199 games for her country. Four World Cups. Two World Cup Winners medals. 2019 Balon d’Or winner. USWNT icon and soccer legend. But despite everything, Megan Rapinoe still gets nervous… especially before games.
“It feels very real now that we’re here. I’m so excited. I’ve been thinking about it (the opening game) ever since we qualified to be honest and obviously since the draw, we knew who we’d be playing,” said an excited ‘Pinoe’ after a recent training session in Auckland.
“There’s always some nerves, but I think that’s good. There’s of lot of people that are playing their first World Cup games and nine of us that have been here before. Despite that, the nerves are still there. There’s nothing quite like this- it only comes around once every four years so it’s a nice little treat every time,” she continued.
There’s nothing quite like this- it only comes around every four years so it’s a nice little treat every time Megan Rapinoe
“It’s just so special to be able to play in a World Cup. I’ve been to a few already but you never lose that special feeling. It’s so difficult to get here, it’s so difficult to be called up to our team which makes it feel like it’s something that is so hard earned which helps you appreciate it so much. Knowing this is my last World Cup, I’m feeling so grateful to be here,” concluded the USWNT legend.
Rapinoe is one of the most decorated and successful players in the history of US Soccer. She’s just one game shy of 200 caps, having won two out of the three World Cup’s she has played in. Having announced her retirement just last week, ‘Pinoe’ will hope to get her hands on the trophy for the third time- something that would no doubt go down as one of the great sporting achievements ever. No team or player in history has won three World Cup’s on the bounce. Germany is the only other national side to come close, winning it in 2003 and 2007.
On a footballing level, Rapinoe is expected to fulfill a different role this time around. The winger will be looking to make an impact from the bench in the latter stages of games given she’s no longer a regular feature in the starting XI. It’s probable that the front three will be comprised of Alex Morgan, Sophia Smith and either Trinity Rodman or Lynn Willians.