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Do you know Marta? What about Sissi?

Marta was born on February 19, 1986, in Dois Riachos, Alagoas, Brazil. She grew up in a poor family and began playing football at a young age, often competing with boys in her neighbourhood. Marta’s professional football career started in Brazil, where she played for several clubs, including Vasco da Gama and Santa Cruz. She gained international recognition when she moved to Sweden to play for Umeå IK, where she won numerous awards and became a standout player in the women’s game.

Marta has won numerous individual awards, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year multiple times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010) and earning the FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Boot and Golden Ball in 2007. She has also received acclaim for her skills, speed, and goal-scoring ability.

Her inspiration was Sissi, the first reference to women’s football. She was born in Esplanada, a small town in Bahia, in 1967. During that time, Brazil suffered from the dictatorship and women’s football was forbidden. Only in 1979 was women’s football back, so Sissi spent her childhood transforming her dolls’ heads into soccer balls. Even though the sport was back, there was a lot of stigma around female players. Sissi started her career in Bahia, and in 1988 she represented Brazil in an experimental tournament for the first world cup. Brazil finished in third that year. Sissi won South American trophies in 1995 and 1998 and in numerous national tournaments.

Have you heard those names before? Now that you learned a little bit more about Brazilian football, are you feeling inspired to watch the women’s matches? :)

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