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The Toronto Star newspaper had this amusing item:

Toronto FC manager Mo Johnston wants a Brazilian for his team. There is at least one, a monumentally gifted competitor, currently in circulation. This young tiger has fully formed skills, a predator's nose for goal and has been blooded at the highest international levels. Best of all, this one's likely available for a song.

The major hurdle standing in TFC's way is mental. This he is a she – the outrageously talented Brazilian forward Marta.

The current FIFA player of the year proved in the recent World Cup that she is a peerless presence in the women's game. Her second goal in the semifinal against the U.S. – the one where she back-heels past her marker, spins in the opposite direction, sprints toward goal, shimmies away from another defender, then turns and lashes the ball to the near post – deserves recognition as one of the greatest ever. Right up there beside Pele in 1958, Diego Maradona in '86 and Dennis Bergkamp in '98. Forget a woman among girls – for three weeks, Marta was Gulliver weaving around the Lilliputians.

The 21-year-old plays her professional football for Swedish side Umeå IK. A small city only a few hundred kilometres from the Arctic Circle, Umeå is an unlikely place to hide the world's best women's player. For four years, Marta has toiled there in relative anonymity. Aided by Marta's goal-a-game strike rate, Umeå has lost three of its last 86 league games.

According to her, she is happy to remain there. "I am not an ambitious person," she has said. She's learned the language and how to cope with the cold. She's turned down a $350,000 (U.S.) salary in Germany.

But after that World Cup, someone is going to grab Marta. The likely buyer will come from the soon-to-be resurrected U.S. women's league. It's due to restart in 2009.

That gives TFC a one-year window.

If the rumours are to be believed, the L.A. Galaxy are already interested. Given the Galaxy's publicity stunt with David Beckham, the rumour makes sense. Knowing how low playing beside a woman would bring the reputation of L.A.'s media-battered superstar, it's impossible.

Toronto, on the other hand, is a much softer landing point. Tick off the points in favour: young, struggling team in need of skill up front; an open-minded, sports-mad town; a sizable Portuguese-speaking community; the chance for the city to preen in the international spotlight.

Points against outnumber the positives by a wide margin: the pressure on Marta, on her new teammates or the fact that no gender crossover in team sport has ever worked. Don't even mention which level of government would have to fund the new locker room.

But most of all, we fear the world's ridicule. And it would be hastily forthcoming. From this contrarian's vantage point, that's half the reason to do it and have most of the fun.

Buying Marta would be a publicity ploy. But it needn't be a stunt. It's a genuinely interesting sports proposition. How would the best women's player ever, one who's still developing, fare in a men's league? The World Cup proved Marta has transcended the women's game. Major League Soccer is the next suitable step up.

MLS will be faster and more physical, especially for a slightly built woman who stands only 5-foot-4. But being physical is not destiny in soccer.

Maradona is 5-foot-5. Slippery Real Madrid and Brazil striker Robinho weighs about 130 pounds. Small stature or a lack of brute strength are more easily overcome in this team sport than in any other.

Would she succeed? The obstacles, most of them found off the field, are beyond formidable.

Will this ever happen? Probably not. Money's one thing, but Marta surely doesn't need the grief.

Is it worth a try? Let's make her an offer. If she's woman enough for the challenge, can't we all be man enough to let her take it on?
 
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Yeah last week I had heard about the LA Galaxy offer, last I heard it was 1,5 to 2 million $!
 

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Jeff said:
The 21-year-old plays her professional football for Swedish side Umeå IK. A small city only a few hundred kilometres from the Arctic Circle, Umeå is an unlikely place to hide the world's best women's player. For four years, Marta has toiled there in relative anonymity. Aided by Marta's goal-a-game strike rate, Umeå has lost three of its last 86 league games.

According to her, she is happy to remain there. "I am not an ambitious person," she has said. She's learned the language and how to cope with the cold. She's turned down a $350,000 (U.S.) salary in Germany.
Sorry but this is BS. Umeå was already before Marta went there one of the strongest women football clubs in Europe.
 

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Lmao.. if a woman makes it into a men's league, i'm sorry.. i hope someone breaks her legs in the first tackle..

That will and would ruin sports..


This will never happen, and if it does, i'm sure someone will be shot..
 

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Claudiu- said:
Lmao.. if a woman makes it into a men's league, i'm sorry.. i hope someone breaks her legs in the first tackle..

That will and would ruin sports..


This will never happen, and if it does, i'm sure someone will be shot..
the only person that deserves to be shot in this story is you.
 

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Filipe Reis said:
the only person that deserves to be shot in this story is you.

I'm not in the story, genius..


It would ruin football.
 

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Filipe Reis said:
the story is this thread and unfortunately you are in it.


Your totaly dumb if you think this would make the game better.. women got their section, men have theirs..end of story.

Only the USA would screw things up.. doubting she could even compete at the mens levil, if she ends up getting granted this.. I'm going to sweden and playing in the Womans division.. gunna score 40 goals...

This is outragious to even consiter, like who wants to watch a girl in a men's league??

Nobody... this is stupid, the world of football would only go down hill from this article, football has been this way for so long, and only idiots from the USA can make it change.
 

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Claudiu- said:
Your totaly dumb if you think this would make the game better.. women got their section, men have theirs..end of story.

Only the USA would screw things up.. doubting she could even compete at the mens levil, if she ends up getting granted this.. I'm going to sweden and playing in the Womans division.. gunna score 40 goals...

This is outragious to even consiter, like who wants to watch a girl in a men's league??

Nobody... this is stupid, the world of football would only go down hill from this article, football has been this way for so long, and only idiots from the USA can make it change.
The first time I've heard news about men's football teams considering signing a player was a few yeras ago when Brescia seriously thought signing the German star Birgit Prinz. No US involvement whatsoever.

To be honest I also don't see anything positive for the development of the women's game to see their best players competing in men's teams. That is not the point. There is space for both genders to play the game and if clubs want to support more women's football, and I think they should, they would do better by starting women's teams like for example Arsenal did.

My beef with you is about your moronic "I hope someone breaks her legs at the first tackle" remark...not a surprise coming from you but still worth being disputed.
 
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