Marta arrives in Orlando
The five-time FIFA Player of the Year joins the Pride
Marta arrives at the airport in Orlando. Photo Credit: Mark Thor/Orlando Pride
Marta arrives at the airport in Orlando. Photo Credit: Mark Thor/Orlando Pride

After arriving in Orlando Thursday night, the newest member of the Pride, Brazilian superstar Marta, met the media Friday morning in an introductory press conference alongside Orlando City SC majority owner Flávio Augusto Da Silva and club CEO Alex Leitão. 

“Since Orlando took the initiative to build a women’s soccer team, it showed that it has the same intent [that] it has for the men’s team,” Marta said through a translator when asked why she chose to join the National Women’s Soccer League as a member of the Orlando Pride.

“Also, the way the people of Orlando, the city breathes soccer, lives soccer. … That is a great thing for an athlete when local people are that involved with a sport.”

Marta saw that excitement immediately upon arriving Thursday night at Orlando International Airport, where she was greeted by a crowd of fans.

“It was surprising to see that amount of people at the airport to greet me because it was also late at night, about 10:30 p.m.,” she said. “It was very exciting. I was very happy.”

It’s been a whirlwind few days for the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, who only left Sweden, where she last played with FC Rosengård, Thursday morning. When asked if that would be enough time to get ready for the match, Marta showed no signs of not being ready to go on Saturday in Orlando’s home opener vs. the Washington Spirit (Lifetime, 3:30 p.m. ET).

“I’m so excited that honestly I just want to be ready and available for selection if coach wishes for tomorrow,” she said.

“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to take the flight. I was really looking forward [to] a call from the embassy with all my paperwork. I think it was almost a goal scored after the 90th minute, but I was super happy. The flight was good and I’m ready to go.”

After the press conference, Marta went to her first training session with her new teammates and her new head coach Tom Sermanni. The team struggled to score in Week 1, falling 2-0 to Portland Thorns FC.

“As a forward or [midfielder/forward], part of our job is to score goals. So, I’ll do my best to score my goals, but no one is going to do any miracles,” she said when asked how she could help the team on offense.

“The important thing is try to get the best of each player and I’m going to do my best for them to reach their best and, all together, we are going to try to help get in a better place.”


Watch the full press conference:






Scenes from Marta’s arrival in Orlando:

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