Soccer ace on the rise as the world takes notice

Date of Birth: February 2, 1986

Date of Birth: February 2, 1986

Hometown: Dois Riachos, Alagoas, Brazil

Team: Umea IK, Sweden

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5'3'

Born in a small town Dois Riachos in the northern Brazilian state of Alagoas, young Marta started playing football at age 7. Known for her speed, agility and strong left foot, Marta is an admirable football hero of humble roots. Her unrivalled skill is attributed to her early years when she battled to play with the boys in the street games of her small home town. Today she is a 21-year-old woman of character and genuine heart, which she displays in her passion for the game.

Marta started travelling at age 14 when she joined the Vasco da Gama team in Rio de Janeiro. At age 18, she joined the Brazilian national team.

Marta made her first international debut at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, where she led the Brazilian national team to a silver medal.

In 2004 she turned professional when she signed with the Swedish club Umea IK, where she played in the position of the injured Hanna Ljungberg.

At the 2006 Women's World Cup, and merely 20 years old, Marta was named player of the year.

On December 27 last year, Marta had imprints of her feet taken at Estadio Rei Pele in Maceio and was inducted into the Alagaos Hall of Fame.

Earlier this year, she was selected as Fifa's Player of the Year for 2006 .

Despite the growing attention and media talk that she is the world's best soccer player, Marta still finds room for improvement and approaches the field with room to grow.