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12th Nov 2023

Megan Rapinoe leaves pitch in tears three minutes into final game

Charlie Herbert

Megan Rapinoe final game

‘I don’t deserve this’

Megan Rapinoe’s final game was over after just three minutes as the US football star was forced off with an Achilles injury.

The two-time World Cup winner had announced she was retiring after the National Women’s Soccer League final between her side OL Reign and NJ/NY Gotham FC.

But there was to be no fairytale send-off for the 38-year-old, with her night cut heartbreakingly short when she went down with non-contact injury just three minutes into the game.

Rapinoe was helped off the pitch with a suspected torn Achilles tendon.

“It was a tough one. It’s definitely not how I envisioned this last one going,” said an emotional Rapinoe after the game, the BBC reports.

“Thank you to everyone who’s been on the journey for all this time. It’s been amazing – maybe besides this. I couldn’t have written it any different.”

Gotham ended up winning the game 2-1, meaning that Rapinoe finishes her career without an NWSL title.

However, there can be no doubt that she retires as one of the greats of the American game.

Having made her debut for the national side in 2006, Rapinoe went on to win 203 caps for her country, scoring 63 goals across a stellar career that saw her win World Cups in 2015 and 2019. After the USA’s 2019 triumph, Rapinoe also won the Ballon d’Or.

She also helped guide her country to an Olympic gold in 2012.

The USA were knocked out by Sweden in the round of 16 in this year’s World Cup, and Rapinoe brought the curtain down on her international career in September with a friendly win against South Africa.

“I mean, I don’t deserve this, I’ll tell you that much,” she said. “I am a better person than this.

“I thought about that a little in the last two hours. This one feels different from missing the penalty [in the World Cup] but that’s life, it’s part of the game.

“I know you don’t always get to have the perfect ending. I’ve had so many perfect endings.

“I am just super proud of my whole career and really thankful for all that it’s given me and for how long I’ve been able to play.

“Even though it was a tough night, it was still amazing and I’m so thankful to be here and again, so proud of our group.”

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Megan Rapinoe