Marta Vieira da Silva is the best woman footballer in the world, proven by her four consecutive FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (2006-2009) awards. That's one of the reasons why Marta was recruited by the U.N. Development Program to advocate for women's empowerment as part of a global strategy to fight poverty.
"Marta is a role model for women and girls around the world, and I have no doubt that just as she has inspired them to play (football) so will she inspire others to come together in achievement of the Millennium Development Goals," said Helen Clark, the program's administrator.
Brazilian Marta Vieira da Silva was appointed goodwill ambassador in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 11, 2010.
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) "works around the world making a positive difference in people's lives and I am proud to add my personal commitment to its work," said the FC Gold Pride's forward. "We all need to contribute to help defeat poverty."
It was in Sweden where Marta’s career flourished, scoring an outstanding 111 goals in 103 appearances between 2004 and 2008. During her time playing for her Swedish club, Umeå IK, the 24-year-old was named the top scorer for 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008.
In 2007, fellow football players Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane invited her to play in UNDP’s Match Against Poverty in Fez, Morocco, where she became the first woman in the history of football to play in an internationally-sanctioned men’s football match.
Among UNDP’s other Goodwill Ambassadors are soccer stars Ronaldo, Zidane, and Didier Drogba, Japanese actress Misako Konno, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.