Midfielder for Brazil women’s national football team Thaisa Moreno told journalists that Brazilian captain Marta Vieira da Silva “commands respect” and is a crucial part of the team, during a press conference and training session in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille on Sunday, ahead of their Women’s World Cup match against Italy.

Thaisa Moreno, who now plays for AC Milan in Italy, said she lamented the loss of Fomiga as captain, but added that Marta was extremely competent and respected. “Marta is a leader, not exactly that she is feared, but she commands respect just for being inside the pitch. And the fact she is there with us is an important element,” she said.

She also addressed social media videos of the team singing a song that has become an anthem for the team.

“There is a player who plays for Corinthians in Brazil and she did this song some while ago and sent it to us, she said. We thought it was the moment, it is a pagode, which is a typical Brazilian [rhythm], and the lyrics is really interesting for the moment we are living, so it is like an anthem for the team,” she explained.

Brazil will play against Italy in Valenciennes on Tuesday.

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