I’ve got one final question to see us through the international break.
Ramble of the Day
This might be the most open-ended football question I’ve asked: Who do you think is the world’s most interesting active footballer?
As always, interesting can mean whatever you want it to mean. There’s probably no wrong answer here, honestly. I’m thinking along the lines of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World — a player who used the simple platform of being a footballer to do and say fascinating things. There are not a lot of people that spring to mind, and that’s partly why I ask a group as big as this one — a decent answer is probably somewhere, even if I don’t have it. (I also feel like it’s certain I will forget someone obvious.)
The one person that does come to mind, though, is Megan Rapinoe. She seems to be living a pretty unique life, not just as a female footballer but as a footballer in general. In addition to winning just about all of the major accolades she’s eligible for at one point, she ended up becoming the type of celebrity in the US that gets invited to a lot of things. (I think being a celebrity on some level is probably the main entry point to match my definition of interesting.) She’s been to the Met Gala, has been profiled by magazines outside of sport, and has featured in ad campaigns with high-end fashion companies. Very few footballers are doing that combination of things!
She has also used her platform to say very impactful things, which ties into the fact that non-sports publications cover her. Her play landed her in the spotlight, but being an insightful person to talk to has kept her there. She will probably go down as one of the more impactful athletes of her era, and being memorable on that scale for more reasons than one is pretty interesting to me.
tl;dr: Who do you think is the most interesting active footballer in the world? I think it’s Megan Rapinoe.
Stay informed, read this: Huizhong Wu on Kamaltürk Yalqun, a Uyghur torchbearer at the 2008 Summer Olympics who is boycotting this month’s Winter Olympics upon the Games’ return to Beijing for the Associated Press
Links of the Day
content warning: sexual misconduct
Raith Rovers said David Goodwillie will not play for the club following criticism of the club’s decision to sign the player, who was found guilty of rape in 2017.
FIFA is investigating the St. Kitts and Nevis FA for hiring Ahmed Mohamed as its director of football after he was accused of sexually abusing and harassing female players in Barbados.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asked to participate in the USWNT’s appeal against US Soccer in the players’ lawsuit seeking equal pay.
A longer read: Caitlin Murray on the latest as the USMNT and USWNT continue to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with US Soccer for ESPN
Thanks again for reading and engaging over the last four years, everyone! It has been a genuine pleasure. I’ll see you in the comments soon.