“I think this is a really special moment for both of us to celebrate, and I know that if I win, she’ll be happy for me, and if she wins, I’ll be thrilled for her,” Rapinoe tells PEOPLE
Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger will face off in the final soccer games of their careers on Saturday, and the moment is understandably emotional for Rapinoe, she tells PEOPLE.
The 38-year-old OL Reign star says she and Gotham FC star Krieger, 39, “planned everything perfectly this way,” referring to the fact that their teams will face off in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship. .
“We’re the scriptwriters,” Rapinoe says with a laugh while speaking with PEOPLE in San Diego, where the final is being played at Snapdragon Stadium.
Rapinoe says she knows only one of their teams can win.
“I think this is a really special moment for both of us to be able to celebrate, and I know that if I win, she’ll be happy for me, and if she wins, I’ll be thrilled for her,” the stock player.
Gotham FC and OL Reign meeting in the championship game “isn’t unexpected,” says Rapinoe, “because that’s what we wanted and it was our goal for the season to get to the finals, but to actually be here and have it happen is a whole different thing.”
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Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Roy Rochlin/Getty
In a kismetic twist of events, Krieger and Rapinoe actually predicted that both would compete for the title during their final years in the league.
Last week, Krieger shared a screenshot from a September conversation between her and Rapinoe on her Instagram stories.
The conversation started when Rapinoe asked Krieger what the date of her last game with Gotham would be, and Krieger responded with the NWSL Championship date on November 11th. “Well, I guess that’s my last game,” Krieger replied.
Rapinoe told PEOPLE that Krieger is “the queen of the one-liner,” and she originally asked the Gotham FC star about her last game because she was interested in attending.
“I asked because I was going to try to make it work, but of course she hit back very quickly,” he recalls, adding, “That’s definitely our relationship in the screenshot.”
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Megan Rapinoe celebrates a goal for Team USA at Soldier Field in Chicago on September 24, 2023.
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty
There’s no doubt that talent and hard work are what got Rapinoe and Krieger’s teams to the championship game, but the Olympic gold medalist won’t deny that the friends may have made their meeting Saturday clear by texting.
“You have to believe if you want to have it,” Rapinoe says.
And when she takes the court for the last time on Saturday, Rapinoe says it’s “a very special feeling to be able to play in the most important game of the season and obviously get a championship. So I think I’m obviously aware this is my last game for anything.”
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Closing out her competitive career alongside Krieger will be bittersweet as both soccer stars move on to their next chapters. “It’s really special to share the length of a career,” Rapinoe says.
“You obviously play with a million people and I have a bunch of friends from all kinds of teams that I’ve been on, but she’s one of my best friends in life and always will be.”
Three-time finalist no. 4 OL Reign will play in their third championship game Saturday against rookie final no. 6 Gotham FC at 8:00 PM ET at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California. The game will air on CBS and Paramount+.
Links: Megan Rapinoe Reflects on 'Really Special' Final Game with Ali Krieger: 'We Planned It Perfectly' (Exclusive) – Tekmonk Bio, Megan Rapinoe Reflects on 'Really Special' Final Game with Ali Krieger: 'We Planned It Perfectly' (Exclusive) – Kungfutv, Megan Rapinoe Reflects on 'Really Special' Final Game with Ali Krieger: 'We Planned It Perfectly' (Exclusive) – Hot News