Megan Rapinoe blasts Messi, Ronaldo for failing to support equal rights

Megan Rapinoe blasts Messi, Ronaldo for failing to support equal rights

Megan Rapinoe, the United States women's national soccer team star has called out Barcelona captain Lionel Messi after refusing to speak for equal right for women in football.

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The 34-year-old won her second FIFA women's World Cup in France this summer - winning the golden boot and ball for exceptional performances at the tournament.

Her brilliance was honoured on Monday night in France when she won the second edition of the women's Ballon d'Or award.

The Reign FC attacker beat Lucy Bronze and international teammate Alex Morgan to win the award and succeed Ada Hegerberg of Norway, who clinched the maiden edition last December.

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And the USA international told France Football per Indy100: "I want to shout: 'Cristiano (Ronaldo), Leo (Messi), Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) - help me!"

Rapinoe insisted that Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have an influence on the global stage but aren't vocal about the issues in women's professional football.

"These big stars don't engage in anything when there are so many problems in football!

"Are they afraid of losing everything? They might believe that but it's not true... Who would banish Messi or Ronaldo from the football world for speaking out against racism or sexism?"

The duo of Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have lent their voices against issues around racial abuse in the past, but the same can not be said about Messi.

But the latter did land himself in hot water back in 2013 after saying women's football cannot be compared to the men's game.

Zlatan told Expressen newspaper per ESPN: "With all respect for what the ladies have done, and they've done it fantastically well, you can't compare men's and women's football. Give it up, it's not even funny,"

Meanwhile, the two-time World Cup winner also discussed if her award was given for her on-pitch performance or for her passionate stance on politics off the pitch.

"This Ballon d'Or rewards both. On the one hand, I am a very good footballer.

"On the other hand, my action off the field attracts support because people understand that I'm trying to find solutions to the problems of society."

"I'm lucky to have some talent to lead. I don't fear the consequences, so I say what to say. I'm exhausted from travelling for conferences and meetings but, if things need to improve in our world, so be it on the front line."

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She won the golden boot at this year's Women World Cup as the USA clinched their fourth Women's World Cup. earlier reported that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has jumped into the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portuguese's decision to give the 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony a wide berth.

The two football greats were gunning for the prestigious individual prize, leading a 30-man shortlist that included Virgil van Dijk.

But it was Messi who emerged victor, clinching the gong for a record sixth time -one ahead of Ronaldo who finished third.

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