Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, July 8, ahead of her 200th appearance for the United States in a match against Wales on Sunday, July 9, Rapinoe said;
‘This is going to be my last season, my last World Cup and my last NWSL season,’ she told reporters. ‘Obviously there will be more to come, further down the road, after hopefully we get done what we want to get done.
‘I just want to say thank you to everybody, to Vlatko [Andonovski, US head coach], to US Soccer, to everyone I’ve played with, all of my coaches. I could never have imagined where this beautiful game would have taken me.
‘I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people.
‘I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to be as successful as we’ve been, and to have been a part of a generation of players who undoubtedly left the game better than they found it. To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.
‘I want to thank my family for being by my side all these years. Thanks to all my teammates and coaches all the way back to my first days in Redding, on to college at the University of Portland and of course thanks to U.S. Soccer, the Seattle Reign and especially Sue, for everything.
‘I will forever cherish the friendships and support over the years in this game, and I am beyond excited for one last ride with the National Team and the Reign.’
Megan Rapinoe went public with her decision to retire from football, weeks after she spoke at a ceremony celebrating the jersey retirement of her partner Sue Bird at WNBA team Seattle Storm.
Rapinoe is an iconic figure and one of the greatest female players ever to grace the game. The 38-year-old has won the World Cup twice with the USWNT, winning 199 caps for the national team and scoring 63 times in an extraordinary career. Rapinoe has also won the Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, the Ballon the d’Or, and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year as well as claiming the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot on her way to lifting the 2019 World Cup.