FOOTBALL

'Cristiano, Lionel, Zlatan, help me!' - Rapinoe calls out male football stars

The USWNT star has urged her fellow football stars to join her in using their position as a platform to speak up about political and social issues.

'Cristiano, Lionel, Zlatan, help me!' - Rapinoe calls out male football stars

Megan Rapinoe has called on Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to help her in the fight against racism, sexism and discrimination in football.

The USWNT was speaking to French outlet France Football, organizers of the Ballon d’Or awards, after she was named the 2019 Women’s Ballon d’Or winner in Paris on Monday.

The three-time World Cup winner has been outspoken on matters of social and political matters over her career and has urged her fellow football stars to use their position as a platform to speak up about issues in the game.

"I want to shout: 'Cristiano, Lionel, Zlatan, help me!'" she told France Football. "These big stars do not engage in anything when there are so many problems in men's football.

"Do they fear losing everything? They believe that, but it is not true. Who will erase Messi or Ronaldo from world football history for a statement against racism or sexism?"

Rapinoe: Ballon d’Or rewards football and my acitivism

The Ballon d’Or completes a treble of personal accolades for Rapinoe after she was nominated for the FIFPro World XI and collected FIFA's The Best women's player award in September.

And the 34-year-old winger believes the Ballon d’Or nomination is recognition for her work both on the pitch and as an activist.

"This Ballon d'Or rewards both,” she stated.

“On the one hand, I am a good player. On the other, my activity away from the pitch brings me support as people understand I am acting to find solutions to our society's problems. The idea is to empower others to speak louder."

"I am lucky to have a bit of talent to lead these fights. I have no fear, so I say what I say. Travelling all over for conferences and meetings exhausts me, but you have to be on the front line to improve things in our world."