Orlando Pride forward Marta has been voted 2018 FIFA The Best Women’s Player. The winner was announced on Monday in London. Marta was one of three finalists, alongside Ada Hegerberg (Lyon) and Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany/Lyon).
It’s the sixth time that Marta has been honored as the world’s best player — winning in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2018. No women’s or men’s player has won the award more times than Marta.
The time period considered for the award was August 7, 2017 to May 24, 2018. Marta finished the 2017 season second in the Golden Boot race with 13 goals, second for assists with six — and finished second in the NWSL MVP voting for the 2017 season. She played in 13 NWSL games in the time period considered, scoring 7 goals and 4 assists, and was also named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI. This spring, Marta led Brazil to a Copa América Femenina tournament win in Chile, which qualified Brazil for next summer’s Women’s World Cup.
The award was voted on by fans, selected media, national team coaches and national team captains, from an original shortlist of 10 players. FIFA has released the breakdown of votes for coaches, captains and media. That can be found here.
“I’m really speechless because this is a fantastic moment and people tell me, ‘You’ve been in this position so many times before, and every time you get emotional.’ I do this because this means so much to me, since the first moment that I saw that this is the best thing I can do with my life, which is to play soccer, and to practice this fantastic sport,” Marta said after accepting the award. The Orlando Pride released a translated (from Portuguese to English) transcript of her remarks. “Firstly, I would like to thank God for constantly giving me health and for always giving me the ability to fight and to reach my goals. I can’t go without thanking, obviously, my teammates — from the Club and the Brazilian team – the people who are with me and constantly supporting me, the fans, the press and all the athletes that are my coworkers who voted for me. I can only thank everyone, this is fantastic. It really is a magical moment, thank you.”
The shortlists were put together by a panel of 12 experts, including Mia Hamm, Sissi, Sun Wen and Nadine Keßler.
— FIFA Women's World Cup ?? (@FIFAWWC) September 24, 2018
Four NWSL or former NWSL players made the original shortlist — Marta, Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr, Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe and former Portland Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyon) — with Marta making it as one of three finalists after voting. Marta, Kerr and Rapinoe were all finalists for the 2017 NWSL MVP award.
??????#TheBest … EVER
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) September 24, 2018
The original shortlist of nominees for best women’s player: Lucy Bronze (England/Lyon), Pernille Harder (Denmark/Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Amandine Henry (France/Lyon), Sam Kerr (Australia/Chicago Red Stars), Saki Kumagai (Japan/Lyon), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany/Lyon), Marta (Brazil/Orlando Pride), Megan Rapinoe (United States/Seattle Reign FC) and Wendie Renard (France/Lyon).
— Alex Stone (@AlexStone7) September 24, 2018