Marta and Louisa Necib: Superb Soccer Players

Marta Vieria da Silva (famously known as Marta and former striker on the Brazilian Women’s National Soccer Team) and  Louisa Necib (central midfielder on France’s Women’s National Soccer Team) are exciting players to watch. They are two of my favourites because of their creativity and technical finesse on the field.

Marta tends to be more familiar worldwide than Louisa Necib, but both represent the dynamic style of Brazilian and French soccer. Both women are incredibly talented and are revered in their home countries. Youtube has plenty of videos of each – Marta and Necib.

Marta is currently working in New York as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador while Louisa Necib plays in France for the Olympique Lyonnais Club of the Division 1 Feminine.

Just on the side – so, like, okay, I get it – professional sports has been dominated by men and as a result our representations of  “greatness” in sports is often (if not exclusively) defined by men. Patriarchy, sexism…how many times does one need to repeat these words until they resonate, are taken seriously?

If you’re familiar with Marta or Necib then you know how brilliant they are as players. But when you search for them you get this: “Marta – cousin to Pele” or “Louisa Necib – The Female Zidane”. Ummmmmmmm, why does their greatness need to be strung together with the likes of male players from whom they share a position and nationality only? More to the point, they define themselves on their own accord and do not need to be affirmed and validated by men.

I get irritated, sometimes infuriated, by these kinds of comparisons and inequalities that only maintain a hierarchy of sports “greatness”. As Necib commented in a 2011 interview: “To be compared with Zizou is a pride. But there is no comparison to make. I am myself.”