FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year 2019: Here's how Twitter reacted to Megan Rapinoe winning the award
The 34-year-old lifted the award in recognition of her contribution to the United States' journey to the 2019 Women's World Cup title over the summer. She won the Golden Boot after netting six goals in the competition, which included the opener in the final.
The US co-captain is also a passionate activist for equality in the sport and has called for the United States women's team to be paid the same as the men's team.
Together with other members of the US women's football team, Rapinoe filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation back in March, accusing the organisation of paying the women's team less than the men's team despite the former being the more successful group of the two, having won four World Cups and four Olympic gold medals.
During her award speech, Rapinoe called out racism in football and urged the famed personalities in attendance to use their platform to make a difference.
"Some of the stories that have inspired me the most this year: Raheem Sterling and Koulibaly, their incredible performances on the field but the way that they have taken on the disgusting racism that they have had to face this year, but probably throughout their whole lives.
"The young Iranian woman who eventually set herself on fire because she was not able to go to the game, the one 'out' MLS player and the countless other 'out' LGBTQ female players who fight so hard not just to play the sport that they love but also to fight the rampant homophobia that we have.
"Those were all the stories that inspired me so much, but they also made me a little bit sad and a bit disappointed.
"I feel like that if we really want to have meaningful change, what I think is most inspiring is if everyone other than Raheem Sterling and Koulibaly if they were so outraged about racism as they were.
"If everybody else was that outraged as the LGBTQ players, if everybody was outraged by the equal pay, or lack thereof, or the lack of investment in the women's game, that would be the most inspiring thing to me."
She went on to add,
"We have such an incredible opportunity being professional football players, so much success – financial and otherwise – we have incredible platforms. I ask everyone here to lend your platform to other people, lift them up and share your success."
Here's how Twitter reacted to her winning the award: