SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Captain Sam Kerr of Australia speaks to her teammates in the huddle after her team’s 2-0 victory and advance to the quarter-final following the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between Australia and Denmark at Stadium Australia on August 07, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. | Photo by Maryam Majd/Getty Images

Out gay, lesbian and bi players are on every remaining FIFA Women’s World Cup team, and teams with out players are performing better than those without.

Maybe Megan Rapinoe was right after all.

Of the final eight teams teams, only Japan didn’t have an out LGBTQ player that Outsports can identify. All of the other seven do: Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, France, England and Colombia.

During the previous Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe had said, “You can’t win without gay players,” as she lead the USWNT to that title in 2019, earning both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball.

Out athletes are finding success at this tournament, with nearly 40% of the out athletes identified by Outsports are in the quarterfinals. Only 25% of all athletes have earned a spot.

England and Spain are now the betting favorites to win the title this year. With the elimination of Japan — which was third in the betting odds entering the semifinals — the championship team will have at least two out players.

To be sure, Japan very well may have gay players that we don’t know about.

Australia entered the tournament with the most publicly out players — 10 total, including team captain Sam Kerr. In fact, at least half of the semifinal teams had out team captains: Colombia’s Daniela Montoya, Spain’s Ivana Andres and Sweden’s Caroline Seger.

Spain’s Alba Redondo is the out player with the best betting odds of winning the Golden Boot, though she’s currently two goals behind Miyazawa Hinata of Japan.

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