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'This was absolutely nuts': More than 48,000 fans pack BC Place for Sinclair send-off

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A sea of Christine Sinclair jerseys filled BC Place stadium Tuesday night to celebrate the Burnaby native's final game wearing a Canadian jersey.

“She grew up in Burnaby and she also played with the local club with Burnaby, so it’s really inspiring to have her as a role model,” said Malala Rabesoa, a lifelong Sinclair fan and Burnaby FC player.

One Sinclair superfan made the trek from Ontario to bid farewell to her favourite player.

“Christine Sinclair actually started on the national team when I started playing soccer when I was 3, so she’s kind of been my idol ever since I started playing,” said Jasmine Bureau, who drove 4 hours from Sudbury and flew 5 hours from Toronto.

“To be here today is kind of a send-off to my idol.”

Before kick-off, her teammates entered the pitch for warm-up all wearing Sinclair’s number 12. Sinclair, however, wore her teammate Sophie Schmidt’s number 13, honouring her long-time teammate, who also played her last game for Canada Tuesday night.

Sinclair retires with 331 appearances for Canada spanning more than more than two decades with the national team. Her resume includes an international record 190 goals, two Olympic bronze medals and a gold from the Tokyo 2020 games.

Sinclair spoke with TSN after the match.

“I mean, this was absolutely nuts,” said the 40-year-old. “It’s perfect.”

Sinclair also spoke on her impact on Canadian soccer’s future.

“Our goal was to inspire a generation and looking around this stadium and seeing all the young girls and young boys, it’s like, mission accomplished.”

BC Place changed its name to "Christine Sinclair Place" as part of the celebration. More than 48,000 fans attended the friendly match, which Canada won 1-0 over Australia.  

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