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Alex Morgan One Of Two Footballers Named To Time 100 List

Time’s list of 100 most influential people of 2019 includes a few athletes, two from the world of soccer.

A couple months out from the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Alex Morgan has been named to the Time 100.

Morgan is one of two footballers named to the list of the 100 most influential people put together by Time magazine. That list includes everyone from Taylor Swift to Donald Trump, Michelle Obama to Ariana Grande, Dwayne Johnson to Emilia Clarke (Daenerys). 

Mohamed Salah joined Morgan on the list as the only other soccer player chosen. Other athletes included Caster Semenya, Naomi Osaka, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and (kind of) Ninja.

The Time 100 is an annual list of influencers from around the globe who are leaders, artists, pioneers, icons and titans. Both Morgan and Salah were chosen into the “titans” category, which included the most athletes. 

Alex Morgan’s selection makes a lot of sense with the Women’s World Cup coming in June and July. Most Americans (and indeed most around the world) don’t pay much attention to women’s soccer except for during the World Cup every four years, when suddenly everyone becomes a huge fan. (But they can’t be bothered to attend NWSL matches.)

Morgan has been on fire recently. She scored 18 goals for the USWNT in 2018 and recently hit the century mark of goals for U.S., something only one man has ever done in the history of the game (17 women have scored 100 international goals).

Each figure selected to the list had a few paragraphs written about them by another figure in their arena (for example, Trevor Noah wrote about Hasan Minhaj and Hillary Clinton wrote about Nancy Pelosi). 

For Morgan, it was Mia Hamm.

Hamm is, perhaps, one of the few people who can understand what Alex Morgan means to the sport in this country. Hamm was the face of U.S. soccer (men and women) for years having won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. She may have been the first U.S. soccer player to appear on a late-night talk show.

Hamm’s comments on Morgan, who is eerily similar in terms of goal-scoring and popularity, hold more weight than just about anyone else’s, making her the perfect person to summarize Morgan’s importance and why she is on the Time 100 list.

“From a young age, she’s someone who embraced her ability to connect with her fans and generate more excitement for her team and the sport,” Hamm wrote. “That was not always easy for me, and Alex makes it look effortless.”

Hamm also points to Morgan’s desire to get her and her USWNT teammates equal pay from U.S. Soccer as another reason she is among the most important people in the world.

The other footballer on the list, Mo Salah, was chosen not just for his goal-scoring abilities (for which he gave us a gentle reminder on Sunday), but for the way the Egypt and Liverpool forward has become a hero for such a wide range of people.

Salah’s blurb was written by "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver, a Liverpool fan, who succinctly summed up the footballer’s importance. 

“Mo is an iconic figure for Egyptians, Scousers and Muslims the world over, and yet he always comes across as a humble, thoughtful, funny man who isn’t taking any of this too seriously,” Oliver wrote.

Of course, lists like these are always subjective and don’t really mean all that much in the long run. Like with an awards show or hall of fame voting, do you really need someone else to tell you whether or not what you like is good or important? What matters is what you love and what is important to you.

So, Real Madrid fans, don’t feel bad that no one thinks you’re important anymore or your love for the band Gravity Kills makes others question your musical tastes. 

Be you and love what you want.

But you should probably love Alex Morgan and Mo Salah anyway.

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