Huge star of discipline for nearly 15 years, American Abby Wambach, now substitute, will have one last chance to finally be world champion Sunday night in Vancouver at the Women’s world cup final, an ambition as much as an obsession.

Abby Wambach, these are 183 goals in 248 selections, two Olympic titles and a stature of 5’9″ of absolute confidence, capable of watching you straight in the eyes and tell you that “defeat is not an option”.

It is also the Time magazine that puts her alongside Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Angela Merkel or Kanye West amongst the 100 most influential people in the world. It’s all of this but it’s also a great need for a World Cup, this trophy came very close in 2011 when United States scored twice before losing on penalties against Japan in the German World Cup Final.

“It is constantly in our minds since July 17, 2011,” she said Friday without anyone having to remind her of the exact date and for her teammates also the appointment Sunday night in Vancouver against Japan has everything to do with Wambach’s career.

“She has the best CV you could have, but it has no World Cup, said Alex Morgan about Wambach, she is “the glue that holds this team.”

If her teammates feel a responsibility it’s because Wambach has now less time on the ground. During the last two games, she has played only 15 minutes in all and she’s now included more of a replacement, even if her coach Jill Ellis prefers to speak of “players who change games.”

“Of course I want to play, especially that being on the bench is very stressful. This takes away from life expectancy, Wambach joked. “But you know what? I know I’m a little older and my teammates are as good as me, and perhaps better than me at doing certain things,” she said before launching into a strong presentation on the collective dimension of football, “I have always considered it a team sport. And your role, can be a penalty shoot-out or to speak with a team member who doesn’t feel well. That’s what I am. A team player, “she said.

“I want to be remembered as a true team player. Because that’s what I was when I was a kid, when I was a beginner in the club when I was an Olympic champion. And that’s how I want to be world champion, “she insisted.

If it happens, will she also remember the date of July 5th 2015? “If it happens, I’ll kiss you all on the mouth. Do not say anything to my wife.”

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