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Brazil legend Marta says 2023 World Cup will be her last

(Photo by Adalberto Marques/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Brazilian soccer legend Marta has confirmed that the 2023 Women’s World Cup will be her last.

On Monday, the 37-year-old told local local media that it feels “surreal” to be preparing for a sixth Women’s World Cup.

“Yes, it will be my last World Cup,” Marta said in Brasilia on Monday. “We have to understand that a time comes for us to prioritize other things.

“I just have to be thankful to have lived all those years in the national team. To have the opportunity to go to another World Cup, a sixth one, for me is something surreal.”

Brazil head coach Pia Sundhage said it’s likely Marta will start the World Cup on the bench as she continues to recover from a knee injury. The six-time FIFA World Player of the Year had surgery last year after tearing her ACL. She returned to the national team in February after 11 months.

Marta did not play in the team’s friendlies in April, but she appeared as a substitute in Brazil’s 4-0 win over Chile on Sunday. Brazil will face Panama, France and Jamaica in the group stage at the World Cup.

Marta, a forward with the NWSL’s Orlando Pride, is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 117 career international goals. Brazil’s women’s national team has yet to win a World Cup trophy, with its best result being a runner-up finish in 2007.