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HomeSportsSoccerBrazil soccer legend Marta says 2023 Women's World Cup will be her...

Brazil soccer legend Marta says 2023 Women’s World Cup will be her last

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Going into her sixth World Cup, Brazil star Marta said Monday that this will be her last.

The 37-year-old Marta is widely considered one of the best players in the history of women’s soccer but has yet to lift the World Cup trophy in five previous attempts.

“Yes, it will be my last World Cup,” Marta told journalists in Brasilia on Monday, shortly before the squad boarded a plane to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand. “We have to understand that a time comes for us to prioritize other things.”

Brazil coach Pia Sundhage said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that Marta, who has been the world player of the year six times, may not be in the starting lineup for Brazil right away while she continues to recover from a left knee injury.

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Marta played for a few minutes on Sunday, when Brazil beat Chile 4-0 in its last friendly before the trip.

“I can only be thankful to have lived all those years in the national team,” added Marta, who is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 117 goals. “Having the chance of going to another World Cup, my sixth, is surreal to me.”

Marta had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament last year, leading to an 11-month absence from the national team. Sundhage, who led the United States to two Olympic gold medals, called up Marta for friendlies against England and Germany in April but the forward remained in Florida to recover from a muscle injury in her left leg.

Brazil, one of three South American teams in the tournament, is in Group F along with France — the team that eliminated the Brazilians four years ago in the round of 16 — Jamaica and Panama.

Brazil’s first game is against Panama on July 24 in Adelaide.

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