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Ary Borges: Meet the player behind Brazil’s World Cup hat trick

(Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Ary Borges had her coming-out party for Brazil in the team’s 4-0 group-stage win against Panama.

In her World Cup debut, the 23-year-old showed no sign of hesitation, completing the first hat trick of the tournament and jumping into the lead of the Golden Boot race. But who is Borges? Just Women’s Sports has you covered.

Age: 23
Position: Forward/Attacking midfielder
Brazil debut: September 17, 2021 vs. Argentina
Total caps: 30

Who is Borges?

Borges is a 23-year-old forward and attacking midfielder with Brazil and Racing Louisville FC. Born in São Luís, Maranhão, she moved to São Paulo at age 10 with her family, where she played as one of three girls on the Santos FC youth team before switching to Centro Olímpico. With that club, she played on the girls’ U-15 team at just 11 years old, as there was not a U-13 option.

A decade later, she stars for club and country, and her life revolves around the game. In her downtime, she watches soccer and plays FIFA.

“There’s always soccer,” she told The Athletic in June. “I play soccer at work and then I go to soccer (after work). Soccer is life.”

Where does she play professionally?

She joined NWSL club Racing Louisville at the end of January and has one goal through 13 appearances. And that goal was a beauty, coming in just her second appearance for the club.

Before joining Racing Louisville, Borges played professionally in Brazil, most recently for Palmeiras from 2020-22. Through 87 appearances with the club, she scored 37 goals as a striker, while at Louisville she has taken on a role in the midfield. That adaptability helped her earn a call-up for the World Cup, where she is also playing in the midfield.

What does she bring to Brazil?

Since earning her first national team call-up in 2021, Borges has scored eight goals – including the three in Brazil’s 4-0 win against Panama.

The move to Racing Louisville has helped her on the international stage. Entering 2023, she had just four goals in two years. Since April, she has matched that total for Brazil, including the team’s lone goal against Germany in their friendly on April 11.

Borges brings versatility to the national team, with the ability to move and flow with the pace of the game. She excels in the midfield but can also contribute on the attack. And while this may be her first World Cup, she’s become comfortable with her role.

“If I say that I don’t think about it, I’d be lying,” she said upon making the World Cup roster. “It’s about a dream. It’s my dream to play and represent my country with the Seleção.”

And she knows her club play with Racing Louisville had a huge impact on Brazil coach Pia Sundhage’s decision to bring her to the World Cup.

“I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing,” Borges added. “I’ve been very comfortable with what I’ve been producing. But I can’t get there if I don’t work well here.”

What have players and coaches said about Borges?

Jaelin Howell, Racing Louisville midfielder: “Ary, I don’t think she gets enough credit for what she does in the middle. I can step out and press because I know that she’s behind me holding it down.”

Kim Björkegren, Racing Louisville head coach: “She is very talented, and already at 22 she has proven that she is an important player not only for Palmeiras but also in the Brazilian national team. She is a box-to-box midfielder. She can win the ball for your team but also finish and score goals.”

Marta, Brazil forward: “I’m very happy for her. Scoring three goals in a debut is not easy, she was blessed. She even gave an assist, so it’s almost four goals. I was honored to step into her shoes, I was even more relaxed.”