USA women’s player Carli Lloyd has said her country’s triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign was “absolutely the worst time of my life”.
Lloyd had starred as USA won the 2015 tournament, scoring six goals and captaining the team in four of the games.
But the 37-year-old was less prominent in this year’s finals as other players took centre stage.
Although she played in all seven matches, Lloyd only started one game – scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Chile in the group stage.
And she says having a lesser role to play in this year’s success even affected her relationships.
“I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat it,” Lloyd said on ESPN’s Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy podcast .
“It was absolutely the worst time of my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with friends.
“It really was rock bottom of my entire career. But somehow, you see light at the end of the tunnel, and I can honestly say I’m having more fun now playing than I ever have in my career. I think I just learned a lot throughout it.
“There’s no denying it, I deserved to be on that field that whole World Cup, but I wasn’t. And I think I’ve grown as a person, as a player. It sucked. It absolutely sucked.”
However, she said she was happy for her team-mates such as Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe, adding: “I was super happy for my teammates and happy for Megan, who put the team on her back, and for several other players.
“It was great to see, and I’m happy that I could still have been a part of it.”
And the Sky Blue FC midfielder has not given up on continuing her international career after head coach Jill Ellis departed, saying she hopes to be able to play in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m waiting on a new coach to be announced and if that coach would like to see me in the Olympic plans then I’m all for it,” she said.