The world's top international goal scorer (190) is officially hanging up her boots. Canadian soccer icon Christine Sinclair announced on October 20 that she would be retiring from the game following the Portland Thorns season in the NWSL. Her time with the Canadian national team will end at the end of the year following two send-off games against Australia in her home province of BC.
Sinclair made her debut for Canada in 2000, at just 16 years old, for a game in the Algarve Cup. She scored her first international goal during this game. Since then, she has played 322 games for her country and has competed in four Olympics, six World Cups and multiple Four Nations games, as well as Pan American games; she also played NCAA Division 1 soccer at the University of Portland and has been playing for the NWSL side, the Portland Thorns, since 2013.
At Tokyo 2020, Sinclair finally struck Gold after placing 3rd in her last two Olympic games. Canada beat Sweden in penalties after finishing 1-1 in extra time. She had been subbed off in the 87th minute of that game and had to watch from the
sidelines as the winning penalty hit the back of the net. Many thought the 40-year-old would retire after that, but Sinclair had different plans.
She played in her sixth FIFA Women's World Cup this past summer in Australia. With the unexpected early exit for the Canadians, Sinclair decided she wasn’t done just yet and helped her team qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in September before announcing her plans to retire.
Sinclair changed the way of soccer in Canada. She paved the way for female athletes and changed the game for everyone around the world. Her work in the game has allowed for opportunities to arise for young girls all over Canada.
Playing for her country for the last 23 years, she has reached global popularity and certainly has become a household name. Scoring goals against countries like England, Brazil, the USA, and many more. Iconic moments that will last a lifetime and memories made for so many young girls across the world.
With the announcement of a women's soccer league in Canada set for 2025, we can hope to see Sinclair play some part in the league she no doubt helped pave the path for. Once the NWSL season is over, Sinclair can finally rest and relax for as long as she wants because we all know she deserves it.
She will retire as Canada's most successful soccer player and one of Canada's greatest-ever athletes.