Looking back at all the goals and glory of the Canadian soccer icon
Luca Hanlon, Contributor
On October 20, the Canada Soccer Association announced that Christine Sinclair would be retiring at the international level by the end of the calendar year. Her legendary career has allowed her to earn the title of the greatest international goal scorer, across both men’s and women’s soccer.
Christine Sinclair said goodbye to the Canadian Women’s National team having registered 329 international appearances and scoring 190 goals along the way. For context, Cristiano Ronaldo, the top marksman in men’s international soccer, has only scored 127 goals for his country, Portugal. This article will look at key moments and reminisce about the star-studded career of Canada’s greatest player ever.
Sinclair made her first appearance for Canada’s “A” team in the year 2000, at the young age of 16, performing admirably and subsequently earning herself a call-up. In the 2003 Women’s World Cup, she acted as the main taliswoman for Canada, helping the country to a fourth-place finish, the team’s best in a world cup to date. Disagreements between the team’s veteran players and then-manager Even Pellerud paved the way for Sinclair’s ascendency to the captain’s armband for Canada prior to the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup.
Throughout the course of her international career, Sinclair has amassed 9 medals. This includes Olympic Gold and Bronze in 2021 and 2012 respectively, and the Gold Cup in 2010. Having competed in 6 World Cups and 4 Olympic Games, Sinclair belongs to an exclusive club of players to have scored in 5 separate World Cups and is the second to do so, after Brazil’s Marta and before the aforementioned Ronaldo. Sinclair was named Canadian Player of the Year 14 times, the majority of those being consecutively from the years 2004 to 2014. In 2017, Sinclair was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada, the second-highest award available to civilians.
In a letter Sinclair posted on Instagram, she addressed her 16-year-old self, to encourage herself to stand up to the Canada Soccer Association regarding the rising gender pay gaps and lack of a professional domestic league for women. She encourages herself to persevere to serve as an inspiration to the younger generations of female soccer players, who would hopefully have more structured pathways to play professionally.
Christine Sinclair leaves behind not just a legacy of goals, awards, and records, but a testament of leadership, perseverance, and an unmatched passion for the sport. Her impact extends far beyond the pitch, inspiring the next generation of soccer players. Thank you, Christine, for a career that will live on forever in the hearts of fans, teammates, and aspiring athletes.