Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement After Current Season: A Farewell to a Soccer Icon
Megan Rapinoe, the forward for the United States, announced her retirement after the current season. The 38-year-old shared this news on Saturday, just days before she departs for the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Rapinoe, known for her charisma, will participate in her fourth World Cup, starting on July 20, and then conclude her career after completing the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season.
Reflecting on her journey in the beautiful game, Rapinoe expressed her gratitude and disbelief at the opportunities it has provided her. As the oldest player on one of the most inexperienced United States squads, she felt honored to have represented her country and federation for many years, considering it the greatest achievement of her life.
Rapinoe is arguably the most recognizable figure in American soccer and gained acclaim by winning the Golden Boot for her outstanding performances in the 2019 World Cup. That same year, she also played a significant role in initiating her team's fight for pay equity against their federation.
During a press conference in her home state of California, Rapinoe revealed that she had known for approximately a year that this season would mark her retirement. She expressed a desire to savor every moment, sharing them with her teammates, friends, family, and the rest of the world. As the recipient of the 2019 Ballon d'Or, she felt grateful for the trust bestowed upon her by the team and the endurance of her body throughout her career.
The United States team aims to secure an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title. They will face Wales in a farewell warm-up match on Sunday in San Jose, California. Rapinoe emphasized her focus and determination, stating that she understood the disappointment of losing in a World Cup final and was determined to avoid a repeat. Winning the tournament would be the ideal way for her to conclude her illustrious career.