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Megan Rapinoe retirement: USWNT legend bids farewell as a true American soccer icon

The two-time World Cup champion played her final international match on Sunday, capping off a career that altered the game both on and off the pitch.

Megan Rapinoe is an unparalleled figure in women’s football. In fact, neither has the entire globe. Since more than a decade, the star of the United States women’s national team has been an electrical rod of attention and a fireball of a player, transcending both the sport she plays and the nation she calls home.

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This summer, however, was her curtain call and final performance. Certainly not from the bright lighting, as Rapinoe will continue to be a part of popular culture long after her playing career has ended. Undoubtedly, the USWNT icon is not leaving. There is nothing in the world that could muzzle her completely.

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No, Rapinoe, the famous athlete, will proceed. Also, Rapinoe, the activist, will. Who is this Rapinoe? Her days are numbered, however. Rapinoe announced her intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2023 Women’s World Cup prior to the tournament. The time has arrived at age 38. The match against South Africa on Sunday was her last in a USWNT uniform before she retires at the conclusion of the NWSL season.

She will leave the sport as one of its most decorated players, with two World Cup victories, an Olympic gold medal, a World Cup Golden Ball, a World Cup Golden Boot, a Ballon d’Or, and a FIFA The Best Women’s Player award, to mention a few.

Rapinoe’s missed penalty kick against Sweden in the World Cup round of 16 at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium proved that even the biggest stars don’t always get to write their own swan songs.

Rapinoe has been a superstar unlike any we have ever seen, both on and off the pitch. Rapinoe is a one-of-a-kind athlete, from her vibrant hair to her aura of defiance, which has been suppressed so frequently in a less politically-inclined sports landscape.

“I’m exactly what they’re familiar and comfortable with, just packaged up differently,” she told TIME ahead of the World Cup.

“I’m exactly the brash, arrogant athlete that Americans love.”NYSC Portal

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And though her time as that athlete is coming to an end, Rapinoe’s legacy on the field is secure as she’s solidified her spot as one of the game’s most important players.

Rapinoe didn’t want it to linger. She didn’t want her team dealing with speculation or questions or uncertainty. So, instead, she just came out and said it. She’s retiring.

The announcement came via U.S. Soccer, who released a lengthy statement hailing Rapinoe’s accomplishments. World Cup champion, Ballon d’Or winner, LGBTQ+ icon… the list went on and on.JAMB Result

“Obviously I’m 38 years old, I’m not going to be playing forever and it just always feels weird for me to have something settled and feel at peace and to not answer a question honestly,” Rapinoe said. “I kind of wanted to have that for myself.informationguidenigeria

“I think it allows me to focus a lot more, allows the team to focus a lot more. We don’t have to get questions every time, every single game. It’s just kind of out there and I can just really enjoy it and focus on trying to win the tournament.”JAMB Portal

Still, despite Rapinoe’s intentions, her team-mates still had plenty to say about her impending exit ahead of this summer’s tournament.

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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