Olympic champion and two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe has announced her retirement from international football. The decision came following the U.S. team’s 2-0 victory over South Africa in a friendly match.
During the game, the 38-year-old striker played a crucial role in both goals scored. She provided a long pass to Alex Morgan, which led to Trinity Rodman’s goal, and also took the corner that Emily Sonnett headed into the net.
Rapinoe, who received numerous accolades including the Golden Boot, Golden Ball, and Ballon d’Or for her performance in the 2019 World Cup, was given a heartfelt farewell as she left the field in the 52nd minute. The crowd gave her a standing ovation, she handed the captain’s armband to Lindsey Horan, and hugged her teammates.
With 203 caps and 63 goals for the national team, Rapinoe had an illustrious career that included participation in four World Cups. She won in 2015 and 2019, and also helped the U.S. secure the Olympic gold in the 2012 London Games.
Beyond her on-field achievements, Rapinoe’s activism and off-field personality brought her fame and recognition. She championed causes such as LGBTQ rights, spoke out against racism, and advocated for equal pay in women’s soccer.
Although her retirement from international football may mark the end of that chapter, Rapinoe’s career is not over altogether. She is scheduled to play her final National Women’s Soccer League regular-season game with OL Reign on October 6 against the Washington Spirit in Seattle.
As Rapinoe bids farewell to the international stage, her legacy as an exceptional footballer and a trailblazer for social change will undoubtedly endure.
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