- Marta has been named the world’s best player on five occasions
- Brazilian gives her views on the short-list for this year’s award
- Marta says Lieke Martens has “many chances” to win this year
Much interest will focus on who will take the women’s award when the great and good of world football gather in London on 23 October for The Best FIFA Football Awards. Two new names have been shortlisted this year in the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens and Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos. USA’s two-time winner Carli Lloyd also returns for a third successive year.
But there is one name that has long stood out above all others as being truly synonymous with the award: Marta.
The forward boasts a truly remarkable record at FIFA’s red-carpet event, and one that is unlikely ever to be matched. Marta won five successive titles, commencing in 2006 when she was aged just 20. She is still the youngest recipient of the award by some margin. If that is not impressive enough, add in four-time runner-up, and two third-place finishes. It adds up to an extraordinary run of 11 podium appearances in as many years.
The Brazilian icon wasn’t nominated this year after limited international opportunities. Over the past 12 months she has helped Rosengard to a Swedish Cup win, and more recently starred with the NWSL’s newest club Orlando Pride. Marta accrued 13 goals and six assists to be named in the competition’s team of the season.
It’s fair to say Marta knows a thing or two about what it takes to become the best in the world. And, quirkily enough, she played alongside Martens last season at Rosengard.
"It is hard to choose one [winner],” Marta recently told FIFA.comprior to the shortlist being trimmed from ten to three. “All the players that are on the list deserve it and had good moments during the year.
“Lieke Martens did a very good job in the EURO and I like to see her play. I had the opportunity to play with her in Sweden, and she is a player that likes to get on the ball and go forward.”
In a year without a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ or an Olympic Games, the main international competition in 2017 was undoubtedly the UEFA EURO. Marta believes performances in that competition will likely carry a lot of weight with the voters, which included captains and coaches of all national teams.
"I won’t say the players that I voted for - I had the opportunity to vote as Brazil's captain - but I voted consciously for the player that played very well in the main competition of the year,” said Marta.
“I think the (main) competition of this year will be the EURO. And Netherlands won, and Martens was the best player of the competition and I believe she has many chances to be the best player of the world."