Instantly recognisable by her cropped blonde or, more recently, pink hair, Megan Rapinoe is known for her outspoken views on politics and social justice issues, including LGBTQ+ rights and gender equality. However, it should not be forgotten that it was her skill on the football field that made her a public figure in the first place.
Now 36, Rapinoe has played her club football in the Pacific Northwest, for Seattle Reign FC – or OL Reign FC, after the club became part of the Olympique Lyonnais family in 2020 – in Seattlle, Washington since 2013. Seattle Reign FC won National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield twice, in 2014 and 2015, and Rapinoe has captained the side since 2018.
A left-sided attacking midfielder or winger by trade, Rapinoe has also demonstrated her creative, dynamic style of play to excellent effect at international level down the years. As part of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), which she co-captained between 2018 and 2020, she has played in three World Cups, in 2011, 2015 and 2019, and at three Summer Olympic Games, in 2012, 2016 and 2020. After finishing runners-up in 2011, the USWNT won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019; they also won the gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Rapinoe not only won her second World Cup title, but also the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards. In an incredible year, she was also named the Best FIFA Women’s Player and won the second ever Ballon d’Or Féminin, presented by France Football.