Marta makes Brazil’s squad for her sixth Women’s World Cup

Brazil coach Pia Sundhage announces her picks for the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Veteran football superstar Marta has been named to Brazil’s squad for the Women’s World Cup and her sixth tournament appearance, but prolific striker Cristiane did not make the cut.

Brazil coach Pia Sundhage on Tuesday announced her picks for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off on July 20.

The 37-year-old Marta will aim to raise the trophy after five failed attempts with Brazil in what is expected to be her last tournament.

The winner of six FIFA World Player of the Year awards could start the tournament on the bench while she continues to recover from a left knee injury.

“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.”

Sundhage refused to discuss players who had not made the squad, including Cristiane, who scored 11 goals for Brazil in previous editions of the tournament.

The biggest surprise inclusion in the squad was 34-year-old Flamengo goalkeeper Barbara, who had not been picked in recent games.

Sundhage also picked 11 players who will be making their World Cup debuts.

Brazil will be coached at a World Cup by a European for the first time. Swedish coach Sundhage, who led the United States to two Olympic gold medals, has had nearly four years to transform the team.

Brazil will play a last friendly game at home on Sunday against Chile in Brasilia before heading to Australia to open the tournament with a game against Panama on July 24 in Adelaide, Australia.

The other members of their group are Jamaica and France, the team that eliminated the Brazilians four years ago in the round of 16.


Goalkeepers: Leticia Izidoro (Corinthians), Barbara (Flamengo), Camila (Santos)

Defenders: Antonia (Levante), Bruninha (Gotham FC), Kathellen (Real Madrid), Lauren (Madrid CFF), Monica Hickman (Madrid CFF), Rafaelle (Arsenal), Tamires (Corinthians)

Midfielders: Duda Sampaio (Corinthians), Kerolin (North Carolina Courage), Luana (Corinthians), Adriana (Orlando Pride), Ana Vitoria (Benfica), Ary Borges (Racing Louisville)

Forwards: Andressa Alves (AS Roma), Geyse (Barcelona), Nycole (Benfica), Bia Zaneratto (Palmeiras), Debinha (Kansas City Current), Gabi Nunes (Madrid CFF), Marta (Orlando Pride)

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies