Megan Rapinoe, the soccer star who has been a fixture of the dominant U.S. ladies’s nationwide workforce and one of the vital politically outspoken American athletes, mentioned Saturday that she deliberate to retire on the finish of the 12 months, making this upcoming World Cup her final.
Rapinoe, 38, has performed for the U.S. ladies’s nationwide workforce since 2006 and the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand scheduled later this month can be her fourth.
“I could have just never imagined where this beautiful game would have taken me,” Rapinoe informed reporters throughout an sudden look at a information convention forward of a U.S. recreation in opposition to Wales in San Jose, Calif., scheduled for Sunday.
“I feel so honored to have represented this country, this federation for so many years,” she mentioned. “It’s truly been the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”
Rapinoe made perhaps her biggest mark in 2019, when she received the Ballon d’Or as soccer’s ladies’s participant of the 12 months and earned the Golden Boot as the highest scorer and the Golden Ball as the highest participant of the World Cup, with six objectives.
She was outspoken on quite a few points, together with L.G.B.T.Q. rights, and was a frequent antagonist of the previous President Donald J. Trump. Her management of the workforce additionally got here at a time when it was fighting with its national federation for pay fairness, confronting variations between the economics of the lads’s and ladies’s variations of the game.
Rapinoe additionally performed in two ladies’s skilled leagues within the United States, starting within the Women’s Professional League, which folded in 2011, and within the National Women’s Soccer League. She mentioned she would retire from the N.W.S.L. after this season.
Alex Morgan, one other prime star for the U.S. workforce, mentioned Rapinoe texted the workforce’s group chat on Saturday morning to announce her choice. “Well,” Morgan mentioned, “Now we have to go win the whole damn thing.”