Marta dedicates landmark goal to gender equality

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Group C - Australia v Brazil - Stade de La Mosson, Montpellier, France - June 13, 2019 Brazil's Marta scores their first goal from the penalty spot. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

(Reuters) - When Brazil forward Marta scored a landmark 16th World Cup goal, she took the opportunity to promote gender equality with a special celebration.

After netting the opener from the penalty spot in Brazil’s 3-2 defeat by Australia on Thursday, the 33-year-old pointed to her boots, which sported a pink and blue symbol to represent equality.

Her boot sponsorship deal expired last year and the veteran striker has since refused to sign a new one, saying brands were not offering deals on a par with male soccer players.

Marta, a United Nations goodwill ambassador for women and girls in sport, instead opted to highlight the disparity on the international stage.

The goal made her the first player to score at five different World Cups, while her tally of 16 means she now shares the record for most World Cup goals alongside German Miroslav Klose.

“It’s one more detail written in the history of women’s football,” she said of the milestone goal. “I am honoured, but there’s more to do at this tournament.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne