Forget Kaká (midfielder now playing for Real Madrid). This week’s Newsweek magazine brings an article by Mac Margolis glorifying another Brazilian soccer player: Marta Vieira da Silva (or simply Marta). She plays for the Western New York Flash and won last month, for the fifth time in a row, the Ballon d’Or, award created by Fifa (the international soccer federation) to celebrate the best of the best in the sport.
What makes her stand out is something else, less photogenic perhaps but every bit as compelling. Call it heart or grit or fome de bola—ball hunger—as the Brazilians put it. Whatever the name, the sheer determination to play and prevail against ridiculous odds lifted her from kick-abouts with the boys on a patch of Brazilian nowhere to the commanding heights of professional football. “No one wants to win as much as Marta,” says Alberto Montoya, who coached her for the San Francisco Gold Pride, the team she led to a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league championship in 2010. “She’s the most passionate player I have ever seen.”
You can read the whole article in Newsweek’s portal.