Mia Hamm Tells 90min Why Marta Was Right in Plea to Young Girls to Keep Women’s Football Alive

​USWNT and two-time Women’s World Cup winner Mia Hamm has backed the message delivered by Brazilian superstar Marta earlier in the tournament, during which the six-time FIFA World Player of the Year implored young players in Brazil to keep the fire burning. Brazil were eliminated by France in the first knockout round and Marta, at the age of 33, may well have played the last World Cup game of a glittering career. Cristiane, 34, and Formiga, 41, are other veteran members of the Seleção squad who are unlikely to be back on the this stage come the next tournament in 2023 and it is vital for the future of the team that the next generation of young girls in Brazil replace them. “Women’s football depends on you to survive. Think about it, value it more. We’re asking for support, you have to cry at the beginning and smile at the end,” Marta said on the pitch immediately after the France game, giving the impassioned and emotional speech. “It’s about wanting more, it’s about training more, it’s about looking after yourself more, it’s about being ready to play 90 minutes and then 30 minutes more,” she added. “So that’s why I am asking the girls. There’s not going to be a Formiga forever, there’s not going to be a Marta forever, there’s not going to be a Cristiane.” Speaking to 90min at the FIFA World Football Museum presented by Hyundai, where artist Rachel Gadsden created a painting inspired by the former US international, 1991 and 1999 champion Hamm – a true pioneer and superstar of the women’s game at an international level throughout the 1990s – couldn’t agree more. “I remember when I was playing and we were talking to 15 and 16 year olds,” Hamm said. “[Marta] is right. She’s talking about not just the future of the women’s game, but the future of the game in her country and how your team is only as good as your current commitment. “That’s what she wants all these young girls to feel, that they’re worth that investment. First you have to be believe in yourself that you’re worth that investment and that’s what she was saying, that you are worth it, that you need to commit. “If you want to be the best player you can be, you have to see value in yourself. And so I think the message was wonderful, not just for players in Brazil, but for players all over the world.”

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