World Cup Winner Megan Rapinoe Says she Will Retire at end of This Season – Just days prior to embarking on her fourth World Cup, Megan Rapinoe, the renowned US soccer star, revealed on Saturday her decision to retire when the current National Women’s Soccer League season concludes. Rapinoe, 38, an Olympic and World Cup champion, made the announcement on Twitter, saying she “never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever”.
“It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game,” the Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion said. When the Women’s World Cup commences on July 20th in Australia and New Zealand, the US team is determined to secure their third consecutive championship.
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The athlete, who is widely recognized as a sports superstar and one of the most prominent women in the game throughout history, has also gained significant attention beyond football in recent years. She has actively campaigned for various causes such as equal pay for female teams and the eradication of sexual abuse in sports, catapulting her into the mainstream society spotlight.
Having been honored as the player of the tournament during the 2019 World Cup, Rapinoe expressed her belief last month that there will be a transformative shift worldwide for women’s sports following the conclusion of this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “It feels like a real opportunity to blow the lid off, just in terms of fanfare and media and sponsorships and the sort of larger business around this sport,” said the United States forward, who will be playing at what will now be her final World Cup.
In 2021 she took the fight for equal pay to US Congress as she testified in front of a committee examining “the economic harm caused by long standing gender inequalities, particularly for women of color”and made a memorable appearance at the podium in the press room at the White House for the daily briefing. In February of the following year, the US women’s soccer team achieved a significant milestone by reaching a groundbreaking agreement with their governing body regarding pay, concluding a six-year legal battle.
During the period from 2018 to 2020, Rapinoe served as co-captain of the US national team, sharing the role with Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. At the 2019 World Cup, Rapinoe gained immense popularity and became an iconic figure not only for her exceptional performance on the field but also for her memorable goal-scoring celebration. This celebration involved extending her arms outward and upward, standing motionless in front of an enthusiastic crowd, while radiating an unapologetically triumphant and confident smile.
During December 2019, Rapinoe publicly expressed her support for Elizabeth Warren, a progressive US senator from Massachusetts, in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. However, Joe Biden eventually secured the nomination and emerged victorious in the presidential election, earning the position of the President of the United States. Following this outcome, the soccer player took her advocacy for equal pay directly to President Biden’s attention, continuing her campaign on the matter.