Marta is the best women’s soccer player in the world and now in the history of the game.
It’s already widely accepted, but with her victory at the FIFA awards as The Best women’s soccer player, there is no debating that the Brazilian forward is in a league of her own.
On Monday in London, England, surrounded by the world’s top talent, Marta received her sixth iteration of the FIFA award, given each year to the player considered to the be the best of the best.
Her six wins are more than any other player, male or female, since the award was first introduced in 1991. The women’s version of the award was first presented in 2001 and since then Marta has finished in the top three in 13 of the 18 years.
Marta’s victory comes as recognition for her stand-out first season with the Orlando Pride in 2017 that saw the forward score a team-high 13 goals and record an additional six assists.
Her illustrious career includes over 300 appearances as a part of 10 different clubs across five leagues. In addition, the striker is quickly approaching 500 career goals, an achievement only three active players in the entire world -- all men -- have reached.
The trophies and awards that have followed her on-field accomplishments are many.
She has represented Brazil in four FIFA World Cups and four Olympics, during which she led the Seleção to two Olympic silver medals (2004 and 2008). With 15 career goals, Marta also holds the record for most goals scored at the Women’s World Cup.
At the club level she has won the UEFA Women’s Champions League and 10 separate league titles, but those awards fail to scratch the surface on her long list of achievements.
But what truly makes her the greatest of all-time cannot be found in the statistics of her 18-year professional career, but in the moments inside the lines that help her stand out among the rest.
It’s the passion with which she carries herself from the second she steps foot onto the pitch up until the final whistle blows.
It’s the determination that drips from her brow as she continually gives her all, often times out-working her younger opponents.
It's the time she spends with her teammates; teaching, explaining and leading, all in an effort to make everyone better.
It’s her style on the pitch and the effortlessness with which she dribbles the ball down the field, weaving in and out of defenders as if she was born for this very purpose.
It’s all the intangibles that the stats fail to show that truly elevate the forward into a class of her own.
It’s all of these things, and more, that have cemented Marta into the history books as the top women’s soccer player and her FIFA The Best award serves as yet another reminder that there is no stopping her as she continues to change the game forever.