Marta: Football great issues plea to next generation after bowing out of Women's World Cup

Brazil legend Marta has issued an emotional plea for youngsters to follow her generation’s example.

The 33-year-old icon scored a penalty against Italy in Group C of the Women’s World Cup to become the highest scorer, male or female, in FIFA World Cup history.

During her time with the national team, Brazil finished World Cup runners-up in 2007 as well as silver medals at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008.

But after her team were knocked out of the 2019 tournament by hosts France, a 2-1 defeat after extra time, she begged the younger generations to push women’s football forward.

Marta and Brazil were eliminated from the 2019 World Cup on Sunday. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Marta lines up before the Women's World Cup 2007 Final between Brazil and Germany in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Marta is honored with the adidas golden ball, Birgit Prinz of Germany claims the silver ball and Christiane receives the bronze ball in the 2007 World Cup. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

"Women's football depends on you to survive," she said, with tears in her eyes. "Think about it, value it more.

"We're asking for support, you have to cry at the beginning and smile at the end.

"It's about wanting more, it's about training more, it's about looking after yourself more, it's about being ready to play 90 minutes and then 30 minutes more.

"So that's why I am asking the girls. There's not going to be a Formiga forever, there's not going to be a Marta forever, there's not going to be a Cristiane."

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