The soccer star exited the last professional game of her career early after suffering a leg injury on Saturday
Megan Rapinoe’s soccer career has come to a painful end.
Rapinoe, 38, bowed out early in the final game of her professional soccer career on Saturday due to injury during the National Women's Soccer League final between her team, OL Reign, and opponents Gotham FC.
The OL Reign winger suffered a non-contact calf injury in the third minute of the game, causing her to drop to the ground in pain before she was treated by medical staff and then accompanied, limping, off the pitch — leaving her visibly emotional.
Rapinoe — who announced her retirement from soccer in July — shared after the match in a press conference that she believed that she tore her Achilles tendon on the pitch, saying she felt “a huge pop” in her leg.
The two-time World Cup winner said it was “the worst possible outcome” to have in her last professional game. “I just thank god I have like a f---ing deep well of sense of humor,” reflected Rapinoe. “But yeah, I mean, just obviously devastating to go out in the final so early."
Rapinoe added that she would most likely need surgery and physical rehab following her injury.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird share an emotional moment on the field pic.twitter.com/gZEP2T4iqg
— Natasha Dye (@natashadye) November 12, 2023
After the match, she was seen sporting a leg brace as she emotionally greeted and hugged her wife Sue Bird, who was waiting for her on the pitch.
Gotham FC's Ali Krieger was also playing the final game of her professional soccer career on Saturday as as she and Rapinoe faced off in their opposing teams at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.
Kreiger, 39, ran over to her friend Rapinoe and embraced her as she exited the pitch following her injury.
At the final whistle, Gotham FC ultimately came out on top, winning 2-1, meaning that Rapinoe has missed out on securing the NWSL Championship title before her retirement.
Kreiger, told PEOPLE ahead of the match that, if her team won the game, she “wouldn’t feel bad” for former national teammate Rapinoe, adding, “that’s how we respect each other.”
“Because we know how hard we worked and we know how much we want this, and we’re both winners and we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t,” Kreiger said.
“I’m just excited to share the field with her one last time,” Kreiger continued. “Not only as a former teammate on the national team but also just a friend. Because no matter what happens, I’m still very proud of her. And I’m proud of us, and what we’ve done and what we’ve given the game and what we’ve given each other."
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Speaking on where her career is headed next, Rapinoe said after the game that she “doesn’t want to coach or be locked down into one job.” She shared that she’ll be busy working on a range of projects, including a documentary and establishing her production company.
As for her former team Reign, Rapinoe added, “I would love to stay a part of this group in some kind of way. I feel like I have a lot to offer in terms of the vision and who we should be.”
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