Meg Van Dyk
On paper, Marta is already one of the best soccer players in the history of the game. With her nomination as a finalist for the 2018 FIFA Women’s The Best award, given to the best player of the year, she will have the chance to etch her name into the history books once again.
The Brazilian has previously won the award five consecutive times from 2006 to 2010, the most ever in women’s soccer. The forward’s quintet of trophies match that of superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the most all-time.
In addition to her five first-place awards, she has finished second in the voting four times and twice came in third.
The announcement of the finalists came while Marta was about to start a morning training session with the Orlando Pride. Before the practice, she was greeted with the news that she had once again been recognized among the top players in the world.
“I’m really happy and thankful for this nomination,” Marta said through a translator.
From 2004 until 2014, Marta cemented herself as the top women’s player in the world, but in the past three years she was left out of contention for the award.
It was during her time with the Pride that she began turning heads and once again earned recognition as one of the best in the world, scoring 13 goals in her debut season with Orlando.
But while her numbers on the pitch for the 2017 season speak for themselves, Marta attributes her success not to herself, but to those around her.
“Even though it’s an individual award, I also share this with my teammates because they help me through everything,” Marta said. “I couldn’t get this recognition without them.”
In the same way that she claims her teammates have elevated her, Marta has done much of the same in return. In her two seasons with the Pride she scored an additional 17 total goals, assisted on 11 goals, setting a franchise record, and has contributed to the development of even more.
If she wins the award she will become the first individual, male or female, to receive the honor six times, but she may not be alone. Ronaldo is once again nominated in the male category and could also take home his sixth trophy.
Regardless of the outcome one thing is for sure, she has earned her title as the G.O.A.T.