Marta in Brazil squad for 6th and final Olympics

Marta’s spot in Brazil’s women’s soccer team for the Paris Olympics was confirmed Tuesday when coach Arthur Elias included the 38-year-old striker in his 18-player squad.

Marta, widely considered one of the best women’s players in history, had previously said she intends to retire from the national team after playing in the Olympics for the sixth time.

The Orlando Pride forward has two silver medals after Brazil lost to the United States in the final of both the 2004 and 2008 tournaments, but has never won gold.

In 2021 in Tokyo, Marta became the first player to score in five consecutive Olympics.

“She brings a lot to the table, she’s the greatest athlete of all time,” Elias said of Marta. “She’s playing well, she deserved to be on this list.

“Marta’s performance, especially after she came back to play for her club, which is fighting for the top spot in the U.S., her behaviour, with or without the ball, makes all the athletes see her as an example.

“I have the challenge of finding a way of playing to maximise her game. But she knows that you can only win with everyone.”

Also included on the roster was North Carolina Courage forward Kerolin. The reigning NWSL MVP has yet to play this year after suffering a torn ACL last October.

Elias said at a news conference that he wanted a mix of experience and young talents, with an eye toward the future. Brazil will host the 2027 edition of the Women’s World Cup.

Half of the players in the Olympic team also played for Brazil at last year’s World Cup under Elias’ predecessor, Pia Sundhage. Other veterans, such as strikers Debinha and Cristiane, did not make the final list.

Brazil is in Group C of the Olympic tournament. Its first match will be on July 25 against Nigeria in Bordeaux. Japan and World Cup champion Spain are also in the group.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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