U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Megan Rapinoe announced Saturday she will be retiring at the end of the National Women’s Soccer League season.
“It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game,” she wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game. 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. pic.twitter.com/XGZ1T9i7Wy
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 8, 2023
“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,” Rapinoe told reporters at a press conference, according to CNN.
The 38-year-old added, “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.”
Rapinoe said leaving on her own terms “is incredibly special.”
The soccer star was a member of the gold medal team for the London 2012 Olympics and was named Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019.
U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski commented on Rapinoe’s departure.
“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,” Andonovski said.
“It’s been a wonderful experience to coach her in the NWSL and for the National Team and I’m looking forward to her being an important part of our team at the World Cup.”
The 38-year-old is often known for her off-the-field antics and outspoken politics.
She was among the first to join former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the national anthem in 2016.
In April the athlete signed a letter opposing a U.S. House bill that would protect females from having to compete against male athletes who identify as female.
President Joe Biden gave Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2022.
Rapinoe’s final NWSL regular season game for her team, OL Reign, is set for Oct. 6, according to ESPN.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.