Pele: Brazil legend hails "inspirational" Marta after landmark Tokyo Olympics moment

Pele Marta

During the opening round of the Tokyo 2020 women’s football tournament, records were smashed and history was made.

The Netherlands set the new highest number of goals scored in a women’s match at the Games and their opponents Zambia saw captain Barbra Banda become the first African woman to score an Olympic hat-trick.

However, one achievement that has really got the football world talking came after Brazil beat China PR 5-0.

Leading out the side was captain Marta, who wrote her name in history with a landmark moment as she netted the opening goal for Brazil.

With her strike, the 35-year-old became the first footballer – male or female – to score in five consecutive Olympic Games.

Noting her milestone was Brazilian legend Pele, who posted a heartwarming message to his compatriot on Instagram.

Pele Instagram

“Hi Martha. You must be sleeping right now, as you are on the other side of the world,” the three-time World Cup winner wrote. “I hope you’re dreaming about what you did a few hours ago. Speaking of which, how many dreams do you think you inspired today?

“Your achievement means much more than a personal record. This moment inspires millions of athletes from so many other sports, from all over the world, who fight for recognition. Congratulations on your trajectory. Congratulations, you are much more than a football player. You help build a better world with your talent, in which women gain more space.”

Women’s football is constantly being backed by the players’ male counterparts, which is helping to give the sport the spotlight it deserves. For a figure like Pele to personally congratulate one of his own on such a rare achievement is only going to continue the ever-growing ripple effect.

Marta and Debinha

Marta made her Olympic debut back in 2002 and has 11 Olympic goals to her name – levelling Christine Sinclair as the joint-second highest scorer of all-time in the tournament.

You can keep up to date with all of the Tokyo Olympics women’s football tournament action with our ‘Everything You Need to Know’ guide.

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