A FIFA World Cup starter and full professional at 20, Brazil’s Andressa ‘Andressinha’ Machry has already shown just how she can orchestrate in midfield, playing with a verve that represents possibility in various forms for a prospect completely devoted to the game.
Since making her full international debut as a 17-year-old against Denmark in December 2012, Andressinha’s reputation has been steadily building. With appearances at two Under-17 World Cups and one with the Under-20s, the creative midfield talent took it a step further in 2015 as she started all four of Brazil’s games at the senior tournament in Canada, with a Player of the Match display in the group win over Costa Rica to catch the eye.
Last year was also the one in which she had her first taste of life as a pro player in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), representing Houston Dash in the latter part of the season after joining in July. Her adaptation to the club and the U.S. was aided by Dash defender and compatriot Camila, a player she worked with previously at Brazilian side Kindermann SC, while assistant coach Marcelo Galvao was also on hand to help.
When she signed, Andressinha was praised by Dash head coach Randy Waldrum as ‘one of the up-and-coming stars of the game out of Brazil’ and she went on to feature seven times as well as earning the Young Player of the Year (Under-23) accolade in the club’s seasonal awards, as voted for by coaching staff and front office. She feels her introduction to the American game was extremely beneficial, with time also for light relief away from playing and training, as she explains.
“It was an amazing experience and I learned about discipline and good behavioural examples that added to my person. During the spare time, I enjoyed going to outlet malls.”
At last summer’s World Cup, Andressinha’s role in the middle of the park for the most part had her playing off an attack containing Andressa Alves – a player some have confused her with at times – as well as huge experience in the shape of Cristiane and Marta. In the women’s game, music has its own unique part to play; various collegiate, club and national teams use it for bonding and enjoyment as a group, while many rosters seem to have talented singers included somewhere.
As a football nation, it is fair to suggest that Brazil is one that is instantly associated with style, rhythm and poise. Numerous members of the women’s national team have music deeply connected with their persona and Andressinha confirms she is one such example.
“I enjoy listening to every single genre. The song needs to be good; a song is really important because it can bring good memories and even motivate you.”
On the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2015 victory tour after their triumphant World Cup, Jill Ellis’ side played two games against Brazil in quick succession. The first of these October encounters was held in Seattle and was the finale to U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx’s illustrious career.
Although far from Texas, the night had a strong Houston Dash feel to it as Carli Lloyd levelled for a 1-1 draw late on from a Meghan Klingenberg assist, cancelling out an early goal Andressinha had set up. For that Brazilian opener she had whipped a right-footed corner for Monica to head past Hope Solo, and the defender will be with the NWSL’s second expansion team, Orlando Pride, as they begin play this year.
The 28-year-old was also the first name to come to mind for Andressinha when discussing her favourite musical performers out of all those she has played with so far.
“Monica! Despite being a great player, she also plays the guitar really well.”
Born in Roque Gonzales in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Andressinha played futsal as she grew up, and her father, Elizeu Machry, saw the potential she possessed. At just 14 years old, Marcos Planela gave her a chance to play with the Under-17 national team before bringing her to Esporte Clube Pelotas/Phoenix in 2009, where her father made 1600km round trips to take her to training and games.
Having played all four of Brazil’s games at the 2010 Under-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago when she was only 15, Andressinha then captained the team at the tournament in Azerbaijan two years later. In the 2014 Under-20 World Cup in Canada she played the entirety of their three matches as they drew with China and were defeated by Germany and the USA.
Turning 20 last May ahead of her first experience of the world’s most prestigious competition, she has a lot to her name at an early age and there is much belief that she can flourish for years to come. In that sense, her response when asked which song she’d sing with a teammate if she ever recorded a cover of her own is apt.
It is a track built on uplifting lyrics of hope, faith and belief, with sentiments such as ‘a new day will dawn’ and ‘your time will come’ – not to mention it is a perfect sing-along! Andressinha introduces her cover song of choice.
“I would choose the song ‘Tá Escrito’ (‘It’s Written’) from Grupo Revelação, and I would choose my teammate Monica. We would be good partners.
“When I was young, I enjoyed karaoke, but I cannot remember the songs I used to sing.”
Representing Tiradentes PI back home after her NWSL experience, Andressinha was 2015’s Revelação do Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship revelation), having previously earned the Artilheira Sulamericano Sub-20, a South American honour for Under-20s. A player who can transition fluidly from defence to attack, as well as shoot from range, she always speaks of the team first.
From the age of two or three, Andressinha was often pictured with a ball, growing up in a family with a strong love for the game and allegiances to two well-known Brazilian clubs from the south, Internacional and Grêmio. Away from football, she was surrounded by a music sound that has stayed with her until the present day, although separate from that, she has seen an English artist live in recent times.
“I don’t remember the first album I bought, but I grew up listening to Brazilian country songs in genre. Recently, I’ve been to Ed Sheeran’s concert and I really enjoyed it.
“I want to go to a Jorge e Mateus concert, a Brazilian country band.”
After helping Brazil to World Cup wins over South Korea, Spain and Costa Rica before their 1-0 last-16 loss to Australia last summer, Andressinha was a regular starter once again as Vadão’s team won Gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July. Top scorer at the tournament with seven goals was Cristiane, the 30-year-old forward who has plied her trade in several leagues around the world over the years, frustrating at times but also dazzling on many, many occasions.
Five months later, Brazil rounded off 2015 by winning the Torneio Internacional de Natal on home soil, beating Canada in the final after also defeating them in the group along with Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta, hit seven to take top goalscorer and she is someone who loves to sing and perform on the guitar.
As Andressinha reveals the identity of the Brazil team DJ, it seems there could be a link between music lovers and productive talent on the field!
“Cristiane is our DJ, during the free time! I’ve put a few songs on to play in one of the clubs I played for.”
In December 2014, the Brazilians were also winners at the Torneio Internacional de Brasília, beating Argentina 4-0, before a 3-2 win over USA – which saw a hat-trick from Marta – and a 4-1 success against China. A goalless draw in the final against the U.S. meant they were winners and that victory over China had also seen Andressinha’s first goal at senior level for her country, as she curled a free-kick up and over the wall.
She is the kind of player spectators make an extra effort to come out and see and that reason for intrigue was on display in Brazil’s group finale against Costa Rica at the World Cup. Having appeared at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in the wins over South Korea and Spain – the latter of which attracted 28,623 – she topped off the group games in Moncton with Player of the Match and a perfectly-weighted, first-time pass in behind the Costa Rican backline for Raquel to net the winner.
As the conversation turned to interests away from her sport, Andressinha’s response simply outlined the kind of commitment that has seen her to this point, and will be the perfect companion to her on-field flair as time goes on.
“I don’t see me doing another thing. Since I was a child, I’ve always loved to play soccer and I thank God he gave me this gift.”
In addition to her World Cup campaigns, Andressinha has also competed in and enjoyed success at multiple South American championships with Brazil through the age groups. There were tears from her father when she first made the youth national team and as a staunch lover of the game he would surely enjoy watching the team she puts together in the final question of this interview.
Each player to feature on this site is asked to imagine playing in a small-sided game, with four of their teammates from any time in their career to be alongside them. They can select their four for any reasons they decide, so who has made such an impression on Andressinha in her time in the game so far?
“The goalkeeper would be Letícia, who has been my partner since the youth categories. I would choose Rafaelle Leone as a defender because she knows how to distribute the ball and she is physically stronger than other players.
“I would choose Formiga as my midfielder because she does both marking and attacking, with excellence. I would choose Marta as a forward – who wouldn’t want to have Marta on their team?”
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