Christine Sinclair Retiring From International Duty
The greatest Canadian female soccer player of all time will be hanging up her boots from international duty at the end of the year.
When Bev Priestman met the media this week to release her roster for the upcoming International friendlies against Brazil, a question had been raised about the future of Christine Sinclair.
“We have had confidential conversations but she is fully available for the upcoming window”, Priestman had answered. On Thursday night, Sinclair took to social media to announce she was retiring from international football at the end of the year.
She posted a video on her Instagram account with a pair of cleats hanging,and that’s when the world knew what had transpired. The following morning saw Canada Soccer confirm the news.
Charmaine Crooks, the newly elected Canada Soccer President, released the following statement.
“Congratulations to Christine on a stellar career that has been extraordinary and inspiring both on and off the field. While her days as an active Women’s National Team player are coming to an end, her legacy will endure in the hearts and ambitions of so many young athletes across Canada and around the world.”
Sinclair started playing for Canada 23 years ago at the young age of 16, playing 327 career international games which is the second most in the history of world football.
She led Canada to a Concacaf Championship in 2010, winning the gold medal at the Pan-American games the year after with back-to-back Olympic Bronze medals in 2012 and 2016.
Sinclair also has a gold medal in her trophy cabinet from the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, where Canada finally came on top of the world.
In Australia at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, it was rumored that it would be her last WC circuit and now it has been confirmed.
At the World Cup level, she helped them finish in fourth place in 2003 and in sixth place in 2015, when Canada hosted the tournament. Priestman released another statement via the press release.
“Very few players can lace up their boots and transcend a sport both in this country and globally. Christine has done just that — both as a player and a person who stands up for what she believes. She is known and admired by all Canadians and has been pivotal in every single country-stopping moment. I feel very fortunate and privileged to have worked with Christine, the greatest of all time, not only in what she has done but in how she has done it. The moment when Christine’s last kick or final whistle goes for this country, she can leave the field knowing she has changed this game forever, inspired an entire generation, and paved a better future for all through her work off the pitch. That is one tremendous legacy.”
She holds the world all-time record when it comes to goals scored with 190 and has scored goals in 22 different countries against 43 different opponents.
Sinclair scored 10 goals at the World Cup, 12 at the Olympics, and 46 more in all Concacaf competitions. Her world record earned her The Best FIFA Special Award also winning the Canada Soccer President’s Award.
The BC native is an officer of the Order of Canada and also a fourteen-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year Award winner and a two-time Canadian Athlete of the Year, while also being the Canada Soccer Player of the Decade from 2012-2012.
She was also a top five finalist eight times for The Canadian Press Athlete of the Year while also earning a ten-time finalist for FIFA World Player of the Year.
Jason DeVos, who took over as the Interim General Secretary, also made quite the statement when talking about Sinclair.
“As a former player, I know that this day and these moments are difficult. But this is not the end for Christine, who has influenced sport in our country at a level that we will continue to see and feel for years to come. I want to thank Christine for her tremendous contributions and for all that she has done and will continue to do to help grow soccer in Canada.”
Sinclair’s next game on Saturday, October 28th in Montreal against Brazil will also be a milestone 50th international appearance played in Canada since she made her debut in June 2001, scoring an equalizer against the USA in Toronto.
She has played in seven different provinces and playing in Halifax, Nova Scotia will be her 8th. There is word Canada Soccer is working on a November/December international window in Canada with the first game being in Vancouver and the second in Langford at Starlight Stadium, allowing her to finish her career in the hometown province that it started.
A source has stated but hasn’t confirmed that Australia could be the opponent in Sinclair sendoff window. Sinclair will play one more season with the Portland Thorns in the NWSL before hanging up her cleats for good.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques