Linda Caicedo: Colombian soccer’s latest superstar

Linda Caicedo: Colombian soccer’s latest superstar

Linda Caicedo. Remember the name if you don’t already know it. “Linda has the potential to become a Ballon d’Or winner, but first she has to be able to make the right decisions. She is 17 years old and very young. You have to take care of her, not the exhaust, you have to respect all that.”

The words of Lluís Cortés, the former coach of Barcelona Femení, who currently leads the Ukraine women’s national football team. To say that Caicedo is Colombia’s next footballing superstar might be doing her a disservice: many will tell you she’s already here.

Where does Linda Caicedo rank on the Guardian’s Top 100 list of female football players?

British newspaper The Guardian included the 17-year-old in its list of the 100 best female football players of 2022; she arrived at number 74 and is the youngest member. Caicedo shot to fame at the age of 15 when she scored a stunning Maradona-esque goal on her debut for Colombian club América de Cali, where she won the league title in her first season. A move across town to Deportivo Cali followed soon after, along with a second league title and international recognition.

A ustedes mil gracias por permitirme llegar a sus vidas y poder aportar lo greater a nuestra selección, con amor y mucha union pudimos demostrar de lo que somos capaces de lograr, a los que nos apoyaron desde el comienzo simplye GRACIAS… /XxJ4QDb8CD

— linda__caicedo11 (@Linda__caicedo) October 31, 2022

Colombia qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

In 2022, Caicedo played in two World Cups – at under-17 and under-20 levels – and was named the Copa América Femenina’s best player as Colombia cruised to the final, where they lost against Brazil. Las Cafeteras have qualified for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in July and August 2023, giving them the opportunity to make a name for themselves on the biggest stage in all.

Not that the giants of women’s football aren’t already aware of her talents. Many European clubs have been following his progress since he entered the scene and February 22, 2023 could well be a key date to decide his future: that’s when Caicedo will turn 18 and no longer be considered a minor. , leaving her free to decide what her next step will be.

Barcelona stalk Linda Caicedo

Barcelona, ​​who have become one of the biggest forces in European football in recent years, appear to be in pole position to clinch his signature, with club president Joan Laporta hailing him during a visit to Colombia in 2022:

“We’ve loved Linda Caicedo for a long time, about three years, if I’m being honest. She’s a very young player, but she stands out from the crowd and she’s really good. Our scouting department has its eyes on her.

Caicedo has been in Europe this week – England and Germany specifically, which has led to further rumors of a potential transfer – and after watching the Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Chelsea, gave a fascinating interview to The Guardian, in which she spoke candidly about the reason for her trip.

Linda Caicedo: I’ve dreamed of playing abroad since I was little

“It was good for me to get to know a bit of European culture. Some people are a little stricter, some people are more like us Latinos, but I think this trip was really cool. It was good for me to learn and also to help me decide what I want to do in the future.

“I think it’s the best time to go and enjoy the fact that I’m 18. Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of playing abroad. I don’t just want to grow as a footballer, but also improve myself, like discovering another culture and learning a new language.

Caicedo’s life may have been short, but she’s already had to overcome a lot of adversity. The fact that no game has been played in the Colombian league since the start of June last year pales in comparison to her battle with ovarian cancer when she was just 15 years. “It’s something we’ve dealt with internally. Luckily I overcame it and I’m fine now. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of my loved ones, I was ready to get back to playing once the doctors told me I was fine. I feel like it’s in the past, and now I can follow my path in football.

Where will her path in football take her? Australia and New Zealand later in the year, Barcelona – or perhaps elsewhere – before then?

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