ESPN names former Flash star Marta in list of best female athletes
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • May 25, 2012 @ 9:29am
You really only need to watch these six seconds of Marta in action to understand what a special athlete she is. The impeccable first touch on the turn, the speed around the spinning defender, the patience in front of goal and the cheeky finish—it’s all there in one shining World Cup moment.
The Brazilian international superstar, who won the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year five consecutive times, ranked 22nd in espnW’s Title IX: Top 40 Female Athletes over the past 40 years countdown. Marta is ranked ahead of Kristine Lilly (#36), Abby Wambach (#33) and Michelle Akers (#27) in terms of soccer players on the list, but we fully anticipate that Mia Hamm will rank higher.
A rather undiscovered gem in Western New York, Marta dazzled Women’s Professional Soccer in the Flash’s championship season. Earning the PUMA Golden Boot award for the third straight season by nudging past Flash teammate Christine Sinclair, Marta’s skill level and charisma were instrumental in the surge of WPS’ popularity post-World Cup.
Though she’s back in Sweden playing for Tyreso FF this year after the WPS dissolved, Marta’s still remembered fondly for her time with the Western New York Flash. Finances have forever been the sticking point with the Brazilian superstar—her rumored $400,000 salary is entirely covered by Swedish sponsors—but her sheer ability has mesmerized futbol fans throughout the world.