U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe has made the decision to retire after an illustrious career that saw her win an Olympic gold medal and two World Cups. Throughout her career, Rapinoe has consistently used her platform to bring attention to important social issues.
Rapinoe, who is 38 years old, took to Twitter to announce that the upcoming World Cup would be her last. Following the tournament, she will officially retire with the OL Reign at the end of the National Women’s Soccer League season.
Expressing her gratitude and reflecting on the impact of soccer on her life, Rapinoe wrote, “I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever.”
With a sense of peace and appreciation, she stated, “It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game.”
As the Women’s World Cup approaches, Rapinoe and the U.S. team are aiming to secure their third consecutive title. The tournament is set to begin on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. Before heading to the World Cup, the U.S. will face Wales in a final tune-up match in San Jose, California on Sunday.
Reflecting on her career, Rapinoe said, “I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people. To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.”
As Rapinoe prepares for her final games, fans around the world will undoubtedly be eagerly watching and celebrating her remarkable achievements on and off the field.
Megan Rapinoe: A Trailblazer in Women’s Soccer
Megan Rapinoe, a prominent figure in women’s soccer, has consistently left an indelible mark on the field with her remarkable skills and achievements. At the prestigious 2019 World Cup held in France, Rapinoe proved her prowess by scoring an impressive six goals throughout the tournament. Notably, she contributed a crucial penalty goal in the final, securing a triumphant 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. Furthermore, Rapinoe’s exemplary performance earned her three assists, leading her to be awarded both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball, recognizing her as the tournament’s best player. Undeniably, her stellar performance in 2019 resulted in her claiming two of the game’s highest individual honors – the Ballon d’Or and the Best FIFA Women’s Player awards.
Rapinoe’s impact extends beyond individual accolades. With her exceptional play, she has solidified her position as one of the top contributors to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Currently tied with Abby Wambach, Rapinoe ranks third all-time in assists for the team. Moreover, she joins an elite group of only seven players in team history who have achieved more than 50 career goals and assists. Rapinoe’s dedication to her sport is exemplified by her debut for the U.S. senior team in 2006, marking the beginning of what would become an illustrious and influential career.
Throughout her remarkable 11-year tenure in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Rapinoe has exclusively represented the Reign. Her remarkable goal-scoring ability has secured her a spot among the league’s top players, boasting an impressive tally of 48 goals – ranking her sixth in league history.
Beyond her athletic achievements, Rapinoe has emerged as an outspoken advocate for equal pay in women’s soccer and a passionate supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Her impactful activism caught the attention of President Joe Biden, who bestowed upon her the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor in the United States. This recognition aptly symbolizes Rapinoe’s significant contributions to society beyond the realm of sports.
Megan Rapinoe’s influence extends beyond her achievements on the field. As an instrumental figure in the fight against racial inequality, she became the first white athlete and female to kneel during the national anthem, displaying her solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Such acts reflect Rapinoe’s unwavering commitment to leveraging her platform for social justice.
In her personal life, Rapinoe is engaged to Sue Bird, a revered icon in women’s basketball. Their relationship exemplifies both their commitment to their respective sports and their shared dedication to breaking barriers and promoting equality.
U.S. women’s team coach, Vlatko Andonovski, beautifully summarizes Rapinoe’s impact, stating, “She has produced so many memorable moments for her team and the fans on the field that will be remembered for a very long time, but her impact on people as a human being may be even more important.” Rapinoe’s extraordinary abilities, combined with her unwavering commitment to social justice, cement her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s soccer – a legacy that will resonate for generations to come.