United States veteran Megan Rapinoe admitted Wednesday she was feeling nervous but is determined to enjoy her last World Cup and sign out with a third title.
Rapinoe announced at the weekend that she will retire at the end of this season, completing a career that has already brought two World Cup crowns.
She can make it a third when the tournament kicks off next week in Australia and New Zealand.
“The nerves are still kind of there, and the excitement,” the forward, who is also well-known for her activism, said.
“I am 38 years old, it is pretty obvious I am not going to be playing forever,” added Rapinoe, who has 199 caps and has also won Olympic gold.
“I’m feeling all the feels and knowing this will be my last World Cup,” Rapinoe said in Auckland, where the Americans will be based.
Her forthcoming retirement means “I can just really enjoy it and focus on trying to win the tournament”, she added.
The United States would be the first team to win the Women’s World Cup three times in a row, but fellow veteran Alex Morgan says they must not get ahead of themselves.
“We are obviously looking to make history, that would be great,” the 34-year-old told reporters when asked if the holders were already talking about three in a row.
“That’s in the back of our minds,” she added. “(But) it is really just wanting each game as it comes.”
The United States will meet the Netherlands, the team they beat in the final four years ago, in the group stage.
Also in Group E are Portugal and Vietnam.
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