Christine Sinclair played her final match for Canada when they beat Brazil 2-0 through two second-half goals courtesy Jordyn Huitema and Deanne Rose in a friendly at the Wanderer Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday, 31 October, 2023.
This game brought to and end an illustrious career that Sinclair has seen pan over almost three decades.
She called time on her career as the leading goal scorer in both men the men’s and women’s game ending on a tally of 190 goals, scoring 6 more than previous leader American star Abby Wombach.
Toping the record chart is somewhat the hallmark of Sinclair’s career, she is the most capped Canadian player with a whopping 380 caps, 327 of those from international ‘A’ appearances. She is such a mainstay in her sport that in 18 years she was named Canadian player of the Year 14 times! She really is in a class of her own when it comes to women’s soccer.
To continue with more amazing stats, Sinclair has played at six World Cups, a feat that only Brazil’s Formiga who has played in seven of the soccer showpiece tournaments.
Sinclair penned a heartfelt letter to her 16-year-old self, ahead of her retirement. She gives her young self advice having literally been through it all at the age of 40. But goes on to speak about her early memories of starting to play international football.
Reading this, “What more could there be?” you’ll ask. If you will become the most prolific goal scorer of all-time and win an Olympic gold medal, then things must go smoothly, right? Well, pretty soon you’ll discover things aren’t so rosy behind the scenes.
You’ll learn Canadian women’s national team players were playing for $10 a day. You’ll hear the prize money for the Women’s World Cup is going to increase, only for the men’s prize money to increase by more, widening the pay gap. You’ll witness young girls slip through the developmental cracks because of the lack of a legitimate pathway to the national team.
This is when you decide to fight back. While people will know you for your accomplishments on the pitch, they will remember you for how you transcended the painted white lines. Creating equity is what you will be most proud of.
Sinclair who is also a decorated Olympian having been at four of the Games, according to the olympics.com site Sinclair has scored 12 Olympic goals, which leaves her only behind Brazilian duo Christiane and Marta.
It doesn’t end their for the Canadian when it come to the Olympics as she won a historic gold in 2020 in Tokyo to add to her silver and bronze she won at previous events.
Take pictures and explore. Soak in some of the most amazing places this planet has to offer, it’s okay to take in those moments. Cherish the times with your teammates, some of them will become your best friends and you will get through the highs and lows together. When your parents get sick, know it is all right to step away to spend time with them.
You will never get that time back and it is one of the best decisions you will ever make. But no matter what happens, don’t change. Your work ethic, your desire to be better and your mentality of never being satisfied are what sets you apart. Here I am preparing to tie the bow on an unbelievable international career shared with so many incredible teammates, coaches, support staff, fans and of course family. We are not here without them. Here I am in the 90th minute of our journey.
I suppose it will be fitting to end this thing the same way it started – with some tears, playing the game we love on some field in Vancouver. Home.
P.S. – Portland, how about one more year?
She might have brought down the curtain on what is arguably one of the most successful career in football but Sinclair will be a hard to beat on the field.
Photo Caption: Christine Sinclair etched her name in the history book as she retired from international soccer, playing her final match for Canada when they beat Brazil 2-0 in a friendly at the Wanderer Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday, 31 October, 2023. Photo: Christine Sinclair on Instagram