(Miami) American Megan Rapinoe, global soccer star and influential voice in the fight against inequality, announced on Saturday that she would retire from the sport at the end of the season at the age of 38.

“It is with a deep sense of peace and gratitude that I have decided that this season will be my last playing this magnificent sport”, wrote on her social networks the double world champion, who is about to compete with the United States the fourth World Cup of his career in Australia and New Zealand (July 20 to August 20).

“I could never have imagined how soccer has shaped and forever changed my life,” she added.

Double world champion (2015, 2019), Olympic champion (2012) and winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2019, the attacker with 199 caps spread over 17 years is also a committed activist.

She was one of the first to kneel during the American anthem to denounce police violence.

Feminist activist, on the front line of the fight for LGBT rights since coming out in 2012, the co-captain of the American selection was also at the forefront of the fight for equal pay between the male and female selections of the UNITED STATES.

This long fight, which began in court immediately after the World Cup in France in 2019, only ended in May 2022.

Last month, the attacker who plays in the American championship (NWSL) under the jersey of OL Reign, the franchise of Seattle, underlined the importance of the World Cup to come in Australia and New Zealand for the recognition of female sports practice.

This World Cup, she said, is “a real opportunity to break the ceiling in terms of enthusiasm, media and sponsors and more broadly business around this sport”.

“I think now everyone is ‘in’ to women’s soccer,” she added, saying she sees a “paradigm shift.”

After the World Cup, he will have the end of the NWSL season, which ends in November.

“This sport has transported me all over the world, allowed me to meet so many incredible people,” she added in her message released on Saturday.

“To be able to play one last World Cup and one last season in the NWSL [the American championship] and walk away as I have decided is an extraordinarily special thing. »