Martina Ruan

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Martina Ruan was an attacking midfielder for the Zwangzug national football team during its "second era," from World Cup 64 through 69. The captain in cycles 67-69, Ruan represented FTC United at club level. After cycle 80, she was selected to the World Cup Hall of Fame.

The daughter of a Ianix father and Peridune mother, Ruan represented both sides of the FTC with equal pride (and even wore the baseball caps of both the metropolis' teams). She was an early advocate of diversifying the country's home games beyond Wayr Stadium, which eventually came to pass in the second half of World Cup 65 qualifiers. Ruan was also outspokenly proud of Zwangzug and all its eccentricities, wanting to show them off rather than be just another country. During Cup of Harmony 57 (post WC65), she was promoted to the starting XI, swapping her #14 for a #10.

Upon Zwangzug's return to the proper in World Cup 66, Ruan scored the new team's first goal in the finals, in a 2-1 defeat to The Holy Empire on Matchday One. In World Cup 67, she would succeed Brett Chrowder as captain, becoming the first woman to wear the armband for the national team. The ensuing responsibility of playing nearly every game was something she welcomed, and she could occasionally coax strong performances out of her domestic teammate Arlo Rais-Sonnen.

Despite a strong group performance in the World Cup 68 qualifiers, Zwangzug floundered in the playoffs, and as a result went to the Cup of Harmony in Kinitaria while that nation was in severe domestic turmoil. Despite the precarious situation, Ruan thought little of rattling off the national team's history to teammate Sara Hale-Barnard, and ran off after Zwangzug's quick elimination as if to get involved in the Kinitar crisis. Shula Bachchan-Laum would take the initiative of writing up a nomination for Ruan for the "Cup of Harmony XI;" though the all-star team in question never materialized, those efforts at tracking Ruan down did result in her safe return in time for the ninth 1./ season. At the helm of the "Oxen," she led FTC United from ninth place the previous season to a tie for second.

World Cup 69 saw the arrival of Earental Reaven Laynee as the manager of the team. While laboring to understand her, Martina continued to try to lead the team on the field. At the end of the qualifiers, however, she confused many reporters by expressing her disappointment about Zwangzug's performance, genuinely believing that they had failed to qualify. Only after a long ramble did she realize that Zwangzug had in fact made the playoffs, a mistake she attributed to not remembering that the World Cup Committee (and almost everywhere else) award three points for a win, in contrast to Zwangzug's idiosyncratic 1-.5-0 system. Ruan took full responsibility for the misunderstanding, despite skepticism that maybe Laynee didn't know what she was talking about in any language.

Ruan scored 18 goals for the national team. Due to cultural factors in Zwangzug influencing the relationship between gender and position, as well as changing tactics and diversity over time, this is still the record for Zwangzug women. She was succeeded by Denise Palss as captain of the Oxen when the 1./ returned from hiatus.