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Former Canadian Men’s National Team captain, Atiba Hutchinson, reflects on soccer career during visit to Halifax

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The former captain of the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team, Atiba Hutchinson, recently visited Halifax, and reflected on a successful career on the pitch.

The main reason for his visit was to participate in the Progress Club’s Sports Charity Dinner, which raised money for charities supported by the Progress Club.

“I haven’t actually done any of these yet, so I’m looking forward it, I’m really excited. I’ve heard a lot about the event and obviously for a good cause, so I’m happy to be here,” said Hutchinson in an interview with CTV’s Ana Almeida on Wednesday.

“It’s something new, you know, I haven’t really gone through this, but meeting some of the guys that are going to help out throughout the event makes it a lot easier, so I’m just really excited about the whole experience.”

Hutchinson’s lengthy career led him to becoming a well-respected athlete in the sport, with 105 appearances for his country between 2003 and 2023, making him the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team’s all-time leader for games played.

Hutchinson eventually served as the team’s captain during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and was also voted as six-time Canadian Male Soccer Player of the Year.

“I never thought it would be the type of career I had. I was obviously very blessed and fortunate, but yeah I was happy about the career I had when I retired last season,” he said.

Atiba Hutchinson holds a Canadian flag behind him. In 2023, Hutchinson hung his jersey up for good at the age of 40.

“I was kind of prepared for it, once we qualified for the World Cup I knew I had to stay fit that last season, but I always had the dream of playing in a World Cup, and I couldn’t stop before that, so I set my mind saying ‘Yeah, after the World Cup, then it’s time,’” he said.

“After playing the World Cup I was ready for retirement.”

Hutchinson said seeing the excitement from fans once Team Canada qualified will always stick with him.

“It was amazing to see because we never really had those types of interactions with the fans, and to see the support we had throughout the whole country, throughout the whole cycle of qualifying. We had some big name players that started playing for Canada, and it really helped boost the national team program,” said Hutchinson.

“Playing in a World Cup is the ultimate goal for any player, and for us to get that chance to experience that and get the country behind us was really special and amazing to see.”

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