Megan Rapinoe a perfect role model, says India coach Maymol Rocky

Maymol Rocky, who coaches the senior women's team, feels Olympic champion and a two-time World Cup winner, US women’s footballer Megan Rapinoe is an inspiration.

By Utathya Nag

Indian women’s national football team head coach Maymol Rocky thinks her girls and aspiring young women footballers from India can learn a lot from US football icon Megan Rapinoe.

A gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympics and a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner with the US ladies soccer team, Megan Rapinoe is considered one of the modern-day greats. 

She is also renowned for her social activism, lending her support to causes like equal pay, LGBTQ rights and others.

Rocky, while attending a FIFA Programme during the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, had the opportunity to meet Rapinoe and it left a lasting impression.

Maymol Rocky with Megan Rapinoe (Photo: AIFF)

“I had a small chat with Megan. Her attitude was simply amazing. She is one of the best players in the game. But she is not arrogant or egoistic at all. She has put in all the hard work to get to where she is today,” Rocky recalled during a chat with AIFF.

“I tell my players that we should also have that same kind of attitude. She’s an absolute role model for young girls out there,” the former India international added.

Special World Cup experience for U-17 team

Besides meeting Megan Rapinoe, being at the World Cup was a special experience for Maymol.

“Watching the matches, I was just thinking about how it would feel had our team been out there on the pitch. It would have been unforgettable,” she said.

While it may take the Indian senior women a little time to play a World Cup match, the U-17 women’s team will get a taste of that experience next year with the U-17 Women’s World Cup being held in India.

“It’s going to be just that for the U-17 girls next year. I’ll, of course, be there to cheer them from the stands,” she said.

As the senior team coach, Maymol Rocky will be keeping a close eye on the Indian team’s performance at the youth event and is hopeful it will only make Indian women’s football stronger.

“I’m really looking forward to the U-17 Women’s World Cup. Surely, we’ll get some players for the Asian Cup 2022.

“When the base becomes stronger, scouting becomes tougher. We’ll get more players for every position,” she said.