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Christine Sinclair, soccer legend, retires from Canada national team before 2024 Olympics

Christine Sinclair

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Christine Sinclair of Canada walks onto the field during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group B match between Nigeria and Canada at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on July 21, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Noemi Llamas/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Christine Sinclair, international soccer’s all-time leading goals scorer and the captain of Canada’s Olympic champion team, is retiring from the national team, according to Soccer Canada.

Sinclair, a 40-year-old from British Columbia, tallied a record 190 international goals dating to her first of more than 300 caps in 2000 at age 16.

“Honestly, you can’t play forever,” she said, according to Reuters. “And this seems like a good time to be done.”

Sinclair led Canada to its first global title at the Tokyo Olympics, then captained the national team again at this past summer’s World Cup. Canada was eliminated in the group stage.

“After Tokyo, deep down inside, I knew I didn’t want to play in Paris,” she said, according to the Canadian Press. “The way the Tokyo Olympics ended, you can’t beat it.”

Sinclair helped Canada qualify for the 2024 Paris Games in a playoff with Jamaica last month.

A video was posted on her social media late Thursday of cleats hanging from a post, indicating a retirement that was confirmed Friday morning.

Among her career highlights included a hat trick in a 2012 Olympic semifinal defeat to the U.S. The Americans rallied from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before Alex Morgan won it in added time of extra time.

Sinclair’s 12 career Olympic goals rank third in women’s history behind Brazilians Cristiane (14) and Marta (13).