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Marta expected to miss Brazil's opening Women's World Cup game

23:50 BST 08/06/2019
Marta - cropped
The all-time leading Women's World Cup goalscorer has an injury and is not likely to be fit in time to feature in her country's opener

Brazil forward Marta is expected to miss her side's opening Women's World Cup match against Jamaica because of a thigh complaint.

The 33-year-old picked up the injury in training on May 25 and was considered a major doubt for Sunday's Group C clash in Grenoble.

It has now been confirmed by Brazil boss Vadao that, despite making a good recovery over the past week, Marta is likely to play no part against Jamaica - though she may still be named among the substitutes.

"Marta's condition has improved a lot, quicker than we originally expected," he said in a news conference on Saturday. "It was a problematic injury. But the truth is that she can't play tomorrow.

"She can be on the bench if she prefers to join her team-mates, but she's not in the proper condition to play yet."

Marta won the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award five times in a row from 2006 to 2010 and claimed The Best FIFA Women's Player prize in 2018.

She is the Women's World Cup's all-time record goalscorer with 15 goals across four previous tournaments.

Brazil face Australia and Italy in their other two group matches on June 13 and 18 respectively.

The side have never failed to reach the knockout rounds with Marta in the side. 

Brazil made the quarter-finals in both 2003 and 2011, while finishing as runners-up in 2007. 

The 2015 side made the round of 16 before falling 1-0 to Australia. 

Marta's crowing World Cup moment is her 2007 semi-final performance against the USA in which she outclassed the USWNT and netted twice to send her side to the final. 

She scored six times across her side's six matches during that tournament, though could not produce any extra magic in the final as Brazil lost 2-0 to Germany in the final.