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Christine Sinclair to retire from Canada duties at end of year

Sinclair, 40, is the world’s leading international goal-scorer with 190 tallies. She says she plans to play one more season professionally

Noe Llamas / SPP

Christine Sinclair has spent over half her life playing for Canada women’s national team. Now, the 40-year-old can count her remaining games on one hand.

Canada Soccer confirmed on Friday that Sinclair, whose 190 international goals to date are the most ever scored by a woman or man, will retire from the national team at the end of the year. The Canadian Press reports that her final game will be in early December against Australia in Vancouver, near her hometown. Sinclair intends to play one more season with the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League, per The Canadian Press.

Sinclair indicated as much in an Instagram post on Friday that ended with the note: “P.S. — Portland, how about one more year?”

“For me it’s just time,” Sinclair said. “I’ve started to catch myself thinking about going on vacation, spending time with my family, going to my cabin — that five years ago would never have crossed my mind. But at the same time, it excites me to play professionally [for Portland] but where you have one thing to focus on. It just seemed like time.”

Sinclair has served as Canada’s captain since 2006. She played in six World Cups, beginning in 2003, when she helped Canada finish fourth, their best finish at a World Cup. Sinclair was part of all three recent Canada teams to claim Olympic medals — bronze in 2012 and 2016 before a gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Canada will play twice in October against Brazil before closing the year out with, reportedly, a pair of home games in the FIFA window that runs from Nov. 27-Dec. 6. Four consecutive home games are historically rare for Canada.

“Very few players can lace up their boots and transcend a sport both in this country and globally,” Canada head coach Bev Priestman said in a statement. “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.”

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