Tuesday 25 September 2018, 07:00

Marta: A great responsibility comes with winning this award

  • Marta crowned as The Best FIFA Women's Player 2018

  • She's the world's best for a record sixth time

  • "It’s a moment of magic in your life"

Marta is The Best FIFA Women’s Player for 2018. The 32-year-old Brazilian beat fellow nominees Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan to claim the highest individual prize in women’s football.

The award sees Marta’s crowned as the world's best for the sixth time and caps a professional career that has spanned close to two decades. FIFA.com spoke to Marta moments after she received her award on stage at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

FIFA.com: Congratulations Marta, you are The Best FIFA Women’s Player for 2018. How do you feel? Marta: I'm very happy. It's been an amazing night, but at the same time, I realise that a great responsibility comes with it and that is to always reach and search for your best but, yes, I'm very happy.

This is your first time winning The Best trophy. Have you already thought about where you will keep it? You can be certain that there’s a special space in my house for all the awards I have won, even from the very first medal when I was a girl in college! I’m going to organise a little corner that’s very special for this trophy.

It must feel very emotional to be here again after being nominated, but missing out on the trophy last year? It’s a moment of magic in your life. What athlete wouldn’t want to be in that pantheon and compete for a prize that has as much prestige as this one. Sometimes, in certain moments, words fail to express the depth of your joy. Today, though, I think I was able to hold back the tears a little bit and made it to the end of my acceptance.

It was a tough contest between the three women’s nominees this year. Ada and Dzsenifer are two top athletes with so much quality and they did some amazing work at their club. They play together which I think has helped them grow as individuals. They are here because they've worked for it, and deserve to be here. I feel very proud to have competed with them for this award.

How do you stay at this level, after all this time? Is it about training harder than everyone else, is it a bit of luck, is it a magic spell? It’s a bit of all three things! I don’t train harder than other players, but I will say this: every day that I go to training, I want to be the best there. I want to shoot the best, I want to run the fastest, I want to head the ball the best, I want to be the first to every ball. I want other people to look at me and think ‘why does she still have such a desire after all that time in football and after winning so many things?’ Because I know that by projecting this attitude and searching this out, that I will find something new to learn every day.

Is there a point where, after winning so many awards, where you don’t really get as excited or surprised anymore? When the day comes where I no longer feel the emotion that I feel, that will and desire to want to be here every time, to be nominated among the best players, to compete for a prize that represents the ultimate level, if I don’t feel this desire anymore, if I don’t get nervous before coming to be interviewed here at the awards, or emotional during them, maybe it will be because the hour will have arrived for me to stop, and for football to stop being the centre of my being. But if I still feel all this on every occasion, it's because I really feel it. It’s my life, ever since I was six years old.

Of course the biggest prize in women’s football, the FIFA Women's World Cup, is not too far away now. Any sleepless nights yet? I’m starting to think about it more and more. When I work with the national team, when we have international friendlies it comes back, ‘World Cup’, the anxiety, the thoughts of wanting to achieve something more, remembering moments we had in past World Cups… but above all, there is this feeling of joy that comes from knowing that ahead of us is one more chance to play a World Cup.

Is there still something in Marta's boots that we haven't seen yet, and that we will see in France next year at the World Cup? Even I want to see that something special! First, I hope I arrive motivated, feeling good and mentally tuned in, because when you are prepared mentally things happen in a more natural way. But yes, I want to see something special in France!