Veteran forward Marta will lead a fresh-faced Brazil looking to pull off an upset to win its first women’s World Cup when the tournament kicks off next month, coach Pia Sundhage announced Tuesday.
At age 37, the legendary number 10, considered by many the greatest female footballer ever, will be playing in her sixth World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after battling back from a knee injury that sidelined her for nearly a year.
“Marta is the ‘Queen’, the icon, and just to be around her is contagious,” Sundhage told reporters as she announced her 23-player squad.
“In the final pass, she is one of the best. Would she start in the line-up? I don’t know yet.”
Copa America champions Brazil are at a generational crossroads, and not tipped to lift the trophy.
Sundhage picked 11 players who will be making their World Cup debuts — though the Swedish coach also included tournament veterans such as goalkeepers Leticia and Barbara, defenders Kathellen, Rafaelle and Tamires, and forwards Bia Zaneratto, Andressa Alves and Debinha.
Brazil, who are in Group F with France, Jamaica and Panama, will kick off their World Cup campaign against Panama in Adelaide on July 24.
Goalkeepers: Leticia Izidoro (Corinthians), Barbara (Flamengo), Camila (Santos)
Defenders: Antonia (Levante, ESP), Bruninha (Gotham FC, USA), Kathellen (Real Madrid, ESP), Lauren (Madrid CFF, ESP), Monica (Madrid CFF, ESP), Rafaelle, Tamires (Corinthians)
Midfielders: Duda Sampaio (Corinthians), Kerolin (North Carolina Courage, USA), Luana (Corinthians), Adriana (Orlando Pride, USA), Ana Vitoria, Ary Borges (Louisville City, USA)
Forwards: Andressa Alves, Geyse (Barcelona, ESP), Nycole (Benfica, POR), Bia Zaneratto (Palmeiras), Debinha (Kansas City Current, USA), Gabi Nunes, Marta (Orlando Pride, USA)
Press Release, Source: AFP