185 and counting – Canada's Sinclair beats all-time international goals record

‘What a moment’ – Sinclair scores at her fifth World Cup

Canada striker Christine Sinclair has beaten the goalscoring record in men’s and women’s international football.

She goes ahead of retired American Abby Wambach on 185 goals after scoring twice in the first 23 minutes of Canada’s Tokyo 2020 qualifier against St Kitts & Nevis.

The highest goalscorer in men’s international football remains Iran’s Ali Daei on 109 goals.

Sinclair, 36, is making her 290th international appearance.

“I remember starting my career and thinking, ‘I have so many goals to get to’ but sort of having my eye on the record as a 16-year-old,” Sinclair told BBC Sport last year as she played at her fifth World Cup.

A 20-year international career

Sinclair began her club career in Vancouver but has spent the past decade in the United States playing for Gold Pride, Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns.

She made her international debut at 16 and three years later helped Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2003 Women’s World Cup – their best-ever finish.

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The Canadian went on to break the record of most goals scored by woman at a single Olympics with six in 2012, hitting a hat-trick in the 4-3 semi-final defeat by the USA, before picking up a bronze medal.

She finished the tournament as Canada’s flag bearer and four years later led them to another third-place finish.

And her 10th World Cup goal, against the Netherlands in France in 2019, meant she had scored in five tournaments – an achievement only matched by Brazilian legend Marta.

Sinclair, who remains Canada’s most-capped footballer, aims to compete in this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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What other records does she have?

Only 12 players have scored more goals at the Women’s World Cup than Sinclair despite the Canadian only going beyond the quarter-finals on one occasion.

She has also captained her country at more finals than any female footballer (four) and only Mexico’s Rafael Marquez (five) has done so more times in the men’s competition.

However, Sinclair’s goals-per-game ratio at the Women’s World Cup is lower than some of her rivals – of players to have scored 10 or more goals in the tournament, Sinclair ranks 10th.

The Canadian scored 23 goals in 22 international matches in 2012, the ninth occasion she has scored double figures in a calendar year.

And not only does she have more caps and goals than any other Canadian, she tops the charts on assists too – picking up 56.


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