For 20 years, Christine Sinclair has been the heartbeat of Canadian soccer. Women or men, no soccer player from Canada has come close to reaching the heights of the exceptional captain.
And now, her greatness is international.
In a match against St. Kitts and Nevis at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in South Texas, Sinclair scored twice. They were her 184th and 185th goals in an international competition. Why is that significant?
Because before the game, she sat at 183 goals. That's one goal behind retired legendary USA striker Abby Wambach (her total is 184).
But now? The lead is Sinclair's, and Sinclair's alone.
Legend. Leader. Record-breaker.
Christine Sinclair breaks the all-time scoring record by scoring her 185th in Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying! #Sinclair185 #WeBelong @CanadaSoccerEN pic.twitter.com/khsDutaRez
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) January 29, 2020
This total isn't just for women's soccer. It is for all players, period. The great Cristiano Ronaldo? He's second all-time for male players, with 99 international goals.
To be fair, there are big differences between how the women's and men's games work. Men play less international matches, while women's leagues are only just beginning to get really serious in certain parts of Europe and North America. But in the end?
All of these players are playing the same sport: soccer. And scoring 185 goals for your country is an incredible achievement that everyone can recognize.
Soccer is the most played sport in the world and the player who has the most international goals ever, man or woman, is from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Christine Sinclair has 185 international goals, more than any player to ever player soccer. Anywhere. Ever.
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) January 29, 2020
Want more proof?
Abby Wambach herself was among the first to congratulate Christine about breaking her record.
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.@sincy12 https://t.co/rNxjjpV7tZ pic.twitter.com/xkUjLtNXHn
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) January 29, 2020
The best is yet to come
We really love what Wambach said in that video. On the field? Wambach's USA and Sinclair's Canada were bitter rivals. One of the greatest games of women's soccer ever played was an epic semi-final between them at the London 2012 Olympics. On that day, Wambach and her American teammates emerged triumphant, winning 4–3.
But today? It's Sinclair's turn. And Wambach sees that what's good for her old rival is great for the sport.
Right now, women's soccer has never been more popular. The recent Women's World Cup was a huge success. Players like Megan Rapinoe, Sam Kerr, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry, and Vivianne Meidema are making bigger and bigger waves around the world.
You can bet that they're all celebrating right now with Christine Sinclair. They know women's soccer is just getting started.
Watch this tribute to Christine below!