As Megan Rapinoe prepares to take the field for the final time, the two-time World Cup champion and Ballon d’Or winner has joined the ranks of the greatest players in soccer history.
Rapinoe will retire from her final match with OL Reign on Saturday, November 11th at Snapdragon Stadium.
She will be looking to win against New Jersey/New York Gotham FC, which will earn her her first WNSL title.
For a footballer who has won almost everything, it is remarkable that a trophy is still missing from his cabinet.
But the high stakes will make her final fight all the more meaningful.
Times senior sports writer Matt Dickinson praised Rapinoe for bringing “enormous joy” to so many people and for leaving a legacy.
He ranked the 38-year-old as “the most important footballer of the 21st century” alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rapinoe will be remembered by many for many different reasons.
She will go down in history for her role in the U.S. Soccer Federation’s equal pay dispute, which ultimately resulted in a $24 million settlement for players on the U.S. women’s national team.
She will be best remembered for her ongoing feud with former US President Donald Trump, as she declared: unequivocally, she wouldn’t have gone to the White House if the United States won the 2019 World Cup — which they did. Let’s go, she didn’t.
She will be remembered for her trademark goal celebration, with her arms outstretched and a calm expression, a gesture familiar to many thanks to her 63 international goals during her career.
But while Rapinoe’s football career may be coming to an end, the world is unlikely to see the end of her influence.
As someone who has done so much for her sport and women, the world can only watch and wait to see what happens next.
Rapinoe is taking her final steps on the court, but what’s certain is that this is just the first step toward her next great achievement.