Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement From Professional Soccer: “I Feel Incredibly Grateful”

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HARRISON, NJ - MAY 26: Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States with pink dyed hair looks at the camera as she warms up at the start of the International Friendly match the U.S. Women's National Team and Mexico as part of the Send Off Series prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup at Red Bull Arena on May 26 2019 in Harrison, NJ, USA. The United States Women's National team won the match with a score of 3 to 0.  (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

On July 8, Megan Rapinoe announced she’s retiring from soccer at the end of the 2023 season. The National Women’s Soccer League player’s announcement comes just one day before she leaves for the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which she has now confirmed will be her last World Cup. “I feel very grateful that I’m here and that I have the trust of this team and that my body has held up this long to do this,” Rapinoe said during a press conference.

Rapinoe’s retirement marks the end of one of the most storied careers in soccer history. In addition to winning two World Cups, she also has an Olympic gold medal, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has inspired a new generation of young people to take an interest in soccer. Her inspiring career has already made history, and as the United States heads to the World Cup, she has the chance to add another win to her list of accomplishments.

“I could’ve just never imagined where this beautiful game would’ve taken me,” Rapinoe said in a statement via US Soccer. “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.”

She continued, “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 US 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.”

It’s unclear what Rapinoe, who is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, has planned as her next act professionally. However, there’s no mystery when it comes to her personal life: the soccer star is engaged to marry famed women’s basketball player Sue Bird.

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