Orlando Pride have announced that living women's football legend Marta has agreed a new contract to extend her stay in NWSL, keeping the Brazilian icon at the club for the 2020 season at least.
Marta will turn 34 before the new campaign begins next year, but the veteran is still widely revered as one of the best players in the world. During the summer she extended her own all-time World Cup goals record and won Best FIFA Women’s Player as recently as 2018.
Pride have not disclosed the length or terms of the contract, but head coach Marc Skinner has described the news as ‘wonderful for the club and fans'.
“Marta is effervescent - nothing compares to the experience and passion she brings to our roster and I think this year she showed just how much she gives to this team,” he told the club’s official website.
Indeed, Marta made global headlines in June when she gave an impassioned speech urging young girls back home to play football and preserve the future of the national team after Brazil were eliminated from the World Cup.
USWNT legend Mia Hamm told 90min shortly after she was in full agreement with the message.
Skinner added: “Everyone knows the quality that she possesses on the field, which we are of course thrilled to have back, but having the leadership and mentoring abilities of the greatest player to play the game will be critical to the continued growth of the Orlando Pride.”
Having enjoyed most of her club success in Sweden, Marta joined Pride in 2017. This season was a difficult one for both the player and the club, with Marta failing to find the net until after her return from the World Cup and Pride finishing dead last in the regular season standings.
There will, however, now be renewed optimism for next year.
Pride will be without Alex Morgan for at least some of the 2020 season. The USWNT co-captain announced her pregnancy this week and is due to give birth in April, although it has been reported that it is her intention to resume playing in time to make the Olympic roster in July.
Despite experiencing the ultimate high at the World Cup, 2019 was a bad year for Morgan at club level. She played only six games and failed to score.