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Gracious In Defeat, Marta Is Everything Hope Solo Is Not

Brazil absolutely dominated Sweden during their Olympic semi-final match on Tuesday. The final statistics show that Brazil had 67% of possession and nine shots on goal compared to Sweden’s two. However, Sweden rode their luck to a second consecutive penalty shootout victory following their similar upset of the USWNT.

If anything, Brazil were even stronger opponents than the USA. But you won’t find the Brazilian women following the example set by American goalkeeper Hope Solo. Instead of decrying the tactics employed by Sweden, Brazil’s captain Marta has been full of praise for the Scandinavian side. 

Following their emotional defeat, Marta revealed her admiration for the Swedes:

“They praised our team and said they were sorry for taking Brazil out of the final,” revealed Marta. “They wanted to see us playing in the final here in Brazil. But this is football. Someone has to lose. They fought until the end, just like we did, and came out on top in the penalties.”

While Solo labelled Sweden “cowards” for the way they played, Marta hopes that Sweden go on to defeat Germany in the gold medal match.

“Many complain of Sweden’s tactics, but it is their tactic. It must accept. Now I hope they win it all.

“They took us out, hell, they’re going to the final now. Should they lose after that? My God, you can not! I can not accept it!”


The respect between Sweden and Brazil is mutual. Sweden manager Pia Sundhage revealed that her team planned extensively in shutting Marta down.

“All of the Swedish players know Marta very well,” said Sundhage. “I think she had a fantastic game. She created a couple of problems for us, but at the end of the day, trying to stop her, I think we did pretty good. Marta is a very good player.”

At 30 years of age and playing the Olympics in her home country, Marta may have missed her best chance at winning a major international tournament. She couldn’t mask her disappointment following the defeat, but her comments after the match show what a class act the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year really is.

Hope Solo and the USWNT could certainly learn a thing or two from one of the greatest athletes of these Olympic Games.

(H/T: Equalizer Soccer

Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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