Megan Rapinoe has spoken out after the strong criticism she received after the “heartbreaking” exit of the United States from the Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe was one of three American players to miss a penalty as the defending champions were knocked out by Sweden in the round of 16.
The 38-year-old has been heavily criticized for laughing after missing the penalty, the last act of her international career, with critics labeling her “the epitome of selfishness” and “fiendishly arrogant”.
On Wednesday night, Rapinoe and several of her USWNT teammates posted statements on social media following their exit from the World Cup.
She did not directly address the criticism she received, but Rapinoe did admit that this was a “cruel” time in her career.
Megan Rapinoe received heavy criticism after the elimination of the United States in the World Cup.
Rapinoe was one of three US players to miss a penalty when they were eliminated by Sweden.
The 38-year-old has come under heavy criticism for laughing after missing the penalty.
‘This game is so beautiful, even at its cruelest moments. This group was very special and I am immensely proud of each one of us.’ Rapinoe wrote along with a photo of the devastated team.
“This team is in special hands while I’m gone, as it always was and always will be. Because that’s what this team is all about.
“We put everything on the line every time. Fighting with everything we have, for everything we deserve, for every person we can.
It has been an honor to play for our country, with so many incredible women, for so many years. Thank you, a million times over.
The ‘inexplicable’ departure of the tournament team prompted calls for a ‘top-down’ review of women’s soccer in the United States.
Rapinoe and several of her USWNT teammates posted statements on social media.
“This game is so beautiful, even at its cruelest moments,” Rapinoe wrote Wednesday night.
But Rapinoe’s teammates Lindsey Horan and Sophia Smith vowed the team will bounce back.
‘With a broken heart,’ Smith wroteone of the team’s featured performers at the tournament.
‘This World Cup was filled with almost every possible emotion, what I have learned is more valuable than any experience I have had.
‘Thank you to those who believed and supported us throughout the tournament and most importantly to those who still do and never stopped.
“Life wouldn’t be without moments like this, and I know without a doubt that we’ll be back and hungrier than ever.”
Sophia Smith, one of the United States’ standout players at the World Cup, said she was “heartbroken.”
Lindsey Horan thanked even the ‘dubious’ team as he reflected on his knockout exit.
Horan thanked even the ‘dubious’ team as he reflected on his knockout exit.
‘Incredible… the emotions that football can give you. Is that why we play well? To live the moments of greatest pressure. To play on the biggest stage,’ she wrote.
‘Playing for something you’ve dreamed of all your life. Playing to inspire. Play to bring joy. Playing in front of all of you. That’s why I love this game so much. Thanks to all who supported us. Thanks to everyone who doubted us.
‘I am very proud of this team. So proud. This one will hurt for a while. Disappointed for not going further but this is football. Soccer can be won and lost by moments and millimeters. we will grow. We will return.’
That defiant mood was echoed by forward Lynn Williams, who slammed those who “unfathomably” questioned the team’s “dedication.”
Lynn Williams (right) hit out at those who ‘unfathomably’ questioned the team’s ‘dedication’
“Sometimes football can be cruel,” he wrote. We sacrifice a lot for this game: time away from our families, tearing our bodies apart, and a billion other things most people will never understand. That our dedication and reasoning for carrying the shield is questioned is unfathomable.
‘I’m proud of this team! When things were not going well, we came together to find a solution. It worked. From the sidelines our performance against Sweden was beautiful to watch, from the field it was a joy to play. It was us. Playing freely and finding our joy again. Unfortunately, soccer can be cruel.
‘For me, I’m proud of everything I’ve done. A girl from Fresno, CA, who didn’t grow up in the youth soccer system, who only had one college take a chance on her (Pepperdine), and who had to fight, claw, and claw her way into this elite and powerful team. women.
‘I hope my story can inspire even one person to not take ‘no’ for an answer and to keep fighting even if they feel ignored and unappreciated. Carrying this shield is always an honor and a privilege… thank you’