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The Rise of Linda Caicedo


As Colombia top Group H after causing major upset in their victory over Germany – the team 2nd in FIFA’s World Rankings – forward Linda Caicedo has emerged as an instrumental young talent in the Colombian squad.


Early into the second half of their second group stage match against Germany, Caicedo received a deflection inside the box and skipped past both Huth and Hendrich to cleanly guide the ball into the top right of the net. After a tense final few minutes with a penalty awarded to Germany, Colombia came away victorious with an extra-time winner from Manuela Vanegas. Linda Caicedo has firmly positioned herself as a one to watch at this tournament, yet her stellar performances shouldn’t come as a shock considering her rise in recent years.



This year’s Women’s World Cup tournament may be Linda Caicedo’s first, but it is by no means her first international feat, having received her first call up for the Colombia national team in 2019, aged just 14. The same year, Caicedo made her professional debut at América de Cali and finished the season as the top goal-scorer in the Colombian league. Despite her youth, Caicedo’s rise has not been a linear path, having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February 2020; she received chemotherapy and surgery and returned to the pitch soon after receiving news of the treatments’ success.


Since the start of 2022, Caicedo has gone from strength to strength, competing in four international tournaments and gathering achievements and accolades in each. Her goals in the Copa América Femenina helped Colombia to qualify for the final, where despite their loss against Brazil, she was named Player of the Tournament. At the Under-17 Women’s World Cup Caicedo received both a Bronze Boot and a Silver Ball, contributing to her being named the second best player in the world at the Globe Soccer Awards, after Alexia Putellas. She also represented at the Under-20 World Cup, where she scored 2 goals and Colombia once again faced defeat at the hands of Brazil. Caicedo’s impressive displays on both home and international ground also led to her being crowned Reina de América 2022, winning an overwhelming percentage of the vote (76 votes) over players such as Brazil’s Bia Zaneratto (21 votes) and Argentina’s Yamila Rodríguez (20 votes).



Despite her already illustrious career and a coach that believes she is “one of these peoples who was touched by God, who was born for this”, Linda Caicedo remains humble and eager to continue building upon her successes, stating that she wishes to..


“savour every moment with no pressure. I know how young I am and that I still have much to learn and the experience I have to get”


Her performance at the World Cup thus far has reminded many viewers of the talent that Marta brought to the international stage at her World Cup debut, aged 17. As Brazil bow out of the tournament in the group stages, Marta made an emotional farewell speech at what she has signalled will be her sixth and final World Cup. The Brazilian legend shown us of the progress of women’s football in the past twenty years, discussing her embraces with players from across the globe who thanked her for being an inspiration in the game and how in the early days of her career there weren’t any idols and little support from media and fans. Journalist and researcher Júlia Belas Trinidade notes that Caicedo’s success isn’t simply a handover of legend to another, but rather a “continuation of Marta’s legacy and a new step in women’s football”. As legends play their final games, and the rising stars of their youth make explosive debuts, Caicedo reminds us of the growth of the women’s game, and what talents can arise given the right conditions and support to thrive.


Goalscorers Maneula Vanegas and Linda Caicedo celebrate their success over Germany



Colombia will be facing round-of-16 newcomers Jamaica on Tuesday 8th August at 9am (GMT). As each of these teams have held their own in group stages containing the likes of Germany, France and Brazil, and possess young goalscoring talents such as Caicedo and Khadija Shaw, it should make for a close game. Following the World Cup, whatever the outcome for Colombia, Caicedo will be continuing her career next season at Real Madrid, where she has made 13 appearances with 3 goals since her arrival in March 2023.





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