Allie Long sang Megan Rapinoe’s praises after the United States won the Women’s World Cup, beating the Netherlands 2-0.
Rapinoe broke the deadlock with a penalty just past the hour, the longest it has taken the USA to score their first goal in a game this summer.
The winger then picked up both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball after the game, and Long, who also plays with the 34-year-old at club level for Seattle Reign, was delighted for her.
“She deserves every ounce of this stardom that she is getting,” the midfielder said. “She is special. She is an amazing team-mate, an amazing person, and I’m truly honored to share the field with her.
“I just love her so much. She’s one of the bravest people that I know and someone that stands up for people that don’t have a voice. That’s so much harder than people realize to do. I just love her.”
Trump had told her to win before talking about declining a visit to the President, and she duly obliged, collecting her second World Cup winners’ medal and becoming the first player to start three of the competition’s finals in the process.
For Long, however, this was her first success on the big stage – and her first major trophy with her country.
Despite making her senior international debut in 2014, the 31-year-old wasn’t on the World Cup roster the following year, with her only accolades with the US being the SheBelieves Cup and Tournament of Nations wins in 2018.
Describing the feeling of being a world champion for the first time, she was ecstatic.
“I feel absolute gratitude,” she said. “There’s so many close relationships on this team and I’ve never felt more unified and just grateful to be a part of such a special team.
“It’s my ultimate dream to win the World Cup. I’ve dreamt of this day since [the USA won it in] 1999 and so for it to be my dream as a reality, it’s just remarkable.”