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World Cup win would cement Sinclair’s legacy

Bruce Penton is rooting for Canada's greatest female soccer player
bruce penton sports

If an unseeded player like Marketa Vondrousova can shock the tennis world and win the women’s singles at Wimbledon, if eighth-seeded Florida Panthers can make it all the way to the Stanley Cup final, then there’s no reason why Canada’s women’s soccer team can’t win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

For the sake of Christine Sinclair, perhaps the world’s greatest female soccer player ever, a win by Canada at the 2023 championship currently being staged in Australia and New Zealand would be a perfect capper to Sinclair’s cap-filled career on the pitch.

Sinclair’s skills are still world class, but the Burnaby, B.C. star is 40 years old and, well, Old Man (or Women) Time always wins in the end. With more than 320 caps (international games while representing her country) to her credit and a world-best 190 goals in those games, Sinclair’s status as the best female soccer player of all time is secure, but her career is missing one important ingredient: a FIFA Women’s World Cup championship.

Canada is not one of the world’s powers in the sport, but our country is not one of the worst, either. Ranked seventh in the world going into the World Cup, it wouldn’t be considered a gigantic upset if Sinclair and Co. were to win. After all, the team reached the quarter-finals when it hosted the World Cup back in 2015. Canada also has a gold and two bronze medals in the past three Olympics.

The Canadian team competed in a pool with Nigeria, Republic of Ireland and Australia, and finishes the round-robin portion of the event July 31. Finishing first or second in their pool would put the Canadians into the playoff round of 16 starting Aug. 4.

A heavy dose of humility comes over Sinclair whenever someone calls her the best player in the world, but the numbers back it up. And winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup in her sixth attempt would settle the ‘world’s-best’ argument for good.

It’s unlikely Sinclair would be around for a seventh Women’s World Cup in 2027, but if she still knows how to put the ball into the net, and is tired of doing commercials for the sandwich chain Subway, retirement might be pushed back. If Gordie Howe can play in the NHL at age 51, Christine Sinclair still scoring big goals on the world stage at age 44 is not out of the question.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 




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