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17th Nov 2020

Megan Rapinoe admits ‘teasing the English is such a pleasure’

USA international Megan Rapinoe has said teasing the English is 'such a pleasure' in her new book, recalling the world cup semi-final victory in 2019

Reuben Pinder

‘It was epic’

Megan Rapinoe is one of football’s most outspoken characters, and the sport is better for it. Over the past few years, she has used her platform to give solidarity to progressive causes and spoken out against president (not for much longer) Donald Trump on numerous occasions, famously refusing to attend the White House.

In her new book, One Life, she explores these issues in great depth, as well as the highs and lows of her career on the pitch.

In a passage published by the Daily Telegraph, Rapinoe takes a cheeky swipe at England Women manager Phil Neville, saying his side are not as good as he makes out.

Recalling the United States’ famous World Cup semi-final victory over England in 2019, Rapinoe explains how much she enjoyed Alex Morgan’s tea-sipping celebration.

“I was injured for the semi-final against England. It was Alex’s 30th birthday, she was feeling pretty jaunty,” Rapinoe said.

“After her goal she raised her pinkie in a gesture to imitate drinking tea. It was epic. To tease the English is such a pleasure, they react immediately and get completely outraged.

“It sparked a whole new level of rivalry with Phil Neville’s team, who are good, although not as good as Neville thinks they are. We won 2-1, and they were out.”

The tea-sipping celebration caused quite a stir in England, with some accusing the USWNT of arrogance.

But Rapinoe rubbished these accusations, telling BBC Sport: “There was lots of talk about arrogance, celebrating too much, but this is what you want.

“These are the goals you want and this team is giving it to you — it’s defiance but it’s cheeky.

“I feel like we’re going to have fun. We have a very serious role to play so it is kind of a balance of that.

“We have always done this — we have done cartwheels, sang into microphones, made snow angels when we played in the snow.

“The next-level trolling with the tea [by Alex Morgan] is so funny. It’s so funny because you English are so uptight sometimes. It was just so perfect, you know?”

American fans in Lyon told JOE that male footballers would not face the same backlash for similar celebrations.