Brazilian football great Marta has been given her own day, with Feb. 19, her birthday, officially declared Women's Football Day in the state of Rio de Janeiro in her honour.
Rio's legislative assembly passed a law to institute a date on the calendar to celebrate women's football in the state. The law has been passed at the time when the Women's Carioca championship is being played.
"Brazil's women's football is one of the most victorious in the world and what better date to commemorate it than on the birthday of our best player, Marta," said legislator Nurse Rejane, who introduced the law.
"We have to encourage this huge range of girls and teenagers that practice the sport and aspire to have the opportunity to become professionals, understanding that there are challenges, yes, but a woman's place is where she wants it to be! And striker Marta is undoubtedly a great inspiration for all," Rejane added.
Marta, 35, holds the record for most World Cup goals scored (17) by either a man or woman. A six-time FIFA World Player and Brazil's No. 10, Marta also plays for the Orlando Pride of National Women's Soccer League.
A UN Women Ambassador, Marta has also been an advocate for equality.