Christine Sinclair Ready To Leave A Legacy Behind In Retirement
The greatest Canadian female soccer player met the media in Montreal today to discuss her decision to retire.
It’s not every day that a player with a legacy as big as Christine Sinclair decides to leave it behind and ride into the sunset after an amazing international career.
“Still to this day I play and I love it,” Sinclair answered in her opening remark. “I started playing because my brother did and I wanted to go to the Olympics, but funny enough as a speed skater even if I don’t skate. I remember Catriona Le May Doan winning gold and I wanted to do that.”
Sinclair says one of the main reasons she decided to play Soccer was for fun, but she never imagined she would become one of the greatest in the game.
“I played it for fun and in regards to the legacy I have left, I will have a look after I retire. I am just proud to be a part of women’s football and playing around the world for Canada.”
Sinclair admitted she didn’t want some big fancy retirement and that if she could, she would go into retirement as quietly as possible. Still, she’s grateful for all the support she has gotten.
“It’s mixed emotions and I’ve seen what other players like Steph Labbe and Meaghan Rapinoe have gone through and that is honestly my worst nightmare,” she said.
Canada Soccer confirmed earlier in the week Canada will host Australia in Victoria and Vancouver this December in what people are calling the Christine Sinclair sendoff games.
“It’s going to be a special night. It’s a great opportunity to play four games across Canada, and for me to be able to say thank you to the fans who have supported me throughout my career.”
Sinclair confirmed to the media that since she announced her retirement she feels like she is playing with zero pressure.
“I am just trying to soak it all in. It’s freeing to come back to my roots and play for just the fun of it, enjoying the time with my teammates. It’s unique to play games at home.”
She also confirmed that she had no intention to play in the 2024 Paris Olympics but she wanted a final crack at the World Cup.
“After Tokyo and winning gold I knew I didn’t want to play in Paris. There was no better way to go out, but I did want to give the World Cup one more shot.”
After what transpired in Australia, Sinclair didn’t want things to end just yet and thus wanted to help the team qualify for Paris.
“For me personally it was important to help get this team to Paris – I thought I was done, but then I heard these four games in Canada and my friends and family convinced me not to leave.”
The Canadian star was asked if she would still be involved with the CBA negotiations and she said she would always be ready to fight.
“You have seen what teammates have done after they retire: they continue to push through and it’s been a hard battle, but moving forward we will have the same as the men, which is a huge step forward.”
I asked Sinclair if after retirement she would consider a full-time role working with Canada Soccer, but she wasn’t really sure – though she is open to the idea.
“I am obviously going to stay involved in the game. This game has been in my life since I was four. I will play another year in Portland and we will go from there, whether it’s coaching or behind the scenes… I am not leaving.”
Sinclair was asked what she is most proud of and she had to take a minute to think about it.
“Personally you never think you get to play for so long and evolve with the game. Not many players get the length of the career I had, and I am very proud of that.”