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US World Cup Superstar Megan Rapinoe Wins Women's Ballon D'Or

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Megan Rapinoe, the super star and captain of the world cup winning American women's football team, won the Ballon d'Or for the best female player of the year.

Rapinoe did not turn up to receive the prestigious trophy at the Chatelet Theatre in the French capital Monday, but sent in a recorded video message.

"I want to say a huge thank you to my team-mates, the coaches, the US Soccer Federation, for all of the support to allow me to be who I am and do what I do on the field but also be the person who I am off the field."

Lionel Messi won men's Ballon d'Or award for a record sixth time at the age of 32. "Ballon d'Or", or the "Golden Ball" is awarded by France Football magazine and voted for by a panel of journalists from around the world.

Rapinoe was the star of the Women's World Cup held in France in June with her sterling performance on the ground, and her bold statements targeting President Donald Trump off the field.

In the final held in Lyon, Rapinoe sharply placed a penalty shot on target in the 61st minute to help the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 and lift the world cup trophy for the second consecutive time.

She won the golden boot for scoring most goals - 6 - in the 2019 World Cup, and won the Golden Ball for best player. It was a record fourth U.S. victory in the women's World Cup.

Rapinoe is only the second winner of women's Ballon d'Or after Norway's Ada Hegerberg won it in the inaugural year in 2018.

Rapinoe turned down Trump's invitation to her and her world cup winning team mates for a White House reception in honor of the champions. Rapinoe reignited the controversy a few days later in her remarks in an interview with CNN.

When asked what message she would like to give Trump, Rapinoe replied, "Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me, you're excluding people that look like me", in apparent reference to Trump's inconsistent stand towards LGBT rights.

The 34-year-old feminist icon took dig at Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

"You're harking back to an era that was not great for everyone -it might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it's not great for enough Americans in this world."

She also made headlines by leading calls for her team to be paid the same remuneration as their male counterparts.

Penguin Press will publish Rapinoe's book on social justice in Fall 2020.

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