Interview by Gabriela Cavalheiro –
Marta Vieira da Silva or, simply, Marta. The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year talked to Gabriela Cavalheiro in a very personal conversation in which Marta shared her personal motivations, thoughts, and memories. Furthermore, in her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador Marta has been always outspoken on issues such as gender, equality, and inclusiveness. You can find more information on Marta’s role as a Goodwill Ambassador by clicking here. This interview first appeared on Gabriela’s beautiful homepage: gatodalice.com.
Marta, when did you realize you wanted to be a professional footballer?
My interest for football started very early, when I was 7 years old. I used to be around my cousins all the time and our favorite game was to play football in the streets.
When you moved to Rio de Janeiro, where you started training, what were the biggest obstacles or difficulties you realized you had to overcome?
When I moved to Rio I was 14 years old, I went first for a trial at Vasco da Gama. They had an under-19 and an adult team, both very good, by the way, so in case I didn’t pass the test and managed to remain in the team I’d eventually have to go back to Alagoas [her State of birth]. But thank God I passed the test and lived with my friend Marcos for a while, he helped me a lot at the time. I was so happy with the opportunity of playing in a well-organized women’s team and to be living in a beautiful city such as Rio.
Who inspired you, Marta?
We faced so many difficulties, everything was scarce and my parents divorced when I was a few months old. My mom had to take care of four of her children, all by herself, and I grew up watching her efforts to raise us, and she never left us without the basic things in life. So, because of that, she’s become a reference and a source of motivation for me. She’s my idol.
You were nominated to the role of UN Goodwill Ambassador. I’ve seen you at different events advocating for gender equality, or, better, for equalities that should not face gender as an obstacle. What does such a title mean to you?
I feel very honored to have been nominated as one of the UN’s ambassadors because I represent two causes that were very present during my infancy and teen years – poverty and gender equality. I’ve overcome so many difficulties and having this opportunity, as an ambassador, of being able to help others, is just priceless!
If this Marta, from today, could look back to that young girl leaving Dois Riachos [her city of birth] and give her a piece of advice, what would it be?
Not to be so impulsive and learn how to say ‘no’ too, and to take better care of myself.
I’d like to thank Joao Vicente and Maria Tereza Dias for helping to make my dream of interviewing Marta possible.
Gabriela is a cultural historian and a PhD candidate at King’s College London, her research focuses on past materialities that are investigated through legal and literary texts. She also writes for Brasil Post (Huffington Post Brasil), and also runs the beautiful blog Gato d’Alice. Follow her on Twitter @gabccavalheiro.