U.S. soccer standout Megan Rapinoe received the 2019 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award Monday in Milan, becoming the fourth American to win the honor.
The other finalists this year were American forward Alex Morgan and English defender Lucy Bronze. This summer, co-captain Rapinoe led the U.S. women's team to its second consecutive World Cup title. The team's coach, Jill Ellis, was named the top women's coach, an award she also won in 2015.
"This World Cup, perhaps more than any other, was such an incredible team effort on so many fronts that I feel like I'm accepting this award on behalf of the team," Rapinoe, a forward, said during the ceremony. "I feel like I'm still a kid from a small town in Northern California who always just loved playing the game, so this is very surreal — but also just as I have dreamt for all these years."
Rapinoe, Morgan, defender Kelley O'Hara, and midfielders Julie Ertz and Rose Lavelle were also voted by their peers to the FIFA FIFPro Women's World 11 all-star team. For a record sixth time, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi of Argentina was named the world's best men's player.