In the 2019 World Cup, Rapinoe left with the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards as the tournament’s best player and top scorer.
That World Cup lifted Rapinoe to worldwide fame with one moment, dubbed Le Pose, leading to an image regarded as one of the most famed pictures ever snapped in women’s sports.
After striking a free kick into France’s goal in the fifth minute of that quarterfinal match against the hosts in Paris, the lavender-haired star sprinted to a corner and lifted her arms in joy.
Her trophy case also includes the 2019 Ballon d’Or Féminin, as the world’s best female soccer player, the 2019 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, the 2019 FIFA award for best female player in the world and a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded last year.
She has used her platform to advocate for Black Lives Matter, women’s equality and LGBTQ rights.
Her advocacy, and spats with then-President Donald Trump, once led Rapinoe to call herself a “walking protest.”
Rapinoe first publicly identified as gay in 2012, telling Out magazine that the community still needs to see high-profile role models while combating pervasive homophobia.
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” Rapinoe said more than a decade ago. “I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.”
Kickoff for Rapinoe’s final game will be tonight at 8:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS.