In Part 2 of an Exclusive interview Spain international and Italian Futsal Florentina star Marta Penalver talks to Andrew Atkinson about her life in the spotlight of Ladies football.

MARTA Peñalver, who celebrated her 27th birthday on July 12, one of the leading stars in Ladies football, reflected where it all started – outside the doorstep of the San Javier, Murcia, family home.

“I was nine years old when I started my sports career at the San Javier Soccer School in 2002,” said Marta.

“This came after having played outside the casa as a kid,” said Marta.

Early days saw Marta at the Mar Menor Sports Association (AD) Mar Menor, being league champions of the Region of Murcia; joining Roldan FS in 2005.

“I was at Roldán FS for 11 years. After progressing through the categories we were promoted to the First feminine Division,” said Marta.

“I played in the 1st division for several years,” said Marta, spotted by the Spanish national team, while at Roldan FS.

In 2015 Marta was included by Spain coach José Venancio López for the VI Futsal World Championship in Guatemala, where Spanish won third place.

“It was while at Roldan FS that I got the call from the Spanish national team – that lead to playing at the 2015 World Cup in Guatemala,” said Marta, who became the first player of the Roldanense club to play for Spain.

“I have also played for Spain in tournaments in Russia and Hungary, amongst other countries,” said Marta, who joined Italian club Futsal Cagliari in 2016.

“Three years ago I decided to leave Spain in a move to Italy. I had the opportunity to sign for the Futsal Cagliari, a great opportunity – but it came at a cost – because of the bond I had, and still have, with the Roldan FS,” said Marta.

“But I decided to accept the opportunity, and in doing so, going to Italy has allowed me to devote myself completely to Futsal. In Italy I can live from my passion,” said Marta.

Looking ahead to the 2019-20 season at Futsal Florentina in Serie A, Marta said: “I feel lucky to be able to live off the sport I love.

“Playing football – a dream that began in San Javier.”