Footballing legends such as Ali Daei, Cristiano Ronaldo and Abby Wambach now trail in the wake of Christine Sinclair, who's now scored more goals on the international stage than anybody else. The Canadian forward scored her 186th goal for her country as they demolished St Kitts & Nevis, taking her the one important goal clear of the former record holder, USA superstar Wambach.
After breaking the record the current Portland Thorns forward told ESPN:
“Just unbelievable. When I first started with the national team, I could never have imagined standing here with the number of goals I've scored."
Sinclair unsurprisingly holds a whole host of goal records. Her tenth World Cup goal, scored against the Netherlands last year meant she became only the second woman to have scored in five World Cups after Brazilian legend Marta. Canada’s most-capped footballer, she also holds the record for the most goals scored by a woman at one Olympics having hit six during London 2012 as her country won the bronze medal.
She added to that bronze with another one four years later, having represented her country as the flag bearer at Rio 2016 and will be looking to go further this summer as she targets playing in her third Olympics. She will be 37 when the games come around in July.
Having begun playing football, the preferred sport of her father and uncles, at the tender age of four, she was a standout talent. She was playing for an under-7 team at the age of four, and by the time she signed up to the University of Portland’s soccer program, she was ready to make a serious impact.
And to every girl coming up in the Pack with a dream to achieve that which doesn't yet even exist: We believe in you. Your Pack is with you. And history awaits you.
Named Freshman of the Year by Soccer America in her first season, she ended her college career with 110 goals and 32 assists in just 94 games. Spectacular. She hit three goals in her first World Cup back in 2003 as a 20-year-old and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She has performed remarkably well for a country that has never gone past the quarter-final stage at the world’s biggest football tournament. If she had been born south of the border in the United States, she surely would have even more goals to her name!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of many high-profile names to praise her for her achievement tweeting: “She did it! Christine Sinclair is now international soccer’s all-time leading goal scorer. Congratulations, @sincy12 – you rock!”
A proud Canadian, she has spent almost all of her senior career playing her football in the United States, moving from the Vancouver Whitecaps to FC Gold Pride in 2008. After a spell at Western New York Flash, she has settled in Portland, where she has been scoring since 2013.
She truly is captain fantastic for Canada. She has captained her country at four finals tournaments, more than any other female player while only Rafael Marquez of Mexico has exceeded that total in the men’s game. Despite the goals, Sinclair now also has the most assists for her country with 56, to go with her appearance record and goal record.
Her relentless pursuit of goals must be applauded. The greatest international goalscorer the game has ever seen. And she is not done yet. Watch out Tokyo 2020.