Brazil’s Cristiane Rozeira de Souza Silva, known in the soccer world as Cristiane, is considered a legend of the women’s game in a nation where the sport is a national religion.
She has scored 96 goals in her career and holds the career Olympic tournament record, among men and women, with 14 goals scored over four Olympiads.
Last weekend she netted the goal of her dreams. Cristiane, who has been an out lesbian throughout her playing career, married her girlfriend Ana Paula Garcia Silva in a small, private ceremony in Sao Paulo on Saturday, August 15.
The Santos forward met Garcia Silva, an attorney, in February 2019 and a friendship grew into romance that led to a proposal. The wedding ceremony was originally planned for after the Brazilian Serie A1 season ended in May, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Brazil especially hard.
Cristiane told Brazil’s Globo News that the marriage “fulfilled a dream,” and told friends and family who could not attend due to COVID-19 restrictions via her Instagram feed they would get together another time: “We know that due to the current scenario, you could not be physically present to toast this moment with us, but rest assured that we feel the presence of each one of you in our hearts. We will still celebrate this union together at an opportune date when all of this has passed, as better days will come.”
For Cristiane, 2020 has been a year of happy returns as well as this happy beginning. In January she returned to play for Sao Paulo-based Santos, after 9-year absence from the team. She’s also donning the green and yellow of Brazil’s national team, now under the management of former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. At 35, she’s pushing to add a fifth Olympic Games appearance in Tokyo in 2021 to go with playing in five FIFA Women’s World Cups.
As a part of the women’s Seleção, Cristiane celebrated two Olympic silver medals in 2004 and 2008, and in 2007 helped Brazil reach the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Their World Cup run included a stunning 4-0 upset of the United States in the semifinal, but ended with a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to Germany in the championship match.