US football star Megan Rapinoe has announced her retirement. 

On 8 July, the beloved athlete revealed that the current NWSL season and upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup would be her last during a pregame press conference. 

“It’s with a really deep sense of peace and gratitude and excitement that I want to share with you guys that this is going to be my last season,” she said. 

“Obviously, there will be more to come further down the road after. I just want to say thank you to everybody, to you guys, to Vlatko, to US Soccer, to literally everyone that I’ve played with… all of my coaches.

“I feel so honoured to be able to have represented this county and this federation for so many years. It’s truly been the greatest thing that I’ve ever done [and] something I’m so grateful for.” 

In an additional post to her social media channels, Rapinoe echoed similar sentiments alongside an old photo of her as a child at Disneyland. 

“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,” she wrote.

Shortly after announcing the news, fans flocked to social media to praise Rapinoe for her incredible career.

One fan wrote: “I cannot even express how much what you do on and off the pitch means to me. Thank you Pinoe.”

Another fan tweeted: “Thank you Megan for everything you’ve achieved in the game of football, for every fight you’ve won & every campaign you get behind. Wish you every future success & all the best for the World Cup.”

Rapinoe was also lauded by an array of her peers and public figures, including US Vice President Kamala Harris and her USWNT teammate Crystal Dunn. 

“You have changed the game of soccer, been a role model for millions and fought tirelessly for equality,” VP Harris tweeted.

Dunn echoed similar sentiments in an interview with ESPN, stating: “I just love her so much. She’s been so key for me in my career. She’s somebody that I can call with the most random stuff.”

Throughout her 17-year career, Rapinoe has cultivated a long list of incredible feats. 

In 2012, OL Reign winger took home her first gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics as part of the US National Team. 

She would later compete at the renowned sporting event two more times – the Rio Summer Olympics and Tokyo Summer Olympics. 

The One Life author also made waves in 2015 and 2019, when she and the US Women’s team took home the FIFA World Cup titles.

Alongside her 2019 World Cup win, the beloved talent was awarded Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. 

Lastly, Rapinoe has consistently used her platform and public appearances to fight for LGBTQ+ rights – especially in regards to the trans community

Due to her continued contribution to the LGBTQ+ equality, racial justice, and gender pay equality, the Seattle-based sports star was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2022 – which is the highest civilian honour. 

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Rapinoe after she hangs up her football boots.