Megan Rapinoe Is the Most Tweeted about Female Athlete of the Year

Megan Rapinoe was the most tweeted about female athlete of 2019, new findings released by the social media platform on Monday showed.

According to the annual Year on Twitter global report, the U.S. Women National Team's captain was more popular on Twitter than Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and fellow USWNT star Alex Morgan.

Twitter said the popularity was determined by ranking how often a certain athlete had been discussed on Twitter, whether by using her name, handle or related keywords.

Rapinoe became a global icon in 2019, leading the USWNT to a second consecutive World Cup title in France this summer.

The 34-year-old won both the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player and the Golden Boot as the competition's top scorer, finishing the World Cup with six goals.

During the World Cup, Rapinoe's popularity transcended the sport, as the California native was an outspoken campaigner for equal pay—she was among the signatories of a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March—LGBT causes and strongly criticized President Donald Trump's policies.

Before the tournament had even begun, Rapinoe had made headlines after a video her ruling out visiting the White House should the USWNT win the World Cup emerged.

"I'm not going to the f***ing White House," Rapinoe said when asked if she would take up a Presidential invitation.

Trump accused her of disrespecting the "country, the White House and the flag", but Rapinoe shrugged off the criticism and played a crucial role as the U.S. successfully defended their World Cup title.

Megan Rapinoe, USWNT
Megan Rapinoe of USA women during the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 final match between United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 7 in Lyon, France. VI Images/Getty

The 34-year-old was named FIFA World Player of the Year in September and last week she received the Ballon d'Or, with her USWNT teammate Morgan finishing third.

Morgan scored five goals in the USWNT's 13-0 thrashing of Thailand in the opening game of the World Cup and made headlines for her celebrations against England in the semifinal, when she mimicked drinking a cup of tea after scoring.

The USWNT's co-captain was the fourth-most popular female athlete on Twitter behind Osaka and Williams.

Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the three most popular male athletes on Twitter in 2019, followed by LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

Messi added a tenth La Liga title and a record sixth Ballon d'Or to his bulging trophy cabinet, while Ronaldo led Portugal to victory in the inaugural Nations League Finals and scored his 700th career goal last month.

James, meanwhile, endured a difficult first half of 2019 on the court, as his first season in Los Angeles ended in disappointment with the Lakers missing the playoffs.

The four-time MVP spent most of last season trying to convince Anthony Davis to join him in Los Angeles, a move which paid off as the Lakers traded for the 2012 first overall pick in the summer.

Following his arrival from New Orleans, Davis immediately struck a partnership with James and the Lakers currently sit atop of the Western Conference with a 21-3 record.

Tom Brady, meanwhile, was the most popular NFL player on Twitter in 2019, as he became the first player in football history to win six Super Bowl titles.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United were the most popular teams on Twitter, while UEFA Champions League, the Rugby World Cup and the Cricket World Cup were the top international sports competition hashtags.