Marta said she was representing women in football after becoming the leading scorer in the history of the men’s and women’s World Cups on Tuesday by firing home the penalty that downed Italy and secured Brazil’s place in the last 16 of this year’s tournament in France.
The 33-year-old, widely considered the best player in the history of the women’s game, slammed home from the spot in the 74th minute against Group C winners Italy to secure qualification and take her World Cup tally to 17 after Debinha was bundled over by Elena Linari.
That puts her one ahead of former Bayern Munich and Lazio striker Miroslav Klose in the all-time rankings, and the veteran attacker said the goal was more than just a personal triumph.
“The feeling is a joyful one, definitely, not only for breaking the record but for being able to represent women in doing so,” she said.
“And for being able to help my team which is what matters most, qualifying for the next stage of the tournament.”
Marta’s record-breaking spot-kick wasn’t enough to secure second place in the group however, as Sam Kerr’s incredible four-goal haul in Australia’s 4-1 hammering of Jamaica saw the Matildas leapfrog Brazil on goals scored as three sides finished on six points.
It means they could face either France or Germany in the next round, a tough test for a team that has at times spluttered in the group stage.