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More international goals than Ronaldo & Messi: Meet Christine Sinclair, Canada’s record star


Ronaldo equaled Ali Daei’s record with a prop against France in Portugal’s last Euro 2020 group stage, but he is not yet the top scorer

Cristiano Ronaldo’s prop against France at Euro 2020 made him the biggest international goal scorer in men’s football, level with Iran’s Ali Daei.

Since that match against France, Ronaldo has scored 109 times in 179 matches for his country, three of those in his country’s triumphant Euro 2016 campaign and seven that came in the final of the World Cup.

To become Ronaldo’s best international goal scorer, however, Ronaldo needs the incredible score of Christine Sinclair.

Who’s Christine Sinclair?

Christine Sinclair is a forward, playing primarily as an attacking midfielder, who is the captain of both the Canada women’s team and the Portland Thorns.

The 38-year-old has played her entire career in North America, being selected by FC Gold Pride as the eighth overall pick in the 2008 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) expansion draft after playing for the Portland Pilots while in college.

She moved to Western New York Flash in 2011 and then joined the Thorns two years later for the first National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, where she has lived ever since.

Sinclair played for her country in her World Cup final and two Olympics and won two bronze medals. She has won both the WPS Championship and the NWSL Championship twice, lifted the NWSL Challenge Cup in 2021 and is widely regarded as Canada’s greatest player of all time.

What is the international record of Christine Sinclair?

Sinclair’s record currently stands at 187 goals in 303 games for Canada. She set a new record for international goals in January 2020, with her 184th and 185th international goals against St Kitts and Nevis in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

“Thanks to everyone for all the messages. I’m a little overwhelmed,” she later posted on Twitter. “Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, staff, friends and family, 185 would not have been possible without you.”

The previous record was held by Abby Wambach, the former striker of the American women’s team who twice won Olympic gold and also won the FIFA World Cup for women. Wambach scored 184 goals in 255 games for her country before retiring in 2015.

Christine Sinclair Canada Women 2020

What other records does Christine Sinclair hold?

Sinclair is not only the best goal scorer in her country, but also has more caps (303) for Canada than anyone else, male or female. That total places her fourth on the list of the best players of all time, behind the American trio of Kristine Lilly (354), Christie Pearce and Carli Lloyd (both 311), with Lloyd still an active player.

Sinclair has a record number of times as captain at the World Cup and has scored at least one goal in five different tournaments, a record she shares with Marta. During this summer’s Olympics, she is chasing the record for most goals ever scored in the women’s soccer tournament. She set the record for most goals in a single tournament, scoring six in London 2012 – a record broken by Vivianne Miedema in Japan.

The forward is also the only person to have won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award more than once, a prestigious award given to the Female Athlete of the Year, and was named Canadian Player of the Year 14 times.

Who else has more international goals than Ronaldo and Messi?

There are currently nine women players who have more international goals than Ronaldo, four of whom remain active.

The women with more goals than Ronaldo are the American women’s team, Alex Morgan (111), the Brazilian icon Marta (112), Scotland’s Julie Fleeting (116), Lloyd (126) and the German Birgit Prinz (128), along with the American trio Lilly. (130), Mia Hamm (158) and Wambach (184) then occupied Sinclair.

Lionel Messi, meanwhile, is still chasing the 100-point mark in his international career, with a record of 76 goals in 151 games for Argentina. He is in ninth place on the everyday list for male footballers, with Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates and Ronaldo, the two active players above him.

* Note the correct statistics from 2 August 2021

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