Nike commemorated Carli Lloyd’s final game for the USWNT with a special pair of black and gold Mercurial Vapor XIV boots. Lloyd made her 316th and final international appearance for the USWNT on Tuesday night in a 6-0 victory over South Korea.

17 years, 316 caps, 134 goals, 64 assists, two World Cups, and two Olympic golds… two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd brought the curtain down on her illustrious international career last night in the USWNT’s comprehensive 6-0 win over South Korea. It’s been one hell of a career, and celebrating the occasion, Nike provided Lloyd with a specially customised pair of Mercurial Vapor XIV boots.

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Lloyd was honoured both pregame and postgame by the team. She was subbed off to a standing ovation in the 64th minute, at which point she removed her shin pads and unlaced her special edition boots, metaphorically signalling the end of her time on the pitch. Lots of emotions, hugs and tears brought her time in the USWNT to an end.

The look of the boots follow the bespoke Mercurial Superfly 360 design that was produced to celebrate Lloyd reaching 100 goals for the United States of America back in 2018. Like those, these boots feature a black base with gold details throughout, noticeably on the years written on each: 1985 marking the year Lloyd first started playing football at the ender age of just five on the left foot, and 2021 on the right, obviously marking out the end of her career. Those embellishments are joined by a shimmering metallic gold soleplate, as well as golden flecks and Swooshes on the upper. The words 'Better Every Day' appear on the insole, representing Lloyd's vow to continually improve, while the USWNT crest acts as a sign off on the heel.

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When she came into the national team, Lloyd played alongside 1999 World Cup winners like Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry and Christine Pearce Rampone. When she started on Tuesday in her 316th and final USWNT cap, Lloyd was joined on the field by Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario – players who weren’t even born when the USWNT memorably lifted the World Cup on home soil, marking this out as the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Throughout her career Lloyd has long been at the forefront of Nike's drive for the improvement of the women's game, acting as a key ambassador and in turn receiving signature edition boots to mark out some of her most special achievements. While her departure from the pitch will undoubtedly be felt by the U.S. Women's National Team, it will also be felt by the American brand, who are losing a key spokesperson and model.

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Players such as compatriot Alex Morgan and Sam Kerr have followed in her footsteps in being utilised more widely by Nike for global campaigns in recent years, but this was undoubtedly a path first walked by Lloyd; she was the first, and her legacy will not be forgotten. So who takes over that mantle? Lloyd passed her No. 10 jersey to Lindsey Horan, who will wear the number starting in 2022, but there are other contenders for the role of leading lady, both of the National team and as the face of the women's game for the next decade. Players like Mal Pugh, Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario – there will be no shortage of pretenders, but they're all vying for what is undoubtedly a crown that Lloyd has forged.

But less of the future; this is a moment for remembering the brilliance of a player that has shone on the biggest stage for 17 years. 

Lloyd will finish off her pro season with the NWSL’s Gotham FC, which has two games left in the regular season.