Megan Rapinoe, who announced on Saturday that she plans to retire from professional football later this year, has risen to stardom thanks to her outspoken political views and leadership in the sport beyond the field. But much of it was possible because her field career had plenty of moments worthy of a highlight reel.
She is expected to reach 200 appearances for the USA Women’s National Team soon. She has scored 63 goals in her international career and is one of only seven American women to score at least 50 goals and 50 assists in international competition.
She was the No. 2 pick in the defunct Women’s Professional Soccer League’s 2009 Draft and spent most of her club career playing for Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League. She won the French title at Lyon, won the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player, and won two Olympic medals.
But it was always her attacking moments and creativity that really set Rapinoe apart, not the amount of goals or assists she scored. Take a look at some of her best touches here.
2011 world cup
The US Women’s National Team finished third at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, failing to capitalize on their 1999 victory. They faced a humiliating early exit in 2011 when they trailed Brazil 2-1 in extra time. quarter-final match.
The game was already in stoppage time when Rapinoe received the ball from Carly Lloyd near midfield. She dribbled once, then looked up and sent a long ball to the far post, where Abby Wambach was waiting.
Wambach climbed up behind the Brazilian goalkeeper and headed the ball into the net to score the expected goal. one of the biggest goals in the history of women’s games. The USA won the penalty shootout but then lost to Japan in the epic final.
USA played Canada in the women’s soccer semi-finals at the 2012 London Olympics. With him trailing 1-0 in the second half, Rapinoe made Olympic history by scoring the so-called ‘Olympico’ goal, which went straight into the net from a corner kick. She was the first woman to achieve it at the Olympics. And she will repeat her feat at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
2015 world cup
In the opening match of the 2015 World Cup against Australia, Rapinoe scored twice to lead his side to a 3-1 win. After 12 minutes of scramble for the ball, Rapinoe made a full 360-degree turn at the top of the box, then recovered with a few touches and shot from 20 yards out.ball bounced back He played a Canadian defender and found the back of the net.
2019 world cup
The United States entered the 2019 World Cup in France in a bid to become the first women’s team to win back-to-back World Cup titles. Rapinoe rounded out her career, winning both the Golden Boot for her most goals (six) and the Golden Ball for Outstanding Player of the Tournament. But her goal against France in front of a crowd of 45,000 encouraged her.
A master of set pieces, Rapinoe stepped up to take a free-kick early in what many expected to be a tense and important game. she, streaking ball He went through the box, under the feet of several teammates and defenders, and into the back of the goal. Rapinoe ran to the sidelines and celebrated with her arms wide open, which became her signature celebration and an unforgettable memory of a tournament where she was regularly in the right place at the right time. rice field.
2021 Tokyo Olympics
Aiming for a second straight World Cup title, the USA women’s national team is heading to Tokyo in 2021 to compete in the Olympics, which have been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the quarterfinals, the USA and the Netherlands met again in the World Cup final. The game entered the penalty shootout with a 2-2 draw, Rapinoe’s dagger in the upper right corner This put America through to the semi-finals.