US fearless Rapinoe takes on France, and her own president - GulfToday

US fearless Rapinoe takes on France, and her own president

Corinne-Diacre

France coach Corinne Diacre speaks during a press conference ahead of their quarter-finals against US. Reuters

Megan Rapinoe, the US co-captain at the women’s World Cup, has incurred the wrath of President Donald Trump who warned her not to “disrespect” her country after a video emerged of her vowing she would never go to the White House.

Fearless and ferocious, Rapinoe finds herself facing battles on and off the field as her side prepare to face host nation France in the quarter-finals on Friday.

The pink-haired attacking midfielder showed she is the USA’s go-to-woman as she scored the two penalty kicks to put her side into the last eight with a 2-1 victory over Spain.

But as she prepared on Wednesday for the biggest match of the tournament -- one of the biggest ever in women’s football -- Rapinoe found herself facing unfriendly fire from her own president.

In a series of tweets, Trump accused Rapinoe, one of the most recognisable faces of the US team, of “disrespect” after the broadcast of a video clip in which Rapinoe dismissed the idea of visiting the White House if the US team win the World Cup.

“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe said in the clip on Eight by Eight, a football magazine, repeating a point she had made before.

A furious Trump wasted no time in wading into the latest of his public feuds with high-profile athletes and celebrities.

He first pointed out that until the US team won the World Cup they would not be invited to the White House. Then he picked up on video that showed Rapinoe not singing the national anthem before games.

“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear,” the president tweeted.

Rapinoe, who has 156 caps and 47 international goals, is one of the four co-captains alongside Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn and Alex Morgan.

Lloyd has largely been used as a replacement for Morgan, who was not at her best against Spain and may still be carrying a knock, while Sauerbrunn’s basic error led to Spain’s equaliser, two minutes after Rapinoe gave the USA an early lead.

“She’ll never have to buy another drink in her life because she bailed me out and she bailed the team out,” said Sauerbrunn after Monday’s win.

Agencies