Two-time women’s football World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe has announced her retirement.
The 38-year-old said the current National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season will be her last with a statement on social media.
Posting a picture of her as a little girl, Rapinoe wrote: “I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever, but by the look on this little girl’s face, she knew all along.”
Thanking her family and teammates, she said that leaving professional football on her own terms was “incredibly special”.
Rapinoe will also play in her last Women’s World Cup, as the USA is gearing up to defend their two-time winning streak at this year’s competition, which starts on 20 July in Australia and New Zealand.
USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski said: “Megan Rapinoe is one of the most important players in women’s soccer history and a personality like no other.
“She has produced so many memorable moments for her team and the fans on the field that will be remembered for a very long time, but her impact on people as a human being may be even more important.”
The OL Reign player has earned 199 caps and was part of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup winning teams.
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She also won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games with the USA.
Rapinoe took home a Ballon d’Or and was named Best FIFA Women’s Player following the second World Cup win, and in 2022, became the first football player to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Having joined Seattle-based team the OL Reign in 2013 – the team’s inaugural NWSL season – the winger holds the current club records for goals (48) and assists (25).
She is also the league’s penalty kick all-time top-scorer, with 13 successful spot kicks.
Her last game for the OL Reign will take place at Seattle’s Lumen Field on 6 October against the Washington Spirit.