United States striker Abby Wambach, the world’s all-time leading international goalscorer, is set to play the final game of her career. Wambach has scored 184 goals in 254 matches, the most of any man or woman in international football history. Having won the World Cup this year, she will retire after the last game of her country’s victory tour, against China on 16 December (Thursday 2am Nigerian time).
Wambach was born on 2 June 1980 in Rochester, New York, the youngest of seven siblings with two sisters and four brothers. After a successful college career at the University of Florida, she made her international debut against Germany in September 2001. She has since competed in four consecutive women’s World Cup tournaments, finally winning the title that had eluded her when she helped the United States triumph in this year’s tournament in Canada with a 5-2 victory over Japan in the final. Her impressive honours list also includes two Olympics gold medals from Athens 2004 and London 2012. She missed the 2008 edition which the US also triumphed in, having broken her leg prior to the tournament. In 2012, she was named FIFA women’s World Player of The Year, becoming the first American player to win the award in 10 years since Mia Hamm. The mayor of Rochester declared 20 July ‘Abby Wambach day’ and the star striker was given a key to her native city in 2011. During her club career, she played for Washington Freedom, magicJack and Western New York Flash at the professional level.