Former Umeå IK favourite Marta, the five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, said she was "proud to be back in Sweden again" after joining Stockholm outfit Tyresö FF.
Article top media content
Five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta has sealed a return to her "second home" of Sweden, joining Stockholm outfit Tyresö FF.
The Brazilian international, still only 26, was unveiled at a packed press conference on Wednesday, with media lured by the promise of a "major new signing" – they were not disappointed. Marta lifted four Damallsvenskan titles at Umeå IK between 2004 and 2008 and helped the Swedish club to three UEFA Women's Cup finals, winning the first.
"My career started in Sweden and now I want to write a new chapter," Marta said in fluent Swedish after being named as Tyresö's latest major recruit following Swedish internationals Caroline Seger, Lisa Dahlkvist and Linda Sembrant, as well as Spain's Verónica Boquete. "I'm proud to be back in Sweden again. I'm very happy here – it is my second home."
Tyresö only rejoined the top flight in 2010 after three promotions in four years, and have achieved successive fourth-placed finishes. The new season kicks off on 9 April, when much will be expected of Marta. Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby reflected: "She's the biggest brand [in women's football]. These are the kind of names you want – they make the league more attractive."
Since leaving Umeå in 2008, Marta helped Los Angeles Sol to the inaugural 2009 WPS championship final, and then won it in subsequent years at FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash – finishing top scorer in all three seasons – in between being loaned to Santos FC in Brazil and claiming the Copa Libertadores. The professional league in the United States was cancelled for 2012.
Marta will initially be restricted to the domestic stage on the club front as next season's European entries from Sweden will be the same as this – champions FC Malmö and runners-up Göteborg FC. Both remain in the current edition of the UEFA Women's Champions League and in next month's quarter-finals Malmö take on 1. FFC Frankfurt while Göteborg face Arsenal LFC.