Megan Rapinoe poses for a portrait at the NBC/USOPC Promotional Shoot on Nov. 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.
With the year Megan Rapinoe has had, winning a FIFA Women’s World Cup may be the least remembered achievement of them all.
Rapinoe capped off an incredible 2019 on Monday by winning the Ballon d’Or Feminin, presented each year to the top player in women’s soccer. That leaves little doubt about Rapinoe’s standing in the sport, as she also was named Best FIFA Women’s Player in September. It is the fourth major piece of individual hardware for Rapinoe in 2019, along with the Golden Ball and Golden Boot she won at the World Cup while leading Team USA to its fourth world championship.
Rapinoe, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is the second-ever winner of the Ballon d’Or, and the first from the United States. The award is presented by France Football magazine. England’s Lucy Bronze finished second while Rapinoe’s U.S. teammate Alex Morgan came in third.
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The midfielder scored in each round at the World Cup, including both U.S. goals in a round of 16 win over Spain and a quarterfinal win over host France. She also scored the game-winning goal from the penalty spot in the final over the Netherlands. After her World Cup glory, Rapinoe returned to her National Women’s Soccer League club, Reign FC, and led the club’s push to the playoffs.
The 34-year-old from Redding, California, became a household name during the World Cup for not only her great play but her personality on and off the field. Her pose after scoring against France became one of the iconic moments of the tournament, and Rapinoe is also an outspoken advocate for equality.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.