Marta took part in the Abbey Road interview where she talks about growing up playing football in Brazil and her move to Sweden.
The interview video is linked below. Thank you to Izzy for the video translation:
Reporter: Hi, how are you?
Marta: I’m ok.
Reporter: Do you prefer to speak Swedish?
Marta: No, I want to talk in Portuguese.
(They speak in Swedish).
Reporter: Let me just take a peek in the mirror. Can I?
Marta: You are beautiful!
(Videos with goals from Marta).
Marta: A story I started writing since I was 14 when I left my town, Dois Riachos, and go to live in Rio de Janeiro. It was from there that I started writing this story … Chapter by chapter … Having the dream of reaching the Brazilian soccer team … and eventually play in a country where women’s football is strong, and become, finally, the best player in the world.
(More videos about Marta)
Reporter: But how it started? How did that passion that you had since a little girl, for football?
Marta: The passion began very early. I was about seven, eight years and I was always playing with my cousins. And the game I could play better was to play football, so it was from that moment I realized I had talent, that I was good for the sport and I was drawing it into my head and I was thinking of several things I would like to win in football and it was growing on me.
Reporter: But can not have been so easy because, for example, when I lived one year in Rio de Janeiro, I remember once, when I went to have classes of physical education, all the girls went to play volleyball and all boys to play football. Then one day I said, but I’m willing to play football … and everybody looked as if I were outcast … Super weird and started laughing at me … And they said, no my dear, you do not play football, you are girl, and then?
Marta: then, it was not easy. In Brazil, at that time, football was totally focused on the male and it was a strange thing, a girl want to do this kind of sport. And since I’m from a small town in the interior of Alagoas … 10,000, 12,000 inhabitants, people thought it ridiculous, and I’ve since I was a little kid had to fight against the prejudice and against the lack of support … I was going to play with the boys, even in official matches, it was just me as a woman and people made a lot of jokes, some very unpleasant … And I had to be always very strong, wanting to follow my path, I never let myself down by things like that. So I fought with the boys, I fought with my family, I fled from home to play football … That was until I was 14 years. Then a funny thing happened, I began to compete for the indoor soccer team, my school, with the men’s team and I was the only girl, so I played for two years all these competitions … And in the third year, a coach, from another men’s team, fought and said, “I will not put my team to play, if Marta is playing, because it is not right because she is the only girl.” So after this they don’t let me play anymore.
Reporter: That force, where it comes from?
Marta: The strength comes from my family, from the difficulty that we had when I was a kid … In poverty … And I felt I needed to do something to help my family, then football was a door that opened, a light that appeared … and I realized what this was what I was doing better, so I’ll try to move on in order to be able one day, to help my family and have a better life, to have a better financial situation. So that strength comes from it all.
Reporter: How you describe the situation when you grew up with poverty and everything was very hard, it was not hard?
Marta: It was very hard because Dois Riachos, my town is very small and very difficult to find work, job options are few, or you work in agriculture or you work at City Hall … And then my father had separated from my mother and my mother was left with four children … I had less than a year old … And my mother did not know what to do, because she only had a job, but the money was not enough to keep the family, so we had difficulties, we had moments when we not was able to have everything at home. I couldn’t say: “I want to eat it here, or eat it there ” We have to choose one thing to eat or another, because we can not afford to have it both ways. I had a very happy childhood on the one hand, but very difficult with the family as well, financially.
Reporter: but considering this, you grew up in a situation of poverty, economically. The money, the salary, it is important to you, today?
Marta: Money is important but because the money that I get today is not just me who depends on it, me and most other people behind me … My mother, some people in my family when they need help, my brothers, my father. Today, my father and mother, survive with what I give to them. And when I think of salary, to have a better condition, I can not think only of me, I have to think of myself and other people that I help constantly. So money is important, but when I said that I had left to go to another country to be in Sweden, other country that I may win more than I get here in Sweden, is because I think money is important, but not all. My financial situation today is a situation that makes me calm, happy. I’m not rich, I’m not rich, but I have a situation very privileged than I had many years ago. And my family is not rich, if you go to Dois Riachos, my city, where my mother lives today, she lives a normal life, she has no life of a princess. She has her house, a house well established, she has to eat, what to drink, what to wear, but is not a life of riches, is a normal life and we are happy with it. I’m happy with it, so I think so, the money in my life help, and much, because the money not only helps me but helps many others. But money is not everything, I have to be happy.
Reporter: And when you decided to come to Sweden, it seems the photographs we’ve seen, you are very happy with this decision. Why were you so excited?
Marta: I was happy, I was thrilled, I was, I think amazed with all this, because it was a plan I had in my head, from the moment I left Sweden. In 2009 I played in Los Angeles, 2010 in San Francisco, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. And those three years, of course they were very special. It was a huge learning experience here in the U.S.. I grew up very well as an athlete. Being in an environment where most of the great athletes of the world were too. But I never stopped side by Sweden. And those people who live with me, they know very well that I always say: “No, I will finish my contract here in the U.S., the contract was for three years, and then I’ll see the possibility of returning to Sweden. Why I want to go back there. ” Because I like Sweden.
Reporter: Why do you like Sweden?
Marta: I like the cold (laughs). No. ..
Reporter: The temperature is not! (Laughs)
Marta: I do not think the temperature so bad. The hardest thing for me is to train outside in the cold … Are drills and games, but in everyday life is quiet, because I think the weather charming, handsome. But what really makes me glad to return to Sweden because it is here that started it all.
Reporter: And Brazil? You do not feel homesick?
Marta: I feel, I miss, but lately I’m going to Brazil in holidays, there all is a hurry. is plenty to do, but I feel much nostalgia for Brazil.
Marta: It’s funny, when I’m in Brazil, I miss Sweden! When I’m in Brazil I miss … even the cold, because in Brazil is very hot, especially in my area … It is very hot. I miss also a bit of privacy I have here in Sweden, which is slightly larger.
Reporter: when you arrive in Brazil, as the people receive you?
Marta: they get well, the people are super kind to me …
Reporter: But is the star? “Marta has come!” It’s that thing?
Marta: No, I arrive at the airport normal, do not have that thing of fans waiting. Unless my family, my friends. But I want to say when I go out to dinner, I go to a beach, shopping … Then you realize that people are watching you and be there … “I’m going to ask an autograph, or will not I?” And has other people who will direct “ahhh I want an autograph” and hug you, kiss you and talk beautiful things, then I remember the warmth of the Brazilian and this is essential to me so I can pursue more, get my best.
Reporter: And your family? They must be super proud … I guess.
Marta: they are … Everyone has a great pride for me today, everything that I won so far and they are dazzled. They sometimes imagine that it might not be true. As too often I stop to think …
Reporter: You? did you sometimes stop to think that is not true?
Marta: (smile) Sometimes I stop to think (laughs).
Reporter: What makes you and Messi the best players in the world? what do you think? Why, just you both?
Marta: (laughs) I think … So, I see in Messi, I do not really like talking about me, (reporter laughs), but I see him like an ability to think big, think fast, improvisation, you know. And we take advantage of the speed that we have. The speed that we have. And like you said, I think the Latin player he was born with a little of that in blood. In this beautiful game, this kind of improvisation. In this technique, we get … And finally, it is one thing I think it is part of Latin people.
Reporter: well, but not from me (laughs) you, Lionel Messi, but did not get anything for me (laughs).
Marta: (laughs) for those who are born to play football. (Laughs)
Reporter: I wanna ask you … When you work as you said it works … and travels from Brazil to the U.S. to Sweden … And live in different places … And love?
Marta: Love is the football, love is … (laughs)
Reporter: But you have to have another love too!
Marta: but we have! But alas we have to reconcile things (she speaks in the plural, but talking about she). My priority is my job, why is it that I survive. So nothing comes forward. and we have to give up some things in order to move on, so …
Reporter: But giving up the love?
Marta: (smile) But I have so much love! My mother’s love for me, the football has love for me, my family has love for me … People who admire my work also loves me … so much love that we (she) do not feel so short! (Laughs)
Reporter: No, because … I wanted to ask you … Because many people always speak of Johanna … Who was with you …
Marta: Hm hm
Reporter: For the U.S. and then she came here (Tyreso) and you come later … Of course, everyone says that maybe she is the love of Marta’s life…
Marta: love of my life?
Marta: no… Johanna, I have a great affection for her, she is a special person to me, she is a person who is part of my life for quite some time, we played together in Umea, we went together to the U.S. … But nothing prevents it … I follow my life and she followed hers.
Reporter: does not have to be together? (Smile)
Reporter: (changes the subject) you’ve done so much and won many awards and you are, for example, the most expensive player in Sweden, and all that. What you see in your future? What are the goals you have?
Marta: Well this year is a very special year. First because I have come to a team that has a very large order, which is to win the Swedish league, because he never won, after went on to play women’s champions league. I have with the women’s team this year plus a chance to play the Olympics. Where we came so close. We are double silver medal. So those are my goals this year. The next year, belongs to God, then I want to focus on these objectives.
Reporter: You said “belongs to God,” you believe in God and it is important to you?
Marta: I believe in God and he is so important.
Reporter: God is a big part of your life?
Marta: Yes, I think my whole life. I grew up in a family of Catholics, so I follow the religion … I’m not going much to church , I’m not getting much praying, I am to thank actually happen and the things that happened in my life.
Reporter: one last question. My son loves football. Is there any advice you could give him?
Marta: The advice I give is that if he really wants it for his life (being a football player), he must engage, train hard … And one thing that is important … We should never think we know everything, because we always have something still to learn! (Marta smiles and thrills)
© Women’s Soccer United
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