"I'm back": Marta returns to Orlando

Marta has been with the Orlando Pride since 2017.
Marta has been with the Orlando Pride since 2017. / Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Brazilian football legend Marta and the Orlando Pride have come to terms on a new deal, with the forward signing a two-year deal. Marta returns back to Orlando after her last season was cut short due to sustaining an ACL injury.

Discovered at the age of 14 and regarded as the greatest female footballer of all time, Marta first signed with Orlando back in 2017. Since then she has been a primary fixture of the side and one of the star players. For Orlando, she has played in 84 games for the club, scoring 27 goals and assisting 14 times.

Unfortunately, the 36-year-old's 2022 season was abruptly cut short after suffering an ACL injury in the second match of the Challenge Cup. This meant she didn't play a single game during the NWSL regular season.

"I’ve been very happy during my time here in Orlando and I’m excited to continue as part of the Pride for the next two years,” Marta said in a statement following her new contract signing.

“I’m very excited for the future we are building for the Pride and can’t wait to return to the field next year, play alongside my teammates, and fight for a championship for our fans.”

Marta made a name for herself in the Brazil jersey. / Zhizhao Wu/GettyImages

Previous to joining the American club, she claimed prominence playing in the Damallsvenskan, Serie A and WPS. Her amazing skills and performances earned her the FIFA World Player of the Year five years in a row from 2006-2010 and later again in 2018.

Not only is she a main fixture for Orlando at club level but also on the international circuit for Brazil. Amassing 179 international appearances, she has played in five World Cups, scoring at least one goal in each of them. During this time she has managed to put away 119 goals in the back of the net, the most by any Brazilian male or female.

Orlando Pride head coach Seb Hines is once again looking forward to coaching the megastar. After the 2022 season, where she didn't feature due to injury, Hines can't wait to pick her in the starting team once again.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Marta back with the Pride. As we looked at building our roster, there was never any question that we wanted to have her continue as part of our project, not only for her abilities on the pitch but her mentality, values and leadership embody the culture we want in our locker room,” Hines said about the forward.

“We know last season’s injury was a difficult one, but she has been working extremely hard toward her recovery and we know she will have a point to prove when she returns in 2023. We can’t wait for her to add to her historic career here, in Orlando, as a member of the Pride.” he continued.