Canada Soccer honors recent Women’s National Team retiree Josée Bélanger

Jordyn Huitema
Canadian Women’s National Team player Josée Bélanger has announced her retirement, joining Kaylyn Kyle who announced

earlier this month.  Both players will be honoured, at the upcoming Canada Soccer Women’s National Team home match against

Costa Rica on 11 June in Toronto.   Additional retirement announcements are also expected prior to the 11 June home match.

Bélanger and Kyle, both former professional players, were CONCACAF champions and Olympic bronze medalists, with Kyle

winning her medal at London 2012 and Bélanger winning her medal at Rio 2016. Both players also helped Canada finish in sixth

place at the historic FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. Bélanger scored the winning goal in the Round of 16.

Bélanger: A great role model

Josée Bélanger was a 2010 CONCACAF champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist. She also won a CONCACAF youth

title in 2004 as well as a 2015 Swedish league (Damallsvenskan) title with FC Rosengård.

“Over the past few months, I’ve taken the time to look back over my 25-year career. I’m leaving the soccer world with a sense of

accomplishment, which for me is just as rewarding as winning an Olympic medal,” Bélanger said. “What I have retained from my

career is everything I learned, through teamwork, guidance from my coaches over the years, the injuries, the wins as well as the

losses. Soccer has enabled me to grow as a person first and foremost, and this is what I find most gratifying,” she concluded.

From her 2016-17 season, Bélanger won Le Maurice from Sports Québec as the international team athlete of the year. From

Québec Soccer, she was a two-time FSQ professional player of the year (2015, 2016), a two-time FSQ elite player of the year

(2008, 2010), and a three-time FSQ youth player of the year (2001, 2002, 2004). She was also runner up in voting for the 2015

Canada Soccer Player of the Year.

“Josée is always going to be a big loss to this team for what she brings off the pitch, she’s the epitome of a high performer – her

lifestyle, her attitude to life, and I think a lot of our players look up to her and learn from her every single day,” said Head Coach

John Herdman.  “Josée has lived her life to perform for her country in every way shape and form.  She’s been a great role model

for the young players particularly, so to lose that within our team will be a big loss for our country.   On the field, you’ve seen her –

she’s just a competitor – and absolute machine.  One of her strongest attributes is her mindset – you just cannot break this woman.

She would be in as much pain as I’ve ever seen with the things we would ask her to do in fullback and she’d just keep going and

never complain, and never show it.  To replace that sort of mindset and high performance spirit is going to be tough.  I wish her

well for the future and I know she will be successful in whatever she does because she’s got great habits and we look forward to

seeing her in Toronto when we can finally say goodbye.”

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