Umeå’s Marta named top woman footballer

Sweden-based Brazilian international Marta Vieira da Silva won the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award on Monday.

The striker – usually known simply as Marta – plays for Swedish club Umeå. Marta, 20, was making her third consecutive apperance at the award cermony in Zurich, despite her youth, after helping Brazil win silver at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

The Brazilian striker beat US veteran Kristine Lilly, 35, who passed the 300 national caps mark this year – a record for any player – and Germany’s midfielder Renate Lingor.

Marta plays in Sweden because the game in Brazil has yet to reach professional status for women.

“I play in the national team, but you must take into account that in Brazil you have people who know how to run a team, but there is not much interest in women’s football,” Marta said shortly before the award ceremony.

“Perhaps the CBF (federation) should speak to the clubs about forming a league in Brazil,” she added.