Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé to retire in the spring
Canada’s Stephanie Labbe makes a save against Sweden in the sixth round of the penalty shoot-out in the women’s soccer final during the summer Tokyo Olympics. (Frank Gunn/CP)
January 19, 2022, 2:27 PM
Stephanie Labbé, whose safe hands helped Canada to Olympic women’s soccer gold in Tokyo last summer, has announced her retirement.
The shocking news comes just two days after Labbé finished runner-up for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper.
The 35-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta., who started the season with Sweden’s FC Rosengard before transferring to Paris Saint-Germain in late August, was beaten out for the FIFA award by Chile’s Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain/Olympique Lyonnais).
Labbé says she has left PSG and will call it quits this spring after the second half of the Canadian women’s so-called “Celebration Tour.”
“That will be my official sendoff with the national team,” said Labbé, who has won 85 caps for Canada, with 43 clean sheets.
Labbé said she had been thinking about her future for some time, with a decision coming in late November.
“Honestly I woke up one day and it just hit me — I just knew in my heart that it was time,” she said in an interview. “I feel so confident in that, I feel so ready for what’s next.
“I really truly feel at this point that I’ve given everything to the game and I’ve invested my heart and soul into it and I just don’t feel that I have anything left. And I feel so great about that. I really feel like I’ve left everything out there. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment than to have finished my career on an Olympic gold medal and signing for one of the top clubs in the world.”
A rib injury forced Labbé out of Canada’s opening game against host Japan at the Olympics. But she returned after missing one game, albeit playing in pain.
The Canadian No. 1 became an iconic figure in Tokyo — grinning in goal during pressure-packed penalty shootout wins over Brazil and Sweden.