Megan Rapinoe, the two-time World Cup winner, bid farewell to her illustrious career in a heartbreaking manner. The 38-year-old midfielder limped off the field just three minutes into her final match, claiming that it was “really the last one”. This unfortunate incident occurred during OL Reign’s 2-1 defeat to NJ/NY Gotham FC in the 2023 NWSL Championship at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California.
Rapinoe, who had previously triumphed in the World Cup with the USA in 2015 and 2019, was left without an NWSL title as a result of this loss. Reflecting on the match, she expressed her disappointment, stating, “It was a tough one. It’s definitely not how I envisioned this last one going.” Despite the setback, Rapinoe expressed gratitude to her supporters, saying, “Thank you to everyone who’s been on the journey for all this time. It’s been amazing – maybe besides this. I couldn’t have written it any different.”
Having spent 11 seasons with OL Reign, Rapinoe had announced her decision to retire at the end of the current NWSL campaign. Her career was filled with remarkable achievements, including participation in four World Cups and winning an Olympic Gold medal in 2012. Over the course of 17 years, she represented her country 203 times and scored 63 goals.
Reflecting on her career, Rapinoe expressed immense pride and gratitude, stating, “I am just super proud of my whole career and really thankful for all that it’s given me and for how long I’ve been able to play.” Despite the disappointment of her final match, she remained appreciative of the experience, saying, “Even though it was a tough night, it was still amazing and I’m so thankful to be here and again, so proud of our group.”
Rapinoe’s journey in women’s soccer saw her play for four different teams in America before joining OL Reign when the NWSL was established in 2012. She also had a stint in Europe, playing for Lyon and winning the French league title in 2013. As she bids farewell to the sport, Rapinoe leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered for years to come.