There’s a long tradition of soccer players wanting to end their careers on a high note — and that often involves calling it a day after a World Cup. Gareth Bale is one of the most prominent names to do so; Zinedine Zidane took a similar route after the 2006 World Cup. And now you can add Megan Rapinoe’s name to that list — the longtime USWNT player has announced that this summer’s World Cup will be her last as a player.
The New York Times covered the announcement, which came before the United States played Wales in a friendly. “I feel so honored to have represented this country, this federation for so many years. It’s truly been the greatest thing I’ve ever done,” Rapinoe said.
USWNT co-captain Alex Morgan also commented on Rapinoe’s pending retirement, according to the Times, saying that “now we have to go win the whole damn thing.”
Over the course of her career, Rapinoe has amassed a number of honors — she won the Ballon d’Or Féminin in 2019, along with both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot for that year’s World Cup. She also received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2022, and has been an icon for her sport as a whole, for women’s soccer specifically and for the causes of gender equality and LGBTQIA+ rights.
Rapinoe has represented the United States at the senior level since 2006, and has played professionally since 2009. She’s been at her current club team, OL Reign, since 2013. Rapinoe has had, by all accounts, a phenomenal career — and while its end is in sight, it’s not quite over yet.