Canadian soccer legend Christine Sinclair's Barbie doll honour is 'cooler than having a community centre named after her', but you won't be able to buy it

Mattel's efforts to 'immortalize' Christine Sinclair is being lauded by Canadians, and something the star never thought would happen in her 'wildest dreams'

First pictures of Christine Sinclair with her
First pictures of Christine Sinclair with her "mini me" version from Mattel's Barbie Role Model series

Canadian soccer legend Christine Sinclair is being honoured with a “befitting tribute”: a one-of-a-kind Barbie Role Model doll, as part of Mattel's Dream Gap Project. The project is committed to levelling the playing field for girls globally, while marking the toy manufacturer’s 65th anniversary.

Sinclair, who has 331 caps and 190 goals to her name internationally, joined a list of 9 female athletes from across the globe being celebrated and honoured by Mattel for their remarkable feats in different sports ranging from soccer and tennis to boxing, swimming and track and field.

Canadians were quick to rejoice in Sinclair’s glory following Mattel’s announcement on Wednesday as they took to social media to express their enthusiasm and appreciation of the legendary player’s contribution to women’s sports up north.

“I was excited to hear that Canadian, Christine Sinclair, is part of the new line up of athletic Barbie dolls. I had Barbies and was very athletic when I was young, winning numerous awards. I'm sure this will inspire young Canadian girls.🙌🎉,” a social media user posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“@Devin_Heroux, you got any Mattel connections to produce more for purchase? 😅

Congrats @sincy12! This might be cooler than having a community centre named after her. 😀,” said another.

The FIFA all-time scoring record holder was humbled by Mattel’s gesture, calling it an opportunity to inspire young girls wanting to get into sports both in Canada and worldwide.

"As an athlete, it was never a thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be immortalized with an iconic doll,” said Barbie Role Model and Olympic Gold Medalist, Christine Sinclair in a statement shared with Yahoo News Canada by Mattel.

“The significance of this aligns with my hope of inspiring young girls to never give up on the sport they love or anything they might want to achieve. I truly believe that by sharing the stories of women in sports, we can pave the way for future generations of athletes,” Sinclair said.

First pictures of Christine Sinclair with her
First pictures of Christine Sinclair with her "mini me" version from Mattel's Barbie Role Model series

Sinclair also shared how soccer had been “instrumental” in shaping her to become the woman she is today while stating on her Instagram what this move means for women in sports everywhere.

“Barbie’s mission of empowering girls to dream big and chase their goals is something I am very passionate about.

Football has been such an instrumental part of my life, and in many ways shaped the woman I am today. I hope by partnering with Barbie to shine a light on the journeys of women in sport, young girls will feel inspired to pursue their dreams.

#YouCanBeAnything,” Sinclair posted on Instagram, where she also shared more pictures of “mini me” using the Stories feature of the social media platform.

“Thank you, Christine, for inspiring girls to never stop believing in their dreams❣️⚽🏆,” commented the official @Barbie account in response to Sinclair’s post.

“Sooo can we get one?” enquired the official @fifawomensworldcup handle in the comments section.

Many of the other players, both past and present, joined in singing praises for Sinclair – including the legendary American tennis player Billie Jean King in the comments –- while congratulating her for another achievement.

“Love this! Congratulations,” King wrote.

Many Canadians wondered how soon they could get their hands on this rare and iconic product by Mattel which became a defining moment in women’s sports on Wednesday.

But, they can’t.

They are one-of-a-kind dolls made for each role model, so they are not for sale as there is only one of each, a Mattel spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Canada.

The one-of-a-kind Role Model dolls inspired by Sinclair and 8 other athletes from around the world is an attempt to “amplify the stories of trailblazers and champion the momentum surrounding women in sports. Barbie hopes that young girls can be inspired to stay in sports and pursue their passions,” Mattel said in a statement.

However, the Barbie brand will continue to commemorate its 65th anniversary throughout the year, with new celebratory offerings, which will include New Sports Doll Line Ups and Playsets. The 2024 Barbie Sports Doll lineup include a basketball player, boxer, tennis player and volleyball player featuring sports uniforms and equipment.