Growing Trend: Brazilian Players Flock to NWSL to Hone Skills for World Cup
Brazilian soccer is going through a golden period with the national team winning their ninth Copa America in July this year. Despite this, many of the country’s top players are increasingly looking overseas to find better competition and develop their skills ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Why the NWSL?
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has become the go-to destination for many Brazilians who wish to gain exposure to a high level of competition, including in training and matches. The NWSL is currently home to 15 Brazilians, the fourth-highest number of foreign players behind only Canadians, Australians, and English, a testament to the league’s growing popularity and reputation.
Who are the Brazilians in the NWSL?
The Brazilian players in the NWSL are a mix of veterans and up-and-coming talents. Medal winners from the Tokyo Olympics like Marta and Debinha, participate in the league, as well as promising prospects like Thaisa Moreno and Andressa Alves. The league’s openness to international players has allowed these Brazilian athletes to integrate well into the competitive and demanding soccer culture in North America.
How does it benefit Brazil?
Brazilian players joining the NWSL are not only benefiting themselves, but their national team too. The exposure to an elite level of competition allows Brazilians to develop their skills for playing against stronger and more versatile teams. It also helps Brazil’s women’s soccer sport grow in recognition in Brazil, and more fans will be watching from Brazil to watch their own compatriots. Furthermore, Brazilians who have developed new techniques from playing overseas can share these techniques with Brazil’s national team.
Brazilian Success in the NWSL
The addition of Brazilian players to the NWSL has been a significant boon for the league. Marta, for example, is one of the most recognizable names in the sport and has brought a lot of attention to the NWSL. Brazilian players are also known for their exciting style of play, which always entertains the fans. For its part, Brazil has been successful too, winning the hearts of the US soccer community with Marta’s goal against the U.S. in the quarterfinal of the 2011 World Cup, famously known as the “goal heard around the world.”
Brazilian players have become a significant part of the fabric of the NWSL, contributing to the league’s rise to become one of the strongest and most competitive in the world. With the next Women’s World Cup a few years away, it will be interesting to see how these Brazilian players will continue to develop and how their skills and experiences gained in the NWSL will translate back to the national team.
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