United States forward Megan Rapinoe has echoed Serena Williams' comments on equal pay amid the Women's World Cup winners' ongoing fight for parity with the men's team.

Rapinoe scored the opening goal as USA beat Netherlands 2-0 in the World Cup final to retain their title during a tournament where the 34-year-old became a global icon.

The attacker also had a war of words with US president Donald Trump during the tournament in France after saying she was "not going to the f****** White House".

American players have been embroiled in an argument over equal pay with governing body U.S. Soccer for many years.

After losing the Wimbledon final to Simona Halep on Saturday, tennis great Williams bristled at a suggestion she should scale back her efforts to fight equal pay in order to concentrate on matching Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

And Rapinoe, speaking in an interview on NBC on Sunday, backed her fellow American and insisted she will also not be changing her outspoken approach.

"You know what? I'm gonna fight for equal pay every day, for myself, for my team, and for every single person out there," said Rapinoe.

"Man, woman, immigrant, US citizen, person of colour, whatever it may be. 'Equal pay,' as the great Serena Williams said, 'til I'm in my grave'."

Rapinoe, whose partner is basketball player Sue Bird, also defended her previous comments on Trump when asked what she would say to her fans who support the president and believe she should go to the White House.

She added: "I would try to share our message. Do you believe that all people are created equal? Do you believe that equal pay should be mandated?

"Do you believe that everyone should have health care? Do you believe that we should treat everyone with respect? Those are the basics of what we're talking about.

"I understand people feel upset or uncomfortable. There's feelings of disrespect about the anthem protest or things that I've said in the past. Ultimately, I am here, open and honest.

"I've admitted mistakes. I will continue to do that. I'll continue to be vulnerable and be honest and open and have that conversation."

Megan Rapinoe hailed her United States team-mates as an example for the country to follow but told a huge crowd celebrating their Women's World Cup triumph that she will not be running for president, saying: "I'm busy."

During the victory parade through New York, the 34-year-old forward stoked the fire of her spat with president Donald Trump, which began during the tournament when she said that she and her colleagues would not be going to the White House if they lifted the trophy.

Having helped defend the title on French soil, Rapinoe reiterated her stance when it comes to visiting the president - a job she cheekily rejected was in her future plans.

"I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain of this team with Carli [Lloyd] and Alex [Morgan]," she said. "It's an absolute honour to lead this team out on the field.

"There's no other place I would rather be. Even in a presidential race. I'm busy, I'm sorry."

Trump had previously addressed Rapinoe's comments on Twitter, calling on the player to "WIN first before she TALKS!" in a post.

Having risen to the challenge, Rapinoe resisted the temptation to fire back at Trump but offered no apology. She did, however, call for everyone to come together and make the world a "better place".

"There has been so much contention in these last years. I've been a victim of that, I've been a perpetrator of that," she said.

"We had a fight with the federation – I'm sorry for some of the things I said. Not all of the things.

"We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We have to listen more, talk less. We have to know that it is everyone's responsibility. It's our responsibility to make this world a better place.

"I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position we have and the platform we have in this world. It's time to come together. We have to collaborate. My charge to everybody - do what you can.

"If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example. This group is incredible. Yes we play sports, yes we play soccer, yes we're female athletes, but we're so much more than that."

The United States have been told they risk losing their status as the best team in women's football if the "starvation wages" in their domestic league are not addressed.

USA won a fourth Women's World Cup title in Lyon on Sunday, retaining the trophy with a 2-0 victory over Netherlands after knocking out European heavyweights France and England in the previous two rounds.

Megan Rapinoe, the tournament's Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner, once again spoke about the disparity in prize money between the women's and men's finals afterwards, with USA's players taking home $4million compared to the $38m France accrued for winning the men's World Cup in Russia last year.

There is also a huge gap between the top domestic leagues in America, where the minimum and maximum salaries for this NWSL season are $16,538 and $46,200 respectively, compared to the minimum in MLS of $56,250 and the maximum, which will be paid to LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of $7.2m.

Each of the 23 players in Jill Ellis' World Cup-winning squad ply their trade in NWSL - though their salaries are subsidised by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and include payments for their international feats - and former USA coach Anson Dorrance wants greater investment at the professional level.

Dorrance, who led USA to their maiden World Cup triumph in 1991 and coached the likes of Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath at the collegiate level in his current role at North Carolina, told Omnisport: "An entry-level professional is paid $16,500 a year in the NWSL. That's starvation wages. 

"I would love to see more and more women start to make the sort of money we're seeing on the men's side."

While USA were able to see off the challenge of the Europeans this time, the other seven World Cup quarter-finalists all came from the continent and the balance of power may have shifted by 2023.

There has been increased investment in the women's game in Europe in recent years, major clubs like Lyon, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City all significantly backing their women's teams.

"We're going to be in trouble if we don't create a league that competes with what the Europeans are doing now," added Shannon Higgins-Cirovski, who was a key member of the World Cup-winning team in 1991.

"Hats off to us at this point, [but] I'm hoping we can create something from this momentum and make it so we don't have to worry about that."

Rapinoe said after USA's win on Sunday that FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who had revealed plans to double the prize money for the next Women's World Cup, wants to speak to her about the financial matters after fans chanted "equal pay" at the final.

There will also be conversations between USSF and Ellis' players over the pay gap between USA's men's and women's teams, with the newly crowned World Cup winners having instigated legal action against the federation earlier this year for alleged gender discrimination over earnings and working conditions.

Dorrance wants to see equality, but also greater transparency over the revenue generated by the two teams given reports suggest the women bring in more than their male counterparts.

"[The USFF should] have a very transparent set of accounting books to show exactly what happens," Dorrance added.

"This is how many people watched this Women's World Cup game in the United States, here were the sponsorship dollars and here's how we're going to reward our women that have just won the event. I would love for that to become clearer.

"In terms of per diem, there should be no difference, those should be the same, then your rewards should be based on what you make.

"I don't think all of a sudden these women should be paid the amount of money Christian Pulisic is paid [by Chelsea] because of the crowd he's played in front of at Borussia Dortmund and what he will play in front of at Chelsea.

"But I would love for it to be transparent and for them to be paid what they're worth."

Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the United States for their Women's World Cup triumph on Sunday, but whether he hosts the team at the White House remains to be seen.

USA defeated Netherlands 2-0 to make it back-to-back titles on the global stage, with Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle scoring the goals in the second half.

Shortly after the final whistle, USA president Trump wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!"

Trump has been outspoken during USA's run in France as he went on a Twitter rant after a video surfaced of Rapinoe making it clear she would not visit the White House should her side end up as champions.

He also called out the 34-year-old, who ended the tournament as winner of the Golden Boot for top goalscorer and Golden Ball for best player, for protesting during the national anthem by refusing to sing or put her hand over her chest. 

He wrote, in part: "Megan should never disrespect our country, the White House, or our flag, especially since so much has been done for her and the team."

There remain questions as to whether the national team will attend the White House if they receive an invite, but head coach Jill Ellis is not convinced any such offer will be made.

When asked if she would attend a celebration at the White House, she said: "I haven't been invited yet." The reporter responded by saying: "I'm sure you will." Ellis, however, said with a laugh: "Well, I wouldn't bet on that."

Megan Rapinoe wants action on the issue of equal pay after helping the United States to a fourth Women's World Cup final triumph.

USA beat Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday to retain their title, Rapinoe scoring a second-half penalty before Rose Lavelle found the net too.

At the next World Cup in 2023, FIFA president Gianni Infantino wishes to double the prize money to $60million, yet at the men's competition in 2022, teams in Qatar will have a pot of $440m.

Rapinoe, who spoke at length on the issue prior to Sunday's final, revisited the matter again having collected her Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards for the tournament's top scorer and best player.

She also called for action from the US Soccer Federation (USFF), with the players in Jill Ellis' team having taken legal action against the governing body earlier this year over pay disparity.and working conditions.

"Everyone's asking what's next and what we want to come all of this – it's to stop having the conversation about equal pay and are we worth it," Rapinoe said.

"What are we going to do about it? Gianni, what are we going to do about it? Carlos [Cordeiro, USFF president], what are we going to do about it? Everyone. It's time to sit down with everyone and really get to work.

"This game has done so much for all of us, we've put so much into it. I think it's a testament to the quality on the field.

"I don't think everything else is matching that. How we do get everything to match up and push this forward because I think at this point the argument that we have been having is totally null and void."

She added in the post-match press conference: "It's time to move that conversation forward to the next step. A little public shame never hurt anybody, right?"

Rapinoe, who scored six times in France, was presented with both of her individual prizes by Infantino on the pitch after the game.

Asked what they spoke about, she replied: "Just pleasantries. There was a wry smile in there, for sure. He knows that I know.

"I think he did say, 'Let's have a conversation'. I said, 'I'd love to'."

Infantino would also have heard fans in the stadium chanting 'equal pay' while he was on the pitch.

Rapinoe and her USA team-mates will share a pot of $4m for winning the tournament, with France's men's squad earning $38m for triumphing in Russia last year.

"Love it," Rapinoe said of the chants.

"To have a full stadium in a foreign country, the movement is just swelling before our very eyes.

"Obviously you have the president of France there [Emmanuel Macron], the president of FIFA, you have our [USFF] president, delegates from all over the world.

"This is what the people want, give the people what they want, always."

Megan Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Boot and Golden Ball after inspiring the United States to Women's World Cup glory.

The 34-year-old opened the scoring from the penalty spot as USA defeated Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday to claim back-to-back global titles.

She finished level on six goals with team-mate Alex Morgan and England forward Ellen White but edged the Golden Boot by virtue of a better minutes-per-goal ratio.

It marked Rapinoe's first Golden Boot in her third World Cup appearance and she could not describe the feeling after the match.

"I don't know how to feel right now, it's ridiculous," she said.

Rapinoe started with one goal in the group stage and followed it up with back-to-back braces, scoring all four of USA's goals in the knockout phase before the semi-final, for which she was an unused substitute. 

She was also crowned the tournament's best player for her performances, with England's Lucy Bronze taking the Silver Ball and Rose Lavelle, who scored USA's second in the final, claiming third.

Megan Rapinoe dubbed her United States team-mates "crazy" and "special" after she scored the opening goal in their 2-0 Women's World Cup final victory over Netherlands.

The 34-year-old Reign FC forward scored a 61st-minute penalty to put Jill Ellis' side ahead against a resilient Netherlands team before Rose Lavelle lit up the game with a virtuoso goal eight minutes later.

The result helped USA triumph for the fourth time on the biggest stage of the women's game and Rapinoe, who was part of the team that won the tournament in 2015, paid tribute to the spirit in the camp.

"I don't think I can [describe it]," the forward told BBC Sport. "It's unbelievable.

"Just to know all the people in our group who put in so much work, obviously the players, we have all our friends and family here.

"It's surreal. I don't know how to feel right now. It's ridiculous.

"We're crazy, that's what makes us special. We've got no quit in us, we're so tight and we'll do anything to win."

Lavelle's goal was her third of the tournament and Rapinoe praised the 24-year-old midfielder's creativity as being pivotal to USA's success, while highlighting her performance in the final as her best.

"That was what she's been missing, just that little bit, all tournament," said Rapinoe.

"She's been on the dribble, opening up everything for us. For her to get that reward on the biggest stage you possibly can, I'm so proud of her.

"She's a superstar, not even in the making - she's a straight-up superstar."

USA coach Jill Ellis pointed to her players' "fantastic resilience and chemistry" in her summing up of a moment she admitted left her lost for words.

Ellis previously led the USA to glory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship and the 2015 World Cup, and she said of her current squad: "They put their hearts and souls into this journey and I can't thank them enough. It has been fantastic.

"I could barely speak but I just said to them they were unbelievable, congratulations, they made history, enjoy it.

"This is unbelievable, I've got no words."

The most powerful man in the world urged her to speak only after she had finished the job, but on Sunday Megan Rapinoe became a Women's World Cup winner again having done it her way.

Jill Ellis' United States side beat Netherlands 2-0 in the final to become the first American team to retain the trophy and, naturally, it was Rapinoe, the most prominent figure at the tournament, who was front and centre.

USA were held at bay for over an hour against a robust Dutch team. Goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal was outstanding, brilliantly thwarting Julie Ertz, Sam Mewis and Alex Morgan - twice - in the first half.

But when Stefanie van der Gragt's studs caught Morgan's side, USA were awarded a penalty following a VAR review. Rapinoe had the chance to alleviate the tension and put her country on course for that winning part US President Donald Trump placed as a feeble pre-requisite for holding an opinion.

And so, in the 61st minute, Rapinoe stepped up and, with unnerving coolness, finally beat Van Veenendaal.

She ran over to the corner and delivered her signature 'Are You Not Entertained?' pose. It will be the defining image of this World Cup, which, despite the Europeans' emergence, remains in American hands after Rose Lavelle added a brilliant second eight minutes after Rapinoe's penalty.

It seems fitting that the United States ended up winning a tournament where the question, for once, has not been, 'How do we get people interested in women's football?' but, 'How do we build on it?'

USA are, after all, at the forefront of that push, with players such as Rapinoe driving the agenda on numerous issues, from LGBT rights to racial equality, while attracting audiences most other nations can only dream of.

On Saturday Rapinoe said "so much of what we have to shoulder all of the time is heavy", explaining that the football pitch gave USA players a chance to "be free", which is something not all who protest are afforded.

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who took his team to the Super Bowl but has been out of the league for three years having knelt during the American anthem, never got another chance to "win first before he talks".

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two sprinters who raised their fists on the podium at the 1968 Olympics, were ostracised upon their returns to America despite winning first and then talking.

Rapinoe knew all of that and yet, admirably, she still spoke up for what she believed in. She saw the president tell her to button up on Twitter and responded with three goals her next two games on the biggest stage.

The 34-year-old did plenty of talking in France and had the final word in Lyon, finishing the job - as always - on her own terms.

Megan Rapinoe struck a 61st-minute penalty before Rose Lavelle netted a fine solo goal as the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 to become Women's World Cup winners for the fourth time.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe plundered her sixth goal of the tournament to ensure Jill Ellis' side successfully defended their title at the expense of a Netherlands team that fought bravely to overcome their underdogs tag but ultimately came up short.

The goal, which came after a VAR review highlighted Stefanie van der Gragt's foul on Alex Morgan, drew Rapinoe level with Morgan and England's Ellen White in the goalscoring stakes, while Netherlands forward Lieke Martens cut a frustrated figure as the Dutch struggled to create chances.

Lavelle provided the best moment of an entertaining clash in Lyon when she carried the ball from the centre circle to the edge of the box before producing a classy finish, the quality of which reflected everything crowds at this World Cup have come to expect from its dominant team.

The European champions certainly played their part but, perhaps fittingly after a tournament marked by the use of technology, the contest hinged on a challenge that might have gone unnoticed without it.

Sherida Spitse was booked for a late sliding challenge on Lavelle in a cagey opening spell that saw the United States fail to score inside the opening 12 minutes of a game for the first time at this year's tournament.

The USA struggled to break down a compact Dutch defence until Julie Ertz thundered a volley towards goal after 28 minutes but Sari van Veenendaal was equal to it, parrying the ball away from danger.

Van der Gragt's superb interception prevented Morgan from latching onto a long ball forward and Van Veenendaal then made two excellent saves to deny the forward before Netherlands ended a battling first-half performance with a dangerous spell of pressure.

Netherlands continued to frustrate USA until Van der Gragt's high challenge on Morgan prompted a VAR review and, after a penalty was correctly awarded, Rapinoe side-footed the ensuing spot-kick low to Van Veenendaal's left and into the net.

Vivianne Miedema tore through the USA defence with a mazy dribble but could not get her shot away and moments later Lavelle provided a finishing lesson, making space for herself on the edge of Netherlands' box before stroking a left-footed shot into the corner of the net.

Van Veenendaal made an excellent save to deny Crystal Dunn when the left-back burst clear but there was no time for her team-mates to mount a comeback as the world champions deservedly secured back-to-back titles.

Megan Rapinoe has overcome a hamstring injury to return to the United States' starting XI for the Women's World Cup final, while Lieke Martens has also been handed a start for Netherlands following a fitness test.

USA forward Rapinoe, who has scored five goals in France, missed the semi-final win over England with a "slight hamstring strain", but trained the following day and said all week she expected to be fit.

Martens' status was less assured, the Barcelona star having come off at half-time in the last-four win over Sweden due to a toe injury she sustained when celebrating her winner against Japan in the round of 16.

However, despite not being involved in the portion of training open to the media on Saturday, she is fit enough to take her place in Sarina Wiegman's side.

Christen Press, who replaced Rapinoe and scored the first goal against England, reverts back to the bench as one of two changes in the USA team, with Sam Mewis also coming in for Lindsey Horan.

The Dutch have made just one change, Anouk Dekker replacing Merel van Dongen.

Megan Rapinoe warmed up for Sunday's Women's World Cup final by blasting FIFA over this weekend's scheduling and the growing gender gap in prize money.

The 34-year-old will bid to claim her second World Cup winners' medal when USA face Netherlands in Lyon, on the same day the Copa America and Gold Cup finals also take place.

That has irked Rapinoe, who also took aim at FIFA over the gulf in prize money available for the women's and men's World Cups.

While FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday announced plans to double prize money for the 2023 Women's World Cup from $30million to $60million, the pot for the men's tournament is increasing from $400million in 2018 to $440m at Qatar 2022, meaning the disparity will actually grow by a further $10m.

"It certainly is not fair," said Rapinoe.

"We should double [the women's prize money] now and then use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time. That's what I mean when I talk about, 'Do we feel respected'.

"A quote came out that I said, 'FIFA doesn't care about the women's game'. That's what I mean. If you really care about each game in the same way, are you letting the gap grow?

"I'm not saying the prize money is $450million [for the women] this time or next time around. [I] understand that, for a lot of different reasons, the men's game financially is far advanced than the women's game.

"[But] If we really care about letting the gap grow, are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you're not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you're not. That's what I mean about the level of care.

"We need attention and detail and the best minds that we can possibly have in the women's game helping it grow every single day. It's a very complex problem, complex thing to be a part of.

"But the resources are there, and I think the willingness and the brain power is all there – people wanting to work in the women's game and make it as good as it can. It's all there, it's just a matter of wanting to do it and caring enough about it to make it happen.

"We're making a World Cup in Qatar happen, that shows you the amount of care they have about the men's World Cup, considering all of the issues that are happening there."

Rapinoe, like many of her American team-mates, has used her platform to speak out about inequality in numerous areas of society, and once again reiterated she has no plans to attend the White House should Jill Ellis' team retain their trophy.

She is also annoyed that the Women's World Cup final will be one of three showpiece events happening on Sunday.

The World Cup date had been in the calendar since September 2017, long before CONCACAF revealed the date for the Gold Cup final and CONMEBOL announced plans for the Copa America showpiece.

"It's terrible scheduling for everyone," said Rapinoe, who expects to be fit to face Netherlands despite missing the semi-final win over England with a hamstring strain.

"That's a terrible idea to put everything on the same day. In every way. There's two other finals going on but this is the World Cup final, this is like cancel-everything day.

"The World Cup final is set so far in advance. It's actually unbelievable. So, no, I don't think that we feel the same level of respect, certainly that FIFA has for the men and just in general."

A FIFA spokesperson said the global governing body and the different confederations had discussed the schedule "in general to minimise any potential timing clashes".

FIFA's statement said: "The scheduling of the different events has gone through a comprehensive consultancy process that has involved all key stakeholders and taken into account different aspects of both the women’s and men’s international match calendars."

Megan Rapinoe looks set to be fit for the United States' Women's World Cup final against Netherlands, saying on Saturday she expects to be "good to go".

The striker, who has scored five goals in France including successive braces in the knockout wins against Spain and France, was a surprise absentee for the last-four victory over England because of a slight hamstring strain.

Rapinoe said after that game she expected to be ready for USA's third World Cup final in a row at the weekend and, having trained in the days leading up to the clash with the European champions, the 34-year-old believes she will be passed fit.

"As of now, I'm expecting to be ready for tomorrow. I feel good," Rapinoe said at USA's pre-match press conference.

"That's all I can really say right now. We have one more training session. 

"I'm pretty open and honest with you. Nothing hidden. I expect to be good to go for tomorrow."

Christen Press took Rapinoe's place against England on Tuesday and headed their opening goal in a 2-1 win.

Alex Morgan hinted the United States will snub Donald Trump's White House invitation and is confident Jill Ellis' team will not be split on the issue.

It is customary for champions to visit the US president after winning a sporting title, with Morgan and her team-mates congratulated by Barack Obama when they won the Women's World Cup in 2015.

However, since Trump succeeded Obama following the 2016 election, teams like the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and NBA's Golden State Warriors have had their White House offers withdrawn after numerous players from both teams declared they had no intention of making the trip for political reasons.

Morgan's outspoken team-mate Megan Rapinoe has already she said is "not going to the f****** White House" and though Trump responded to that by inviting Ellis' squad regardless of whether they beat Netherlands in Sunday's final, it appears the offer will be rejected.

"I think we'll make that decision after we finish Sunday's game," USA captain Morgan said.

"I think there's been a lot of talk prematurely about the White House and about Trump.

"First we have to do business and then I think you guys know the answer to the question anyway."

The White House pulled the plug on the Eagles' scheduled visit following their Super Bowl LII victory in 2018 because "the vast majority of the team" wished to stay away.

Morgan believes there will be no factions in Ellis' squad when it comes to their decision.

"I can't say 100 per cent but this team is very close and we've always made decisions together so I can't really see us deciding to part in that way," she added.

"But at the same time, if someone feels strongly then who are we to tell them to do or not do something?"

Trump took to Twitter last week to express his disapproval of Rapinoe's comments, telling the striker to "WIN first before she TALKS!"

Yet Rapinoe was unrepentant when speaking ahead of the semi-final victory over England, which she missed with a slight hamstring strain.

"I don't think that I would want to go [to the White House] and I would encourage my team-mates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way and doesn't fight for the same things that we fight for," said Rapinoe, who expects to be fit for the final.

Megan Rapinoe described herself as "deeply American" following her feud with United States president Donald Trump but called for her country to have an honest conversation about how to improve peoples' lives.

The Reign FC captain drew criticism from Trump when she said she would not visit the White House if the USA win the Women's World Cup, having previously caused a stir with the president by not singing the national anthem.

Trump said in a tweet: "Megan should never disrespect our country, the White House, or our flag, especially since so much has been done for her and the team."

When asked how she feels to be an American, 33-year-old forward Rapinoe - who has scored five goals in four appearances at the World Cup to help the defending champions reach the final - gave a poignant response.

"I think that I'm particularly and uniquely and very deeply American," she told reporters.

"If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, the song and the anthem, and what we were founded on, I think I'm extremely American.

"I think for the detractors, I would have them look hard into what I'm actually saying, the actions that I'm doing - maybe you don't agree with every single way that I do it and that can be discussed.

"I know that I'm not perfect. But I think that I stand for honesty and for truth and for wanting to have the conversation; looking at the country honestly and saying yes, we are a great country, and there are many things that are so amazing and I feel very fortunate to be in this country.

"I would never be able to do this in a lot of other places. But also: that doesn't mean that we can't get better. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't always strive to be better."

Rapinoe sat out USA's 2-1 semi-final win over England on Tuesday with a minor hamstring injury but is hopeful of featuring in Sunday's final.

Amid the social media furore surrounding her comments, she received the support of her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird, who fired back at Trump via a lengthy letter in The Players' Tribune entitled: 'So the President F***ing Hates My Girlfriend.'

Expanding on her views on America's plight, California-born Rapinoe added: "I think that this country was founded on a lot of good ideals, but it was also founded on slavery.

"And I think we just need to be really honest about that and be really open in talking about that, so we can reconcile that and hopefully move forward and make this country better for everyone."

Megan Rapinoe has leapt to Alex Morgan's defence after the United States captain was accused of being "disrespectful" for her tea-sipping celebration in the Women's World Cup semi-final win over England.

Morgan headed in her sixth goal of the tournament in Lyon on Tuesday to seal a 2-1 victory for USA, who advanced to a third-straight final, and she celebrated the winner by pretending to drink tea with her little finger raised.

Some construed that as a shot fired at her opponents given the beverage's popularity in Britain, with England forward Lianne Sanderson, who is working as a pundit for beIN SPORTS at the tournament, calling it "distasteful" and "disrespectful", and television presenter Piers Morgan saying it was "bordering on a declaration of war".

USA players had also come under fire for their goal celebrations in a 13-0 win over Thailand earlier in the tournament, long after the game had already been won, and Rapinoe appeared sick of the latest round of criticism.

"Wah-wah-wah. I mean, it's like, we're at the World Cup – what do you want us to do?" Rapinoe said.

"This is the biggest stage, the biggest moment. I don't think anyone truly believes that we disrespect the game or disrespect our opponents. We have the utmost respect for England and every team that we've faced and every team that we will face forever and ever, that's just part of the DNA of this squad.

"With that said, we work hard, we like to play hard and we like to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and these are the absolute biggest moments to do that."

Rapinoe was one of three players conducting interviews on Wednesday when Jill Ellis' squad were leaving their hotel, with Morgan curiously spotted hot drink in hand as she walked past the cameras to the team bus.

Despite the storm in a teacup that has followed, Morgan had suggested the pose Rapinoe pulled after her first goal in the quarter-final win over France was the best celebration of the tournament.

"I think I might have been upstaged," Rapinoe said when asked about that comment.

"That was next level from Alex. Maybe we will have to do it at the same time and we'll duke it out!"

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