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US football captain Megan Rapinoe is hot news right now, with images of the sports star going viral following her World Cup win.
Rapinoe stars on the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated together with her fellow player Alex Morgan.
The American team captains are pictured together following their Women’s World Cup victory on 7 July, winning 2-0 against Netherlands.
As Rapinoe’s profile surges, people are sharing throwback pictures of her shoot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit summer edition, which was published back in May.
The photographs were shared on Instagram by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day earlier this week.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 8, 2019
READ MORE: Megan Rapinoe is a 'walking protest'
Cue people commenting on the footballer’s “insane” body, and the “iconic” nature of the pictures.
her body is insane. a whole ass weapon. sheesh https://t.co/SzLvA7y4Kp
— megan rapinoe stan account (@mayham_angle) July 10, 2019
hello, i have actually died pic.twitter.com/bHZh9kpyiZ
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) July 11, 2019
megan rapinoe's swimsuit issue photos have literally, completely, undone me
— corné (@citrusade) July 11, 2019
And my mum told me not to play football because I’d get footballers thighs. Goddammit.
— Hana Sutch (@SutchFun) July 11, 2019
Graceful, poetry in motion and iconic pic.twitter.com/XbgGFWKU9l
— Barry P. M. (@Ltm67) July 11, 2019
Together with the bikini pictures, a video of Rapinoe spraying champagne while yelling, “I deserve this”, has received over 100,000 likes on Twitter – with the original poster, communications director Emmy Bengston, calling it “a mood”.
— Emmy Bengtson (@EmmyA2) July 10, 2019
Dubbed the “most interesting player at this Women’s World Cup” by football journalist Caitlin Murray writing for The Guardian, Rapinoe is known as much for her outspoken views off-pitch as her fierce performance on it.
In March this year, along with her team Rapinoe was one of 28 USWNT players to file a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer.
In a powerful speech at the City Hall rally for the United States women’s soccer team yesterday, she told the crowd: “This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place.”
READ MORE: Megan Rapinoe: "We don't know how to quit"
Rapinoe, who openly identifies as gay, also made a statement about her team’s diversity, adding: “We got pink hair and purple hair. We got tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. We got straight girls and gay girls.”
Sadly, she has also faced her fair share of backlash. Just yesterday it was reported by CNN that eight posters of Rapinoe were vandalised at a New York underground station, according to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force.