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Canada said goodbye to Christine Sinclair, but the emotions haven’t yet set in

After 23 years and 331 caps, the iconic No. 12 walked off the field where it all began

Photo: Canada Soccer

Reporting from Christine Sinclair Place (BC Place) in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” blasted throughout Christine Sinclair Place — the one-night name for BC Place on Tuesday — as Canada came out to warm up in front of a crowd of 48,112 fans in downtown Vancouver for Sinclair’s final game for her country. 

Sinclair’s teammates came out onto the pitch wearing t-shirts with GOAT written on the front and “No. 12 Sinclair” on the back. In true Sinclair fashion, not wanting her teammate to be left out, Sinclair ran onto the pitch sporting a No. 13 Schmidt jersey. Sophie Schmidt was also playing her final game for Canada, after all.

The scene epitomized what Sinclair has been all about throughout her career. She has never played for the name on the back of her shirt; it’s always been about growing the sport in Canada and leaving it in a better place for the next generation of Canadian athletes. The attention that came with her 331 caps and world-record 190 international goals? Call it an occupational hazard.

“When Soph and I first joined the national team, really no one cared,” Sinclair said on Sunday in her final press conference with the team. “I joined because, obviously, I got invited but it was just something cool to do. To see the growth of the game, to see where it’s at now, and the opportunities that are available — whether it’s internationally, wherther its playing pro, honestly I never thought in my career that this was going to happen. I just feel fortuntate to have been a part of that growth.”

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