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Megan Rapinoe named one of TIME’s Women of the Year for 2023

Megan Rapinoe celebrates with teammates Alex Morgan and Samantha Mewis after scoring during the 2019 Women's World Cup final. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Megan Rapinoe was one of 12 women named to TIME’s Women of the Year list on Thursday, joined by boxer Ramla Ali.

Rapinoe was included on the list for her role as a trailblazer for the equal pay movement in the women’s soccer world. The fight culminated in the historic collective bargaining agreement signed by the U.S. women’s national team in September. 

The efforts of Rapinoe and her fellow USWNT players have inspired other national teams to demand equal pay. And in January the U.S. Congress passed the Equal Pay for Team USA Act, which ensures that all athletes who represent the U.S. on the global stage will receive equal pay. 

“It’s a huge step forward to continue to build the sport,” Rapinoe told TIME

This summer, Rapinoe said, will bring her final World Cup. Beyond that, she hasn’t revealed her future plans.

I’m all for longevity, but we don’t need to drag it,” she said.

And as for the notion that the USWNT could win its third straight World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand?

“I want our team to feel confident and swaggy and be exactly who we are,” Rapinoe said, noting that increased investment means increased competition. “But ultimately, I want to win. That sh-t’s fun.”