Christine Sinclair © Gallo Images
The 40-year-old, who scored 190 goals in 327 games, announced her retirement from the Canadian national team on Friday, but plans to play for the Portland Thorns in the National Football League next season.
Sinclair, who has won an Olympic gold medal and competed in six World Cups, says she will leave the international stage in a much better place than she found it.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is the growth of the game and then here in Canada the fight for equality and standards in pay,” Sinclair told Reuters in an interview.
“When I first joined the national team when I was 16, it wasn’t that you didn’t care, but you had other things to worry about. You’re just happy to be there.
“Just knowing that the team and the sport is in a better place than it was when I joined the national team… and the battle is not over yet. I will continue to fight for this team and the players, the professional league, I feel that as women, this will be a never-ending battle, and it is a battle that I will continue to fight for.” Go through it.”
Sinclair said she knew Canada’s thrilling victory in Tokyo was her last Olympics of 2021. She remained hopeful of helping Canada clinch an elusive World Cup medal, but that did not happen, as her exit came after a crushing 4-0 defeat to Australia. Hostess. In their last group match.
“I knew it was coming to an end based on what I wanted to do in terms of the schedule. And then, the last game I played with Canada, I wasn’t able to play that Australia game,” she said. “So, it was important to be part of the group trying to qualify for Paris, to go out on a better note than the World Cup.”
Canada clinched their Paris Olympics in Berth with a September 26th win over Jamaica in Toronto. Cameras captured a teary-eyed Sinclair hugging his teammates. She informed coach Bev Priestman that night of her decision to retire.
“I’m still excited to go to training. I still have an off day and I’m wondering: What can I do that won’t be an off day?” “I think I will always be connected that way,” she said.
“But what’s starting to creep in is the excitement of having the off-season and the FIFA break and being able to spend more time with my family and going on vacation and things like that that I wasn’t able to do,” he added. Since I went to college, my niece is older and I want to be able to spend time with them.
Sinclair is one of Canada’s most popular athletes. Crowds at matches are typically dotted with dozens of No. 12 Sinclair jerseys, a number she chose as a young fan of Toronto Blue Jays’ baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.
She was noncommittal about her future after the World Cup, but she caused fans a stir late on Thursday night when she posted a mysterious video on Instagram of white soccer boots dangling from the crossbar with the sounds of children playing.
Sinclair — known to his teammates as “Sensei” or “Cinque” — is on the roster for Canada’s friendly match against Brazil on Oct. 28 in Montreal and three days later in Halifax. Canada Soccer is expected to announce two farewell matches on Canada’s west coast during the international break from November 27 to December 5.
There is an association to be tears.
“I’m sure,” she said. “I definitely had moments and now I’m strangely fine. But during matches, I’m sure I’ll get emotional.”
Sinclair also led the Portland Thorns to three NWSL titles. They have secured a bye to the semi-finals where they will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent on November 6.
Off the field, Sinclair was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2013 and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.
She is also active in raising awareness and funds for Multiple Sclerosis. Her mother, Sandra, died of multiple sclerosis in 2022, which Sinclair talked about in her book “Playing the Long Game.”