Canada Soccer’s Christine Sinclair stands apart from every other footballer in the history of the game after breaking the world’s all-time international goalscoring record. The Canadian captain scored her record-breaking 185th goal on Wednesday 29 January at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Edinburg, Texas.
Now in her 21st international season, Christine Sinclair has scored more international “A” goals than any other player in the history of soccer, surpassing Abby Wambach in the first half of the Wednesday match against St. Kitts and Nevis. Across her career, Sinclair has scored 185 goals in 290 international matches.
“Canada’s Christine Sinclair is the greatest international goalscorer in the world’s most beloved sport,” said Steven Reed, Canada Soccer President. “We have watched her grow from teenage star on the local grounds to international superstar who is adored around the world. For more than 20 years, she has served as a global ambassador to our nation, continually raising the bar for our sport through her achievements on the pitch and her humble actions off the pitch.”
After giving Canada the 1-0 lead on a penalty, Sinclair scored the record-breaking goal in the 23rd minute to give Canada a 4-0 first half lead. On the play, Jessie Fleming won the turnover from Calvonis Prentice, moved towards goal and played it to Adriana Leon, then Leon played it to Sinclair who finished with a right-footed shot from inside the box.
“Christine Sinclair, an absolute treasure to Canada and Canadian sport, is truly deserving of her remarkable achievement in setting the world’s all-time international goalscoring record,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “She has been making history throughout her career, leading Canada with skill, determination, pride and honour on the international stage. There is only one Christine Sinclair and she is simply greatest of all time.”
Canadian fans will have the opportunity to celebrate Christine Sinclair’s remarkable achievement at the upcoming home international match in Vancouver on Tuesday 14 April at BC Place.
WORLD’S ALL-TIME INTERNATIONAL GOALSCORING RECORD
Sinclair is the first Canadian to score international “A” goals in three separate decades, having first scored for Canada on 14 March 2000 at the Algarve Cup in Albufeira, Portugal. She was Canada’s youngest player ever in her debut two days earlier and Canada’s youngest ever goalscorer in the 14 March loss to Norway (Canada had an early 1-0 lead after Sinclair beat Bente Nordby in the eighth minute). Just three months later, she scored her first competitive goal against Mexico at the Concacaf Gold Cup on 24 June, shortly after turning 17 years old.
Three years later, she scored less than five minutes into her first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup match, a 1-0 header past Germany’s Silke Rottenberg at USA 2003. Germany won the match and the tournament while Canada produced a best-ever fourth place finish with the 20-year old Sinclair up front. It was also the first of five-straight FIFA Women’s World Cups in which Sinclair scored, a record she shares with Brazil’s Marta.
A 14-time Canadian Player of the Year, Sinclair has led or co-led Canada in goalscoring 16 times, including nine of those seasons in double digits. She broke Silvana Burtini’s single-season goalscoring record as a rookie in 2000 (15 goals), then broke her own record in 2007 (16 goals) and again in 2012 (23 goals). On 14 July 2007, she surpassed Charmaine Hooper as Canada’s all-time goalscoring leader with her 72nd international goal. Three years later on 20 February 2010, she became Canada’s first 100-goal scorer in the same match that she passed Andrea Neil for the Women’s National Team record in international “A” appearances (133).
Throughout her career, Sinclair has scored on the biggest stages. Some of those goals include the opening matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at Germany 2011 (THAT free kick against the hosts in front of 73,680 fans) and Canada 2015 (the 92nd minute penalty winner in front of 53,058 at Commonwealth Stadium v China PR), the Round of 16 at Canada 2015 (Canadian-record crowd of 54,027 v Switzerland), the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (against the hosts with 52,600 in attendance), and the bronze-medal match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (the winning goal against the hosts in front 39,718 fans).
She also scored a most memorable hat trick against USA in the London 2012 Olympic Semi-finals, with 28,828 in attendance at Coventry and a record average audience of 2.4 million viewers watching back home on TSN. Sinclair’s heroics have been tied to just about every Women’s National Team big moment during her career, from winning goals that secured the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medal and 2010 Concacaf Women’s Championship to scoring goals that qualified Canada for three FIFA Women’s World Cups (China 2007, Germany 2011, France 2019) and two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016).
She has scored 10 goals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup (21 matches across five editions), 19 goals at the Concacaf Women’s Championship (17 matches across four FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying tournaments), 11 goals at the Olympic Games (15 matches across three tournaments), and 18 goals at the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship (17 matches across five tournaments). She was the top scorer at the London 2012 Olympic Games with six goals and selected to be Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremonies.
Around the world, she has scored goals in 21 different countries and has scored against 42 different opponents. Alongside her goalscoring records, she also holds the Canadian international records for matches played (289 before Wednesday, third most in the world), minutes played (25,026), assists (55), and wins (155). Throughout her career, Canada have won an incredible 76% of the matches in which she has scored (98 of 129 matches before Wednesday).
CHRISTINE SINCLAIR GOALSCORING TOTALS