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World's greatest international goalscorer Christine Sinclair announces her retirement from Canada

Christine Sinclair, the world's all-time leading international goalscorer, has announced her retirement from the Canada women's national team but said she still planned to play for Portland Thorns in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) next season.

The 40-year-old Sinclair's illustrious international career includes a record 190 goals for Canada in 327 games, an Olympic gold medal and six World Cup appearances.

"Honestly, you can't play forever," Sinclair told Reuters. "And this seems like a good time to be done."

The forward, one of Canada's most recognizable athletes, said her incredible run with the national team will end with a pair of send-off games during the Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 FIFA international window.

"Canada Soccer is working on announcing more matches, which will be made public next week," said Sinclair, the most-capped active women's player.

"The way the schedule is lining up, it'll be a nice way to end it."


Sinclair's departure means she will not make a fourth Olympic appearance next year in Paris.

"After Tokyo, I knew I didn't want to play in Paris," Sinclair said.

"And then I wanted to give the World Cup another shot (this year) just with our team's lack of success in World Cups in general. So, I knew it was coming to an end just based on what I wanted to do in terms of a timeline."

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Canada's World Cup ended in the group stage with a 4-0 thrashing by hosts Australia and Sinclair said she did not want her international career to end like that.

"So, it was important to be part of the group trying to qualify for Paris, just to go out on a little bit better of a note than the World Cup," she said.

Sinclair helped Canada clinch a Paris Olympic berth with a Sept. 26 win over Jamaica in Toronto.

"And then what started to creep in for me is the excitement of having an off-season and FIFA windows being a break, and being able to spend more time with my family and go on vacation and things like that," she added.

"Honestly, I haven't been able to do that since I went to college."


Sinclair broke United States forward Abby Wambach's all-time international scoring record of 184 goals in a 2020 Olympic qualifying game against Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The Canadians went on to capture their first Olympic title in Tokyo, beating Sweden in a shootout in the final.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the top men's scorer with 127 goals.

Sinclair would have become the first player, female or male, to score in six World Cups with a goal at this year's tournament in Australia and New Zealand but failed to add to her tally.

Sinclair made her debut for Canada - and scored her first international goal - as a 16-year-old at the 2000 Algarve Cup.

She received the Best FIFA Special Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in 2021, has two Olympic bronze medals from 2012, when she won the Golden Boot, and 2016, and is a 14-time Canadian women's player of the year.

Off the pitch, she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2013 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.

The typically reserved Sinclair grew into a vocal leader in the Canada team's recent fight for equal pay and treatment.

Sinclair is in the Canada squad for a pair of friendlies versus Brazil on Oct. 28 in Montreal and three days later in Halifax. Tickets for the game at Halifax's Wanderers Grounds, which seats 6,400 fans, sold out in 20 minutes.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ken Ferris)

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