Who’s the Queen of Football (Soccer)?

In Brazil, she is affectionately called A Rainha Marta (Queen Marta). Marta Vieira da Silva has won FIFAs annual best player in the world six times. She’s the top scorer in the World Cup, male or female, at 17 points in five championships. Legendary player Pelé calls her Pelé in a Skirt. Kind of him to say since she’s outscored him in World Cup matches, his goal total is 9. <wink>

Marta began playing professional football in her home country of Brazil as a teenager. At 18 in 2004, a Swedish team recruited her. Marta has played for several US teams and competed for Brazil in five World Cups. She’s currently on the roster for the Orlando Pride team in Florida.

Vieira da Silva did not begin life with golden cleats. Her mom raised four kids on her own, after her dad left when she was one. Since she was 6, Marta loved playing soccer. She was told repeatedly that girls don’t play futebol (football). Marta ignored those comments and made footballs out of plastic bags to dribble.

She practiced constantly and became better than the boys. To play in tournaments, Vieira da Silva played using oversized, hand me down boys cleats, because there were none in her size. In 2000, she took a bus for three days to get to Rio and try out for the professional team Vasco da Gama. She was recruited on the spot at 14 years old.

Back to her recent career, in 2022 Marta was inactive because of knee surgery. She has worked hard on her recovery and reports that this year once again she is able to run without pain. Thursday, February 16th she will return to the game joining Brazilian teammates in the She Believes Cup over her birthday weekend (she’ll be 37). Hope that tournament goes well and she can participate in the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand July of this year!

I watched a video of her and Marta’s dribbling shows precise control of the ball. Who do you admire, on or off the field?

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Rebecca Cuningham

28 thoughts on “Who’s the Queen of Football (Soccer)?

  1. Normally deeply uninterested in football, we did follow the English women’s team in UEFA last year – and quite enjoyed it The team included a player from my daughter’s old school, but everyone played with such sportsmanship and lack of over-dramatic outbursts they we were quite disarmed – and even watched the final. Now girls in England are battling to have equal opportunities to play football as their brothers. Easy for some to achieve, much harder for others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Margaret. You hit on key themes. The women’s’ games are fun to watch because they’re really good athletes with interesting back stories. Cool that there was a player from your daughter’s former school on the English national team. Equity has not been achieved in the US either. The pay gap between men and women is large, even though it is the women who have won the world cup several times! We do have a law that ensures girls and boys have equal sport opportunities, so that’s a start.


  2. Wow – impressive and I’m so glad that you told her story. I’m not a big football fan but I know Pele, Ronaldo, and a handful of other international soccer stars, but not the Queen. Love how her pinky is out as she dribbles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wynne! Love that you captured that detail. I wonder if she’s signaling a teammate for a pass subtly; or it’s just total concentration. She’s really not as famous in the US in general, although she’s played for US teams for a decade. Hoping to help change that. She’s awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t really follow soccer/football (let alone women’s soccer/football), but Marta Vieira da Silva’s story is really inspirational! She’s also gorgeous ~swoon~ I looked her up, and she’s queer! Love the representation out there: for women in sports and in the LGBTQ community!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rebecca! Yes, Marta is engaged to her former teammate Toni Pressley. I have’t seen news of them tying the knot yet. Marta contributes her awesome representation as a queer Afro-Brazilian woman at the top of her game. The She Believes tournament continues this weekend if you’d like to see her poetry in motion. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is wonderful you are helping promote womans football. No longer called Soccer in Australia.
    The best is Australia’s Sam Kerr hands down. Her records stand for them selves – Best International Player for 2022, Womans Super League Golden Boot plus heaps of other accolades ⚽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments about football in Australia. Congratulations to Sam! Best wishes for more accolades this year. Will you be able to attend any world cup games this year? Lucky your country is co-hosting!


    1. Thanks, Carol Anne. Yes she does! This weekend she’s back in the game after a year out for an injury. She made the assist for the solitary goal of Brazil vs Japan that won their game in the She Believes tournament.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s