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Megan Rapinoe calls criticism of her missed World Cup penalty kick 'fake, disingenuous, absurd and outrageous' – and says Donald Trump and critics were 'just waiting for USWNT to fail'

Megan Rapinoe has fired back at her detractors after receiving criticism in the aftermath of her penalty miss which led to the United States crashing out of the World Cup. 

The 38-year-old, playing in her final game for the USWNT, was one of three stars who failed to score during the penalty shootout in their last-16 defeat to Sweden. 

Angry USA fans slammed Rapinoe after her miss, with the focus of their ire being down to the fact that she laughed immediately after blazing her spot-kick over the bar. 

Donald Trump then reignited his feud with outspoken Rapinoe after her miss, sarcastically remarking ‘nice shot Megan’ in a social media post criticizing the USWNT.  

Asked about the former president’s comments, Rapinoe told The Atlantic: ‘What he’s saying is fake. It’s a compilation of hit words and hot-button words that don’t actually make any sort of sense or square with reality at all. 

Megan Rapinoe was one of three USA players to miss during their penalty shootout defeat

Megan Rapinoe was one of three USA players to miss during their penalty shootout defeat

Angry USA fans criticized Rapinoe for laughing after she missed during the penalty shootout

Angry USA fans criticized Rapinoe for laughing after she missed during the penalty shootout

Donald Trump sarcastically remarked 'nice shot Megan' and that 'the USA is going to hell'

Donald Trump sarcastically remarked ‘nice shot Megan’ and that ‘the USA is going to hell’

‘I think, just in general, the way that our team was spoken about over the course of the tournament, it was fake. And it didn’t make sense to me: In 2019, we were ultra-confident, ultra-swaggy—and won everything. 

‘And even though we won, we did it in bad taste, according to our critics. This time, we weren’t confident enough, and we don’t have the right “mentality.” And so we lost. It’s just so disingenuous. There’s no way for us to win, and there’s no way for us to lose.’

Trump in his post on social media said that many USWNT players were ‘openly hostile to America’ – with the team sparking backlash as a number of their stars stayed silent during the national anthem throughout all four of their games during the tournament.

‘The ‘shocking and totally unexpected’ loss by the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to Sweden is fully emblematic of what is happening to the our once great Nation under Crooked Joe Biden,’ wrote Trump on social media.

‘Many of our players were openly hostile to America – No other country behaved in such a manner, or even close. WOKE EQUALS FAILURE.

‘Nice shot Megan, the USA is going to Hell!!! MAGA.’

Rapinoe later hit back at the comments, saying: ‘It’s a real sad dig into an old bag.

In her interview with the Atlantic, she went on to admit that she believed she would score her penalty during the shootout, and even though she missed, she would have still taken it looking back in reflection.  

Rapinoe was mocked across social media - including by former president Trump

Rapinoe was mocked across social media – including by former president Trump

The USWNT received backlash after a number of players refused to sing the national anthem

The USWNT received backlash after a number of players refused to sing the national anthem

She added: ‘For a long time, I have thought about missing one in a really big moment. What are you going to do? The only other thing you could do is to not take one. I’m not going to do that. 

‘I would rather step up and be in that moment. And I think that’s something that made the criticism after that loss particularly fake and disingenuous and absurd and outrageous to me. It’s like, you’re going to bash on me for getting out there and trying my best?’

Trump was not the only big-name to criticise the USWNT during the World Cup.

United States soccer legend Alexi Lalas called the team ‘unlikeable’ and former team-mate Carli Lloyd complained about the team celebrating after their group-stage draw with Portugal.  

Rapinoe said the comments were ‘disappointing’ and added: ‘Everybody on the right—and everybody who was using hateful language and these tropes—it’s like they have just been waiting since, I don’t know, 2016? 2019? They’ve been waiting for this team to stumble. But when we are perfect, then we are accused of thinking that we’re perfect.

Trump has had a long-standing feud with outspoken Rapinoe and singled her out after her miss

Trump has had a long-standing feud with outspoken Rapinoe and singled her out after her miss

‘Really, what’s happening is that the right wing wants this to be true: They want women to believe that you can’t fight for things and be excellent; you can’t ask for what you deserve and be successful. But the reality is, we’re doing that.’

Rapinoe was previously panned by fans for her immediate reaction to missing the spot-kick, after she was seen laughing and smiling after she blazed her kick over the crossbar. 

‘I don’t see what’s funny about this?’ one fan wrote on Twitter in response. ‘The laughing shows how much this team took this as a joke. So much for being a role model for the rest of the team.’

Another said: ‘I’m generally a Megan Rapinoe fan, but laughing after a missed penalty is not a good look.’

Rapinoe was later seen crying alongside her devastated team-mates as the US – the competition’s defending champions – crashed out at the last-16 stage in Melbourne.

Explaining her initial reaction afterwards, Rapinoe said: ‘That’s like a sick, sick joke. I’ve never hit it over, when I miss they are saved. That’s why I had that smile on my face. 

Rapinoe who won two World Cups playing for the USWNT, played her final game for them in the last-16 loss to Sweden

Rapinoe who won two World Cups playing for the USWNT, played her final game for them in the last-16 loss to Sweden

‘I’m like, ‘You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me.’ I’m going to miss a penalty? I mean, honestly, I can’t remember the last time I missed.’

Rapinoe though did receive praise when DailyMail.com spoke to supporters in New York city about what they really think about Rapinoe.

‘I think she’s a great athlete,’ one supporter said. I think what she stands for and what she represents means a lot to the soccer community. 

‘I think what she’s had to face, especially after the events of the last game, definitely seeing the criticism online, must hurt, I can’t imagine being in her position. Especially with her she’s the face of an equal pay movement. To spearhead something like that it’s super impactful. I really empathize with her.’

Rapinoe won the World Cup on two occasions with the United States, scoring 63 goals in 202 games. 

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