January 30 – Forget the US women superstars, it is Canada’s Christine Sinclair’s name will now be etched into the record books. On Wednesday, the Canadian striker scored twice in a 11-0 win over Saint Kitts and Nevis in Olympic qualifying to become the all-time top scorer in international football, surpassing previous record holder Abby Wambach of the United States.
Sinclair equalled Abby Wambach’s record of 184 goals with a penalty in the 8th minute after she was fouled, but the Canadian captain went one better by scoring a second in the 23rd minute in a 11-0 route of the island team to take her tally to 185. The highest goalscorer in men’s international football remains Iran’s Ali Daei on 109 goals in 149 appearances.
“Just unbelievable,” said Sinclair. “When I first started with the national team, I could never have imagined standing here with the number of goals I’ve scored.”
“When I first started, Mia [Hamm] had the record and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s so many goals. How does someone reach that? Just kept ticking away and I’ve been very fortunate with injuries and the longevity of it.”
Wambach was quick to congratulate Sinclair on social media, writing: “Christine: History is made. Your victory is our victory. We celebrate with you. 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.”
Wambach held the record for six years. Carli Lloyd is the closest active player with 122 career goals, but the American captain is a year older than Sinclair.
At the age of 36, Sinclair featured in her 290th international appearance for Canada. She debuted for her country at the Algarve Cup aged 16. In 2003, Sinclair, in her first major finals, helped Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, their best-ever finish. She would go on to participate in another four World Cups.
The Canadian began her club career in Vancouver, but has spent the last decade south of the border, playing for Gold Pride, Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns in the United States.
She won bronze with Canada at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and aims to compete in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582400706labto1582400706ofdlr1582400706owedi1582400706sni@o1582400706fni1582400706