Formiga forever: Brazil’s stalwart still shining for women’s football at 42

Marta was right when saying Formiga will retire eventually but PSG’s record-breaking midfielder is preparing for a seventh Olympic Games next summer

When England stepped out at Meadow Lane in October 2018, having qualified unbeaten for the Women’s World Cup, all eyes were on one opponent: Brazil’s six-times Ballon d’Or winner, Marta. Necks prepared to strain for a glimpse of the ageing giant of women’s football. It may have been a friendly but at 34 the Brazilian’s career clock was ticking. For most, it would be the only time to see her in the flesh.

When Marta limped off after 22 minutes the disappointment of the crowd was palpable. The Brazil performance matched Marta’s lacklustre mood but in the then 40-year-old Formiga they had a player who would not subscribe to her teammates’ indifference – with the young winger Ludmila the exception alongside her.

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