The Brazilian women’s national soccer team anticipated there might some pressure to perform at the Olympics.
Brazil gained momentum as the tournament wound its way across the country, gaining fans along the way. The team is now headed to the semifinals, where they’ll face Sweden on Tuesday at Maracana Stadium in Rio. Capacity crowds near 78,000 are expected.
Women’s soccer is not as big in Brazil as it is in some other countries, including the United States, but the team’s play is gaining the women new fans _ and respect.
Star Marta _ who wears the No. 10 jersey just like her male counterpart Neymar _ is especially deserving of the attention as a five-time FIFA World Player of the Year.
Coach Vadao said the team brought in a sports psychologist before the Olympics to help the women adjust to the sudden stardom.
“The main question was, what are the factors that are interfering with the team, both inside and out?” coach Vadao said. “That means the media, the public and certain factors. So, we already had discussed this among us, and we are aware of the pressures we are facing.
“But the result has to be a gold, because that’s a need for women’s football.”
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) August 15, 2016