Abby Wamback, the most prolific goalscorer of all time in international football, has retired from the game after ending an unbeaten run of 104 matches on home soil.
- Scored 184 international goals – the most by either man or woman
- Won two Olympic gold medals and 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year title
- Sued FIFA for playing Women’s World Cup on artificial pitches
- Refused to play on what her team said was “substandard turf” in Hawaii
- Determined to advance American and women’s football on and off the pitch
Wamback scored more goals than fellow football legends such as Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Ali Daei holds the men’s record with 109 goals scored in 149 games.
Wambach retires just months after finally adding a World Cup winner’s medal to her collection, even if she only came on as a substitute late in the final against Japan.
‘Outspoken to the last’
Outspoken to the last, she made her swansong on artificial turf at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the US state of New Orleans just hours after saying US men’s coach Juergen Klinsmann should be fired for playing too many overseas-born players.
“She’s been vocal about everything, whether it’s turf-related issues, whether it’s just making this team atmosphere better, whether it’s fighting for women’s rights, equal pay, she’s done it all,” team mate Carli Lloyd said.
“I don’t think anyone will ever bring what she brings, her leadership on and off the field … She’s basically carried the team on her shoulders over the years.”
Coach Jill Ellis summed up the feelings of many in U.S women’s soccer.
“She will be irreplaceable.”
Congrats on a great career, Abby Wambach. For the goals you’ve scored & the kids you’ve inspired, you’re the GOAT! pic.twitter.com/Kud56ChsBO— President Obama (@POTUS) December 16, 2015