Marta and Brazil's mesmerising meridian
13 years ago today breathtaking Brazil stunned USA
Marta scored two wonder goals in that China 2007 semi-final
She calls it her and Brazil’s best-ever performance
“Nobody remembers who came in second.”
The oft-repeated quote makes Marta chuckle.
“Years later everybody always wants to talk to me about 2007,” she said last year. “In Brazil people always talk about the national team of ’82, and they also talk about our team of 2007.
“The football we played, the goals we scored. I’m proud that we played beautiful football and that people remember us.”
The zenith for Marta and Brazil came 13 years ago today at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. USA were unbeaten in 51 games. They had won 18 victories over Brazil – including both at the Women’s World Cup, 5-0 and 2-0 – and just one defeat. They boasted Christie Rampone, Aly Wagner, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Heather O'Reilly and Abby Wambach.
Yet Formiga, Cristiane, Marta and Co produced an earth-shaking performance and a 4-0 triumph, which remains the heaviest defeat in USWNT history.
“I scored what I think is the best goal of my career that day, and I remember it like it were yesterday,” said Marta of her second goal. "Whenever I talk about that semi-final I remember the fourth goal. I produced a really special play. It was my most special moment.
“I think it was a perfect performance. We weren’t afraid of the United States. We went out and played our own game.”
“You can’t reckon for a player like Marta,” said Ryan. “The things she can do with a ball, it’s indescribable.” Lloyd added: “She raised the stadium, all on her own”.
Raising the stadiums is something Marta remembers fondly.
“It’s the World Cup I remember the best,” she said of China 2007. “The way people welcomed women’s football there. People were crazy about it, stadiums were packed. They were shouting our names. It was really outstanding.
"We did not win the title, but we made history. I love recalling that tournament. It was beautiful, beautiful. That game against the United States wasn’t just my best game as a player; I think it was Brazil’s best performance in the World Cup."