Marta and Formiga head Brazil Women’s World Cup squad
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Six-time world player of the year Marta and the unretired Formiga will spearhead Brazil in the Women’s World Cup in France, probably for the last time in their careers.
Brazil coach Vadao announced his squad on Thursday, betting on 33-year-old Marta to end a nine-match losing streak and help the team win its first Women’s World Cup title.
“Marta is still Marta, and she could make the difference in this World Cup,” he said.
Formiga, the 41-year-old midfielder, will play a record seventh World Cup despite announcing her retirement in 2016 after the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Veteran goalkeeper Barbara, who was also called up, said it could be the final chance for the squad’s older players to finally lift the trophy.
“We are aware this should be the last World Cup for several athletes, me, Marta, Cristiane, Formiga,” Barbara told TV Globo. “We believe we have this World Cup and the Olympic Games. Then our cycle ends. Marta said she would give it all to Brazil while she has the strength and asked our help to be the Marta we know.”
Brazil is in Group C with Australia, Italy, and Jamaica. The Selecao opens against Jamaica on June 9 in Grenoble.
At Thursday’s press conference in Rio, coach Vadao made a gaffe by saying Jamaica’s play is no different than others of “African style.”