Meeting the greatest female football player of all time

(Photo courtesy of KidScoop Media)

By Enzo Rondani

KidScoop Media Correspondent, age 12

Covering Angel City FC was my first time seeing a professional women’s soccer game in person. I felt very nervous because it would be my first time interviewing players as a member of the press. I arrived at the BMO Stadium and went directly to the press box to watch the Angel City versus Orlando Pride game. You could feel and hear the energy of the fans passionately cheering for their favorite team.

It was a special game because this was Brazilian soccer superstar and icon Marta’s 100th match with her club Orlando Pride. There were 18,102 fans in attendance watching the game that was very close and competitive.

I couldn’t contain my emotions seeing Marta play live, her passes and dribbles were just so phenomenal. I am a Brazilian boy, born and raised in LA and I have been playing soccer ever since I was 2 years old. I was very excited by this unique opportunity.

Once the match ended, I was super happy that Orlando won, because I was cheering for Marta the whole time. I went to the press media conference room to listen to the Angel City coach and players being interviewed. I also had to wait for Marta’s team to approve our interview. I was so excited to hear that she was going to be able to come down so I could ask her a few questions.

Once Marta arrived, I was in shock, and I couldn’t feel my body; she was so lovely greeting me, and we immediately started talking in Portuguese.

Marta: How are you? Are we going to talk in Portuguese? Enzo, Pleasure to meet you.

Enzo: Hi. Can I ask you some questions?

Marta: Of course.

Enzo: How do you compare the USA’s soccer style versus Brazil? 

Marta: Well, both female and male, but more visible in the female teams here, there is more intensity and physicality. On the other hand, the Brazilian style is more technical and more sophisticated. But some mix is happening lately, and US soccer is becoming more beautiful.

Enzo: Are you planning to play next year in the Olympics?

Marta: Look, I am planning to play, but many things are out of my control. It depends on the coach and if they would select me, if I would be playing well and on my team; usually, what you do in your team reflects if you will be selected for the national team. So I have to work hard and continue to train, practice, and take care of myself so I will be able to be selected.

Enzo: Do you have any player that makes you nervous to play against?

Marta: No, with all these years and my experience, you gain confidence. Usually, I am nervous before every game, but when the ball rolls, I feel relaxed and calm.

Enzo: What kind of music do you listen to before a game?

Marta: Usually, when I play for Orlando, the players put American music in the locker room, and I listen and enjoy the vibe. Those are more exciting music to help us get ready to play. When I am on the national team, we listen to Brazilian music, a variety of “forro,” “sertane- jo,” “pagode” and all mixed.

Enzo: And what food do you eat before a game?

Marta: I usually eat a lot of pasta, carbohydrates, and protein, like chicken and beef. I typically eat pasta.

Enzo: When you stop playing soccer, do you plan to be the national team’s coach?

Marta: I can’t say yes because it has to happen naturally. I always plan to be involved in the sport, pass down my experience and story, and cultivate the athletes, boys, and girls, helping them develop.

Enzo: Do you have any advice for the young players that want to pursue this career?

Marta: First of all, the player has to have self-confidence and believe that it is possible, and the player should give it their all during their practice because it reflects how you will play in the games. You can get great opportunities and play great matches if you train well. So you must dedicate yourself all the time and have a lot of discipline.

After the interview, Marta hugged me and complimented me on the questions asked. I felt beyond grateful and happy to meet such a soccer icon and legend. Marta is a great role model; I will bring this experience to my heart for the rest of my life.

I want to thank Angel City, Orlando Pride Kids Scoop Media for this dream come true. And of course Marta! OBRIGADO