Katie Wyatt: 'No opponent is too powerful for America's far from silent assassin Rapinoe'
It is difficult to find further superlatives to heap on to United States co-captain Megan Rapinoe, given the relentlessness with which she keeps us talking. Over the course of the past 31 days she has taken on US Soccer, Fifa president Gianni Infantino, homophobes, the US criminal justice system and President Donald Trump, picking each one off one by one, an assassin who leaves fingerprints all over the place but still skips 10 steps ahead of the authorities.
Some viewers of the Megan Rapinoe Show await each episode solely to see who will be the forward's next target.
Here Rapinoe collected not just the World Cup but the Golden Boot. Then she was Player of the Match. Earlier she had collected the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament.
She deserved the latter for, if nothing else, managing to retain the world's undivided attention at a tournament where VAR has been a source of perpetual unwelcome interruption, screeching for the spotlight with all the urgency of a new divorcee at an office Christmas party.
Yesterday was akin to witnessing Adele collect five Grammys in one night, as Rapinoe headed up to the stage again and again.
Rapinoe's name is writ large in the history books. She took the first penalty in a Women's World Cup final and, at 34 years and two days old, was the oldest scorer in this match.
The way she gleefully bounded along the stage to collect the Golden Boot you certainly would not have known it.
The player is at the peak of her powers and shows no signs of letting up. If sports parlance allows for a water carrier, then Rapinoe is the water itself.
The penalty that swung the game so decisively in America's favour and gave Rapinoe her sixth goal in five was hardly the best spot-kick of the tournament.
If anything it owed much to the uncharacteristic paralysis on the part of Sari van Veenendaal, the Holland goalkeeper, who was left squatting like a bird warming its eggs as Rapinoe's finish arrowed in her direction.
The former Arsenal keeper should have kept it out, but this has been Rapinoe's tournament from day one and there shall be no blots on her copybook.
By several measures this was not Rapinoe's best performance, but her quality on the ball, incisive delivery and leadership qualities were still evident in spades.
After that penalty thundered home she plunged into the celebration that has become the defining image of this tournament: arms up and aloft, smiling contentedly, all eyes on her.
In Lyon, a city that in 43BC was a stronghold of the Roman Empire, perhaps you could have likened her to a gladiator.
There are enough people, after all, who detest what she stands for and would gladly show her the thumb down. Maybe it is more apt to describe her as a ringmaster, a master entertainer. But ultimately comparisons are pointless. She is Megan Rapinoe. The first - but surely not last - of her kind.
The US team possess a certain degree of privilege to speak as they do - unlike most they are invariably heard. But injustices persist and they know that a rising tide lifts all boats.
The only time Rapinoe, a self-described walking picket line, falls silent is during her country's national anthem, and Trump apologists will know how damaging it is when the icon of this tournament, and American sport, refuses to see Trump's nation as her own.
He may be president, but in Rapinoe's world she is queen, and one of the US players who did not wear the Stars and Stripes in the post-match celebrations.
She ended this tournament as she has lived it: both arms up - applause. At this point an actor or a singer would bow and leave. Tellingly, she never does. Even in the tournament's curtain call she resisted the temptation to bow. She is not done by any means. The show must go on. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)