Megan Rapinoe, the Olympic champion and two-time World Cup winner, bid adieu to her illustrious international football career in a remarkable fashion. The farewell took place following the U.S. national team’s 2-0 victory against South Africa in a friendly match held at Soldier Field stadium in Chicago.
The 38-year-old striker, known for her relentless spirit on the field, played a pivotal role in both of her team’s goals during the match. She orchestrated a brilliant long pass to Alex Morgan, setting up Trinity Rodman’s goal, and delivered a corner that Emily Sonnett skillfully headed into the back of the net. Rapinoe’s contribution to the team’s success remained undiminished even in her final appearance.
Rapinoe, a recipient of prestigious accolades such as the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball, and the Ballon d’Or for her outstanding performance in the U.S. 2019 World Cup campaign, received a heartfelt farewell. In the 52nd minute of the game, she left the field to a standing ovation from the crowd, handed the captain’s armband to Lindsey Horan, and shared emotional hugs with her teammates.
With an impressive record of 203 caps and 63 goals for her national team, Megan Rapinoe showcased her prowess in four World Cups, securing victories in 2015 and 2019, and contributing to the U.S. Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Games. Beyond her achievements on the pitch, Rapinoe’s activism and off-field persona propelled her to household fame. She fervently supported causes such as LGBTQ rights, vocally addressed issues of racism, and championed equal pay in women’s soccer.
As Rapinoe prepares to conclude her international journey, she is set to play her last National Women’s Soccer League regular-season game with OL Reign on October 6th, facing Washington Spirit in Seattle. Her legacy as a football icon and advocate for social change will undoubtedly endure for years to come.