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Megan Rapinoe Cliched Women’s Player Of The Year Awards At Best FIFA Football Awards Held In Milan

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Megan Rapinoe has won the women’s player award – ahead of fellow American Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze – at the Best Fifa Football Awards in Milan.

Rapinoe, 34, claimed the Golden Ball for being the best player at the 2019 Women’s World Cup as she helped the United States win the competition.

Lyon right-back Bronze, 27, was named in the women’s team of the year – the only English player to feature.

Rapinoe’s international boss, Jill Ellis, took the women’s coach award.

The 53-year-old, who also guided the United States to the World Cup trophy in 2015, announced in July that she will be stepping down as the national coach in October.

The other managers to be nominated were the Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman, whose side lost 2-0 in the final to the United States, and England’s Phil Neville, who guided the Lionesses to fourth place.

Rapinoe scored six times during the Women’s World Cup, including the opener in the final, and has also been a leading personality in the fight for equality in sport.

Before the final, she accused Fifa, football’s governing body, of not showing women’s football enough respect as the game was played on the same date as the men’s Copa America and Gold Cup finals.

Rapinoe has also called for the United States women’s team to be paid the same as their male counterparts.

“We have such an incredible opportunity being professional footballers, so much success, an incredible platform.

“I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this game to actually change the world for better. I hope you take that to heart, do something, we have incredible power in this room.”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino with the event’s hosts Ilaria D’Amico and former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit

Before handing the award to Rapinoe, Infantino himself said more would be done to stop racism in football. He said: “This is not acceptable. We have to say this. We have to say no to racism.

“In whatever form, no to racism in football, no to racism in society. But we can’t just say it, we must fight it, kick it out of football and society once and for all.”

Rapinoe, who plays for Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League, added: “Jill Ellis and the rest have put us in a great position. This was an incredible year for women’s football. For those who just noticed you are a bit late to the party. It truly was incredible to be part of the World Cup – the enthusiasm we had was amazing.”

 

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