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Abby Wambach's storybook ending to a legendary soccer career

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Obama welcomed the Women's World Cup soccer champions to the White House on Tuesday. A short time later, one of the leaders of the American team, and one of the biggest stars of the sport, announced her retirement.

"This team taught all America's children that playing like a girl means you're a badass," said Mr. Obama.

Abby Wambach is the best known for using her head to win big. She is soccer's all-time goal scorer in the world male or female. One of her more memorable goals? The 2011 Women's World Cup.

The U.S. was down a goal to Brazil. And seconds away from an embarrassingly early exit, Abby storms in to save the game. She scored.

She talked about that moment before this year's World Cup.

"What a moment in time, iconic moment to be part of -- so many things that needed to be perfect for that Brazil goal," she said.

That year they lost in the final to Japan, but four years later, she achieved her ultimate goal when the U.S. beat Japan to win the World Cup.

"I'm like seriously am I alive? I feel like this is what heaven is supposed to feel like?" she said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama remembered Wambach in that moment.

"A world champion at last, draped in the stars and stripes. Showing us all how far we've come, on and off the field -- by sharing a celebratory kiss with her wife," he said.

Wambach has a giant fan-base of little girls aspiring to be professional soccer players. But Wambach's biggest fans? Her fellow teammates.

Team USA honored with ticker tape parade in NYC 01:36

How does teammate Alex Morgan describe Wambach?

"I'd have to say selfless," said Morgan.

And Wambach confirms Morgan's sentiment.

"It's never been just about me, never about just one player," she said.

In an interview from May 2015, before the World Cup victory, Wambach was asked if she had any visions about how this would end.

"I feel like if there was any year for us to win, this is going to be it, this has to be the one, right?" she said. "It's the end for me when it comes to talking about the World Cups and for me I like storybook endings as well, I think most people do."

It couldn't have ended any better.

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