Women's World Cup: Brazil forward Marta breaks men's and women's tournament goal record

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Marta scores penalty to become all-time World Cup top scorer

Brazil forward Marta wants to use her record-breaking status to "push for more equality and women's empowerment".

The 33-year-old scored her 17th World Cup goal in a 1-0 win over Italy on Tuesday to become the all-time leading scorer at men's or women's finals.

"The feeling is a joyful one, not only for breaking the record but for being able to represent women in doing so," she told BBC Sport.

Brazil's win puts them through to the knockout stages in France.

Marta's second-half penalty moved her ahead of Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored 16 goals.

World Cup top scorers
Marta (five World Cups)1719
Miroslav Klose (four World Cups)1624
Ronaldo (three World Cups)1519

"We are trying to represent women and show how women can play any type of role," she said.

"All the teams here, we are all representing [women]. Let me be clear, this is not only in sport.

"This is a struggle for equality across the board."

Her comments come during a tournament which has a total pot of £24m for prize money - double 2015's figure.

But that is still a long way short of the total of £315m in prize money awarded at the 2018 men's World Cup.

This summer's winners will receive half the amount awarded to men's teams who were eliminated in last summer's group stage.

The legend of Marta in numbers

Marta has now scored more than a quarter of all of her country's Women's World Cup goals.

The six-time world player of the year, who won the World Cup golden ball as top scorer at the 2007 tournament, has also been a runner-up in the annual global player awards five times.

She won Olympic silver medals with her country in 2004 and 2008, as well as reaching four European finals at club level.

The Brazil skipper became the first player to score in five separate World Cups in their defeat by Australia last Thursday, before netting her second goal of this summer's event against Italy, and now has 106 senior international goals.

Eni Aluko tweet
Juventus striker Eni Aluko was one of many to congratulate Marta on social media

'She changed people's minds' about women's football

Marta's prowess is not restricted to her home country of Brazil - for whom she has scored more times, and at a better minutes-per-goal ratio, than any of her compatriots.

Her role in helping to grow the stature of the global women's game has been widely praised, amid the sport's growing TV audiences around the world.

Italy boss Milena Bertolini - whose side topped Group C despite their defeat at the hands of Marta's penalty - said after Tuesday's game: "She's emblematic of the women's game on a global basis.

"When a lot of people have watched her over the last few years, they have really changed their mind with regards to whether women can indeed play football or not."

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Women's World Cup 2019: Marta's unbelievable goal from 2007

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.