Brazil's Formiga set to be first player, male or female, to play in seven World Cups
Brazil's 41-year-old midfielder Formiga is set to become the first player, male or female, to participate at seven World Cups after she was named in their squad on Thursday for the women's tournament in France.
The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder currently shares the record of participating in six World Cups with Homare Sawa, who led Japan's women to their World Cup triumph in 2011.
"I am anxious, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't, to be 41 and have the possibility of playing in a seventh World Cup," Formiga said recently.
"The excitement is the same as the first time, for sure. And my will to win is the same."
In the men's tournament, three players have played at five World Cups -- Mexico's Rafael Marquez and Antonio Carbajal and Germany's Lothar Matthaeus.
If Formiga plays in France she will also become the oldest to appear in a women's World Cup.
Brazil coach Vadao said one of his priorities after taking charge of the team in 2017 was to convince Formiga to play in the Copa America, which served as a World Cup qualifying tournament.
"I made every effort to make Formiga come back after she had retired from the national side," he said. "She is a reference to us and there's no way we could leave her out."
Formiga is joined in the Brazil squad by several other well-known faces, including Marta, the six-times World Player of the year.
Marta is the top scorer in the history of the women's World Cup with 15 goals.
Copa America champions Brazil have been drawn in Group C along with Jamaica, Italy and Australia. The World Cup begins on June 7.
Although they have appeared in all seven Women's World Cup tournaments, the South Americans have yet to lift the trophy, with their best performance coming as runners-up to Germany in China in 2007.
They are also heading to France under a cloud, having lost their last nine games, their worst run ever.
Brazil sit 10th in the world rankings, their lowest position since the ranking system began.
However, Formiga told her teammates earlier this year that she would keep on fighting.
"What I most want, and I think everyone knows this, are improvements in our sport so that we can get more respect," she said.
"What we need to do is win an important tournament like the World Cup or the Olympics. We've tried many times and never managed it but we'll keep trying. Never give up."