RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian women’s soccer star Marta, crowned six times by FIFA as the best women’s player in the world, said Tuesday via social media that she was planning to dedicate this year to spending time with her family.
“I am telling you all an important decision: this year, I will dedicate myself to my family. After all, family always comes first. Thank you for always supporting me,” the Brazilian athlete said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
What the soccer star has not clarified is if she will play for Brazil in the Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France in June.
Marta, known to her fans as the “rainha” (queen), made the big announcement on her 33rd birthday.
The coach of the Brazilian women’s soccer team, Vadao, said that Marta would participate in the She Believes Cup, which starts on Feb. 27 in the United States, Globo News reported.
“She talks to us every day. She’s a soccer player and she’s going to give it all up? No. She talks to us every day and has never mentioned it. We can see it with her training. She’ll be with us in the US tournament,” Vadao told Globo News.
The striker started her career with Rio de Janeiro-based Vasco da Gama and now plays for the Orlando Pride in the United States.
The Orlando soccer team responded to her message by posting the same picture she used for her announcement on its official account with the caption “we know we are your family.”
Marta is one of the best players in the history of Brazilian soccer.
Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana stadium paid homage to the player by including her in the hall of fame next to players like Pele and Ronaldo.
Marta is the top scorer in the history of the Brazilian national team, as well as the all-time scorer in the Women’s World Cup, in which she has scored 15 goals, breaking the record set by Germany’s Birgit Prinz.
The Brazilian national team will kick off the Women’s World Cup with a match on June 9 against Jamaica in Grenoble, France.
Brazil is in Group C along with Australia and Italy.