At the Tokyo Olympic Games which will soon get underway, a woman with an outstanding record in football will lead Canada in its campaign to win the top honours in the game. Her name is Christine Sinclair. With an unbelievable 186 goals against her name, she is the topmost goal scorer in international football. She is far ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who with 109 goals is tied for the top spot with Iran’s Ali Daei in the men’s category. Pele, Maradona and Messi are farter behind her.
Christine had helped Canada to win the bronze medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and also at the Rio Olympics in 2016. This will be Christine’s fourth Olympics and she is hoping to take Canada to a gold medal this time. She had been the top scorer at the London Olympics and the chances are bright that she will do it once again in Tokyo.
Plus, it is likely that at the Tokyo Olympics, she will also cross a personal milestone by playing more than 300 international matches for Canada. There are no words to describe what she has achieved in women’s football.
Christine is the captain of the Portland Thorns football team. The team which is based in Portland, Oregon, USA, is the one which Nadia Nadim of Afghanistan had represented in 2016. Nadia and Christine had struck up a winning partnership for this team when the Afghan star was playing there. The two of them took their team to the gold medal in the national league that year.
The number of records that Christine has created is mind boggling. Besides being the world’s top scorer and winning two Olympic medals, she is a 14 time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award, she holds the record for most capped footballer among men and women with 296 caps, and has represented her country in 5 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Christine was born in 1983 to Bill and Sandra Sinclair. Her father and uncles were reasonably good amateur football players. Little Christine began showing signs of sports talent from an early age. By the time she was six years old, she excelled at baseball and football.
When she had to go to college she chose the University of Portland in Oregon and that is how she landed up in the neighbouring country of USA. In Portland, her football career zoomed off. She scored 23 goals in her first season for the University. Her coach made her the captain of the University although she was in her first year.
Today, although she plays for Portland Thorns FC in club competitions, she represents her home country Canada in international competitions. She is widely regarded as the greatest footballer that Canada has ever produced. She is a fast, physically strong and intelligent forward, known for her ball skills, athleticism, technique, and vision.
Moreover she is a brave player who cannot be pushed around. In 2011, her nose was broken by a violent elbow hit from a rival player but Christine just continued playing.
She is known to be a big game player. That means she excels in important games. The best example was seen when she scored a hat-trick against USA (which is a 4-time world champion team) in the semi-finals of the 2012 Olympic Games. At the Tokyo Olympics, Canada’s hopes of winning a gold medal will be resting mainly on her strong and experienced shoulders.
Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.