's football over recent years, as everyone knows.
Are there any of the candidate Host Cities which
particularly appeals as a place to play in 2011?
I've not thought about it yet. All that interests me is running out at the stadium hosting the Final on the last day of the World Cup.
How far can the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 contribute
to the further development of the women's game
The World Cup is a fantastic platform for promoting the women's game above and beyond the countries like Germany and Sweden where it's already well established.
Could you see yourself coming to Germany one day and
playing in the Women's Bundesliga?
It's a possibility. Obviously, I know the Women's Bundesliga is a strong league. I'm inspired by taking on strong clubs and competing in an attractive league. That could be something for the future.
You've been described as the female Ronaldinho. Is
Ronaldinho your role model?
There's a lot of talk about this from time to time. I'm honoured by the comparison with Ronaldinho, he's a world football icon. But when I'm out there playing, I'm not thinking about role models.
Do you miss the Copacabana, or does the Arctic Circle feel
like home these days?
There's not a huge amount going on in Umea, so you concentrate on doing your job. But I've been here five years now and feel like it's my home. The people here in Umea are really nice.