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It’s Megan Rapinoe’s world - we’re all just living in it

But the footballing gods have been cruel to Ellen White

An image of Kevin Beirne
Kevin Beirne
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The World Cup is over and, once again, the USA are champions of the world after beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final.

It brings an end to a thrilling season of football in both the women’s and the men’s games.

For the second year in a row, England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, but this summer will ultimately belong to the all-conquering Americans.

1) Rapinoe the GOAT

It seems fair to say that the 2019 World Cup will go down as Megan Rapinoe’s tournament. The American forward picked up the Golden Boot after guiding the US to their second straight title.

The 34-year-old is officially sporting royalty in the States, much like her partner, four-time Olympic basketball gold medallist Sue Bird.

2) The alternative Golden Boot

While it was Rapinoe who took home the golden boot, her six goals were actually equalled by her co-captain Alex Morgan and England’s Ellen White.

Rapinoe topped the charts on the tiebreakers but it could have been White’s name etched into the history books if not for a pair of cruel denials courtesy of VAR.

At least she appears to have taken it all in her stride.

3) Who’s on first?

Rapinoe was presented with her Golden Ball award after the final whistle while team-mate and fellow goalscorer Rose Lavelle picked up the Bronze Ball award for the third best player at the tournament.

England defender Lucy Bronze was not on hand to pick up the award for the World Cup’s second best player, which inevitably led to some confusion over who took the silver prize.

4) Help wanted

The Netherlands fought bravely and managed to keep the US goalless for an hour of play - nearly 50 minutes more than anyone else at the tournament.

That was largely down to the terrific play of Sari van Veenendaal, who picked up the Golden Glove, the prize for the World Cup’s best goalkeeper.

Amazingly, she is still without a club after leaving Arsenal at the end of last season.

5) The American Empire

It’s hard to overstate just how dominant the US have been en route to their second World Cup in a row - and their fourth overall.

This summer saw them rewrite the history books over and over.

But still, they struggle to earn equal pay with their male counterparts despite the fact the men’s team are nowhere near as successful.

6) Just one more game...

As the World Cup has come to a close, it’s a shame we have to wait until 2022 for the next senior edition of the tournament in either women’s or men’s football.

Still, next summer will bring the men’s European Championship, but Uefa’s continent-spanning tournament may feel a little disjointed with so many countries splitting hosting duties.

7) Out with the old, in with the new

One of the big talking points of this summer’s World Cup has unfortunately been the use of VAR, which - for better or for worse - will continue its expanse into the wider game in the upcoming season with the English Premier League set to adopt it and the Scottish Premiership planning to follow suit.

It’s just another part of the inevitable march forward in the game, with certain traditions unfortunately getting left by the wayside.

8) Desperate times

Meanwhile, Arsenal fans are going to new lengths to make sure that Unai Emery has all the resources he needs to strengthen his squad this summer.

9) What a load of shirt

It feels like sooner or later, teams will just let you 3D print your own kit at home. Until then, we have jersey vending machines.

10) But wait, there’s more

Enjoyed the World Cup this summer? Why not check it out live for yourself.