Megan Rapinoe Reflects on ‘Really Special’ Final Game with Ali Krieger: ‘We Planned It Perfectly’

Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger will face off in the final soccer games of their careers on Saturday, and the moment is understandably emotional for Rapinoe, she tells PEOPLE.

The 38-year-old OL Reign star says she and Gotham FC star Krieger, 39, “planned it all perfectly this way,” referring to the fact that their teams are set to face off in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championships.

“We’re the script writers,” Rapinoe says with a laugh while speaking to PEOPLE in San Diego, where the final will play out at Snapdragon Stadium.

Rapinoe says she knows that only one of their teams can win, however.

“I think it’s just a really special moment for both of us to be able to celebrate, and I know if I win, she’d be happy for me, and if she wins, I’ll be thrilled for her,” the player shares.

Gotham FC and OL Reign meeting in the championship game “is not unexpected,” says Rapinoe, “because this is what we wanted and it was our goal for the season to make it to the final, but to actually be here and have it happen is a whole other thing.”In a kismet turn of events, Krieger and Rapinoe actually predicted they’d both be competing for a title during their final years in the league.

Last week, Krieger shared a screenshot from a September text message conversation between her and Rapinoe on her Instagram Stories.

The conversation started when Rapinoe asked Krieger what the date of her final game with Gotham would be, and Krieger answered with the NWSL’s Nov. 11 championship date. “Well I guess that’s my last game too,” Rapinoe wrote back.

Rapinoe tells PEOPLE that Krieger is “the queen of one-liners,” and she had originally asked the Gotham FC star about her final game because she was interested in attending.

“I was asking because I was going to try to make it, but of course, she quipped back very quickly,” she recalls, adding: “That’s definitely our relationship in a screenshot.”There’s no doubt that talent and hard work is what led Rapinoe and Krieger’s teams to the championship game, but the Olympic gold medalist won’t deny that the friends may have manifested their meeting on Saturday in their text exchange.

“You’ve got to believe it if you want to have it,” Rapinoe says.

And when she takes the field for a final time on Saturday, Rapinoe says it feels “very special to be able to play in the most meaningful game of the season, and obviously make it to the championship. So I think I’m obviously cognizant it’s my last game ever for anything.”Closing her competitive career alongside Krieger will be bittersweet as both soccer stars move on to their next chapters. “It’s really special to share the length of careers,” says Rapinoe.

“You obviously play with a million people and I have tons of friends from every different sort of variation of team that I’ve been on, but she’s one of my best friends in life and will continue to be.”

Three-time finalists No. 4 OL Reign will play in their third championship game on Saturday against Finals newcomers No. 6 Gotham FC at 8 p.m. ET at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California. The game will air on CBS and Paramount+.



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