Megan Rapinoe announces retirement after World Cup, NWSL Season

Megan Rapinoe, the iconic soccer star who has transcended her sport to become one of the most outspoken, accomplished and dynamic athletes of her generation, doesn’t want to wait until the end. the new season says that this season will be over.

She won’t be playing match after game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup that will begin later this month in Australia and New Zealand, while also confirming that she will retire after the last major tournament for the world. United States and the final season for her professional career. team. In Rapinoe’s impeccable style, there’s no way she can keep quiet about something that’s important to her.

So, all of a sudden, at a news conference on Saturday ahead of the United States’ game against Wales on Sunday in San Jose, Calif., Rapinoe, 38, said it was time to say goodbye.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone,” she told a room full of reporters as the US team prepared to fly to New Zealand for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. “I could never have imagined where this beautiful game would take me.” She calls football “the best thing I’ve ever done.”

After 17 years on the national team and almost years of speaking out in support of various issues, including LGBTQ rights, equal pay, the Black Lives Matter movement and voting rights, Rapinoe will compete in the Tournament. her fourth World Cup and final season in the Nationals. Women’s Soccer League and will finish her career in the top sport.

She is a three-time Olympic athlete and won a gold medal with her team at the 2012 London Olympics. She has played 199 games for the national team and has scored 63 goals for the United States, occasionally performing. great plays as a creative and aggressive forward, exactly when her team needs it most.

Perhaps nothing exemplifies her ability to play under pressure more than when she scored twice in the quarter-final against France at the 2019 World Cup. Her goal came just days after former President Donald J. Trump criticized her on Twitter for her stance that she wouldn’t go to Trump’s White House if her team won the tournament.

Trump said: “Megan should WIN before she SAYS! Finish work!”

However, Rapinoe did not flinch. In the fifth minute of the game against France, she scored from a free kick and ran to the corner, spreading her arms wide and basking in the applause of the fans. She scored again in the second half to send the team into the semi-finals, with a 2-1 win. The Americans went on to win that world title, for the second time in a row.

Rapinoe impressed on the pitch in 2019. She won the Ballon d’Or as FIFA’s best female player of the year. Her six goals at that World Cup earned her the Golden Boot as top scorer and the Golden Ball as top player.

Rapinoe’s longtime teammate Alex Morgan said: “She’s a great player who has done so much for this show, so much for football in general. “I’m really happy for her that she’s going out with a big bang, hopefully.”

Rapinoe, who has suffered multiple injuries throughout his career, has been dealing with an ankle injury and missed the national team’s two friendlies against Ireland in April with a calf injury. But even if it’s less than 100%, her leadership will be key for the United States team, which has 14 players as World Cup rookies.

“It’s all about her,” defender Crystal Dunn said, adding that Rapinoe has been an inspiration to her throughout her career.

“I think she’s someone you always want to be in your corner,” she said.

Now the team knows Rapinoe will be there for one final tournament and all the players want to make it count.

“Well,” said Morgan, “now we have to get the whole damn thing.”

Claire Fahy Reporting from San Jose, Calif.


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