Marta's masterstroke

  • Marta is the leading scorer in Women’s World Cup history (15)

  • Finished runner-up at China 2007

  • Vote for your favourite goal from a shortlist of ten

As we search for the Greatest Goal in FIFA Women’s World Cup™ history, it is inevitable that among the candidates is the tournament’s all-time leading scorer.

There was no doubting the star of the show on 27 September 2007 at the Dragon Stadium in Hangzhou, China PR, during the meeting of USA and Brazil in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup. It was, of course, Marta. Every time the ball arrived at her feet, the striker had the crowd on the edge of their seats, anxious to see what magic she would conjure up next.

HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG - SEPTEMBER 27: Players of USA battle for the ball with Marta (L) of Brazil during the Women's World Cup 2007 Semi Final match between USA and Brazil at Hangzhou Dragon Stadium on September 27, 2007 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province of China. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

The goal

One of her ‘victims’ that evening was Carli Lloyd, who said of Marta’s performance: "She raised the roof, all on her own." The Auriverde No10 treated those present to her full repertoire of dribbles, bursts of speed, deft touches and interplay. And she even scored in samba style – quite literally! – as she left a helpless Tina Ellertson (75th minute) in a spin and weaved through the defence.

Then three minutes later came a gem of a goal that has gone down in history. Receiving the ball with her back to goal and Ellertson breathing down her neck, Marta executed the deftest of heel flicks to leave her marker chasing shadows. As she bore down on goal, she cut inside another defender before firing home a low, unstoppable drive with her ‘weaker’ right foot.

What they said

"My favourite World Cup memory is from 2007, when we beat the USA in the semi-final. I think that match was not only my finest moment as a footballer, but also Brazil’s best moment at a Women’s World Cup. On that night, I scored what I consider to be the best goal of my career [Editor's note - the goal featured here]. So, it really is a perfect memory." Marta