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Marta leads Brazil in pursuit of World Cup glory

Marta was unsurprisingly selected in the Brazil World Cup squad © Getty/AFP/File / ELSA

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, May 16Veteran Brazilian stars Marta, Formiga and Cristiane are among the 23-strong Brazilian squad selected for the women’s World Cup in France next month, coach Vadao said Thursday.

Chasing their first World Cup trophy, Brazil will face Jamaica in their opening Group C match in Grenoble on June 9, before taking on Australia on June 13 in Montpellier and Italy in Valenciennes on June 18.

“We are optimistic for a great campaign and look for that coveted world title,” coach Oswaldo Alvarez, better known as Vadao, said.

“We are more prepared. The friendlies are in the past, the present is what matters,” Vadao added, referring to Brazil’s recent run of nine straight losses.

Crowned the world player of the year a record six times, Orlando Pride forward Marta, 33, will captain Brazil in their attempt to finally win the coveted trophy.

The 41-year-old Formiga plays for Paris Saint-Germain © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFE

At 41, Formiga, who recently extended her contract with Paris Saint-Germain to 2020, will be the oldest player in the tournament that kicks off on June 7.

It will also mark her seventh World Cup appearance — a record for either a male or female player.

Experienced striker Cristiane, 34, is also likely competing for the last time.

Together, the three Brazilian players won two Olympic silver medals in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008).

While Brazil’s men have been World Cup champions five times, the ultimate football glory has remained elusive for the women’s team, whose best performance was reaching the 2007 final in China where they lost to Germany.

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Apart from the two Olympic silvers, Brazil have also won seven Copa America titles.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Aline (Tenerife/ESP), Barbara (Avai), Leticia Izidoro (Corinthians)

Defenders: Erika (Corinthians), Khatellen (Bordeaux/FRA), Monica (Corinthians), Tayla (Benfica/POR), Fabiana da Silva (Internacional Porto Alegre), Leticia Santos (Sportclub Sand/GER), Tamires (Fortuna Hjorrring/DEN), Camila (Orlando Pride/USA)

Midfielders: Andressinha (Portland Thorns/USA), Formiga (Paris SG/FRA), Adriana (Corinthians), Thaisa (AC Milan/ITA)

Forwards: Bia Zaneratto (Hyundai Steel Red Angels/KOR), Cristiane (Sao Paulo), Raquel (Huelva/ESP), Debora (North Carolina Courage/USA), Geyse (Benfica/POR), Ludimila (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Marta (Orlando Pride/USA), Andressa Alves (Barcelona/ESP)

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