Golden Boot & Golden Ball winner Rapinoe praises USWNT after 'surreal and ridiculous' World Cup win

The tournament’s top scorer and best player was full of praise for her team-mates after retaining their world title, singling out Rose Lavelle

Megan Rapinoe dubbed her United States teammates “crazy” and “special” after she scored the opening goal in their 2-0 Women’s World Cup final victory over Netherlands. 

The 34-year-old Reign FC forward scored a 61st-minute penalty to put Jill Ellis’ side ahead against a resilient Netherlands team before Rose Lavelle lit up the game with a virtuoso goal eight minutes later. 

The result helped the USWNT triumph for the fourth time on the biggest stage of the women’s game, while Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Boot, given to the top scorer, and Golden Ball for being the best player. 

But the attacker was quick to heap praise on her teammates after their victory, saying there is a “special” bond in the squad. 

“I don’t think I can [describe it],” the forward told BBC Sport. “It’s unbelievable. Just to know all the people in our group who put in so much work, obviously the players, we have all our friends and family here. 

“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous. We’re crazy, that’s what makes us special. We’ve got no quit in us, we’re so tight and we’ll do anything to win.” 

Lavelle’s goal was her third of the tournament and Rapinoe praised the 24-year-old midfielder’s creativity as being pivotal to USA’s success, while highlighting her performance in the final as her best. 

“That was what she’s been missing, just that little bit, all tournament,” said Rapinoe. “She’s been on the dribble, opening up everything for us. For her to get that reward on the biggest stage you possibly can, I’m so proud of her. 

“She’s a superstar, not even in the making – she’s a straight-up superstar.” 

USA coach Jill Ellis pointed to her players’ “fantastic resilience and chemistry” in her summing up of a moment she admitted left her lost for words. 

Ellis previously led the USA to glory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and the 2015 World Cup, and she said of her current squad: “They put their hearts and souls into this journey and I can’t thank them enough. It has been fantastic. 

“I could barely speak but I just said to them they were unbelievable, congratulations, they made history, enjoy it. This is unbelievable, I’ve got no words.” 

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