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Megan Rapinoe: Soccer Star Named As Sportsperson Of The Year

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This year’s football sensation and Ballon d’Or prize winner, Megan Rapinoe earned another accolade on Monday. Sports Illustrated magazine just named soccer player Megan Rapinoe as their Sportsperson of the Year. The co-captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team led her squad to victory at the Women’s World Cup in France, had a stellar year winning gender focused campaigns on and off the field.

Rapinoe, who had also received FIFA Best Women Footballer of the Year award earlier this year, has very recently became the first United States women’s national team (USWNT) player to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize award.

“Choosing Megan as the Sportsperson of the Year was an easy decision,” Sports Illustrated’s co-editor in chief Steve Cannella said in a statement.

“She is a force of nature on and off the field, a trailblazing soccer player who also proves every day how large and loud a voice a socially conscious athlete can have in 2019.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Megan Rapinoe, star of the United States Women’s National Team, named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year on Monday.
  • She was recently awarded the women’s Ballon d’Or prize at an awards ceremony in Paris. 
  • She became the first United States women’s national team (USWNT) player to win the prestigious award.
  • Rapinoe helped lead the USWNT to its fourth World Cup title last summer in France, scoring six goals and recording as the tournament’s top player.

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The American have had a fabulous year in which she helped the USA win the Women’s World Cup for the second time in her career. She won both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the tournament.

Rapinoe, who capped as one of the star players plays club football for Reign FC in the US, is now one of the most recognisable faces worldwide and appeared in television spots and print advertisements for Vitamin Water in 2016, and also featured in a Nike commercial that same year with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rapinoe, who is known for her strong opinions, has led the way in the women’s national team’s lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, accusing the federation of gender discrimination.

Quick facts about Rapinoe:

  • Rapinoe, the USWNT co-captain is writing a book, which is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2020, The New York Times reported.
  • Forward Rapinoe is a gold-medal Olympian and World Cup champion.
  • She is one of the team’s co-captains, hence leadership comes naturally to her — both on and off the field
  • Rapinoe made her third straight appearance on her sport’s biggest stage this World Cup
  • She has been playing for Team USA since 2006. Her records are 152 caps (fourth on the team), 44 goals (third), and 57 assists (fifth in team history).
  • She is one of two players representing the NWSL’s Reign FC (the other being midfielder Allie Long), and next to Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, Rapinoe is the most experienced player on the team.
  • At the W-League’s Sydney FC in 2011, Rapinoe was among the first eight American players ever to play in the league. She is also among 35 Team USA players to reach 100 or more international caps.
  • She is not only helping the team to play and win games, but also fighting for equal pay for her hardworking crew.
  • The 33-year-old is adamant to not want to visit the White House or Donald Trump because of his remarks on racial issues, gender issues, LGBTQ issues, immigration, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
  • Rapinoe, who is known for her strong opinions, has led the way in the women’s national team’s lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, accusing the federation of gender discrimination.
  • Rapinoe with her partner Sue Bird became the first gay couple to appear on the cover of the annual Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine. 

READ: Women Footballers Don’t Have A Long History In India: Aditi Chauhan

Feature Image Credit: Sports Illustrated magazine

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