World's best Marta pays tribute to Umeå

It was a bittersweet experience for Marta last night as she accepted her third FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award in succession but also bade farewell to Umeå IK after confirming her move to Los Angeles Sol.

Marta accepts her FIFA award in Zurich
Marta accepts her FIFA award in Zurich ©Getty Images

It was a bittersweet experience for Marta last night as she accepted her third FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award in succession but also bade farewell to Umeå IK after confirming her move to Los Angeles Sol.

Award
The 22-year-old Brazil striker topped the FIFA poll of national-team captains and coaches ahead of Germany and 1. FFC Frankfurt forward Birgit Prinz, who won the award in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Marta's compatriot, former Linköping FC player Cristiane, was third ahead of Prinz's Germany and Frankfurt colleague Nadine Angerer and Arsenal LFC's England international Kelly Smith.

LA switch
Marta, meanwhile, confirmed she had signed a three-year deal with LA Sol in the new American Women's Professional Soccer league that launches this spring, bringing to an end a five-season spell with Umeå that brought one UEFA Women's Cup and four Swedish titles. She is moving along with Sweden defender Johanna Frisk, who has also left Umeå for Los Angeles. Marta admitted she will miss her former club, who face Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Women's Cup semi-finals, their progress aided by the Brazilian's four quarter-final second-leg goals against Arsenal LFC.

Umeå thanked
"I want to thank God, my family and everyone who's believed in me through the years, but also Umeå, who've given me five fantastic years," 2008 Olympic silver-medallist Marta said in her acceptance speech in Zurich. " I'll miss my friends, my team-mates – yes, the whole town. To everyone in Umea I'd like to say that I really loved my time there."

Dennerby praise
Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby voted for Marta and it was not a difficult choice for him. "Nobody can compete with Marta, at least not from what I've seen – and I see quite a bit, let me tell you," Dennerby told Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper. "I don't think anybody's come close. There are other good players. I like Shannon Boxx of the USA, for example. There are many players on the level just below Marta, but no one is knocking on her door. There's not a team that wouldn't be affected after losing the world's best player. However, [Umeå] have a team strong enough to cope with it."

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