Carli Lloyd talks ‘proving people wrong’ until very end of soccer career

(Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd is enjoying retirement.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lloyd opened up about what it’s been like in the days following the final games of her professional soccer career.

“I haven’t had a huge amount of time to reflect. But the reflection that I’m having is, I had a good run, you know?” Lloyd said. “I had 17 years. I did all that I wanted to do. I accomplished all that I wanted.”

Lloyd added that she “did it my way” and that she has no regrets from her playing days, which included two FIFA Player of the Year awards, two World Cup titles and two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women’s national team.

“I wanted people to respect me for my play on the field, not what I did off the field. Not if I looked pretty or not,” she said. “It was just simply respect me for what I’ve done. That’s it.”

Lloyd said that, for most of her career, she carried a chip on her shoulder that helped her succeed through adversity.

“Go back to the [Michael] Jordan days. He always had the chip,” she said. “Kobe Bryant as well. I put more pressure on myself than anybody did. I was very rarely satisfied after a game.”

Even in Lloyd’s last major tournament with the USWNT, the forward stayed on the field after the team’s semifinal loss to Canada to run sprints in preparation for the next matchup.

“Having that attitude, that mentality and then the chip, people always doubting me and whatnot, it drove me to greater and greater heights,” Lloyd said.

“It was like proving people wrong until the day that I announced my retirement. And then it was like, ‘Oh, we don’t want her to go.’ I’m like, wait a minute, I thought people hated me. So it’s been pretty cool knowing that the end just rewarded me for staying true to who I am.”

Lloyd played her last game with the USWNT in late October during a send-off game in Minnesota, ending her career with the second-most international appearances and fourth-most goals in program history. She officially entered retirement on Nov. 7 after Gotham FC lost 1-0 in the NWSL quarterfinals.