Colombian footballer Linda Caicedo continues her path to success, and today it has been announced that the Cali native has been nominated for the FIFA “The Best” award as the best female player on the planet in 2023.
Caicedo has had a meteoric year, from achieving runner-up status with Colombia in the U-17 World Cup at the end of 2022 to her signing with Real Madrid and her prominent role in the senior national team during the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where Colombia reached the quarter-finals, and the Colombian player earned the prize for the best goal of the tournament.
Rising to the Summit of World Football
At 18 years old, Caicedo is part of the select group of 16 nominees to be crowned the best female player in the world in 2023, potentially dethroning the winner of the award for the past two editions (2021 and 2022), FC Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas.
“The Colombian prodigy justified all the hype leading up to the World Cup by lighting up the group stage in Australia and New Zealand, scoring on her tournament debut before adding a sumptuous effort against Germany, later voted Goal of the Tournament,” FIFA states on its website, where the voting period has already begun.
The evaluation period for the 16 candidates runs from August 1, 2022, to August 20, 2023. During this time frame, Caicedo has delivered outstanding performances with the Colombian national team, both the U-17 and senior squads, with participation in two World Cups. Additionally, her contributions to Real Madrid, where she achieved runner-up status in the Spanish league behind FC Barcelona, include scoring 3 goals in 13 matches.
Linda Caicedo’s Competitors
Among Linda Caicedo’s competitors are four Spanish players who were crowned World Cup champions in August: Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona), Jennifer Hermoso (FC Pachuca), Salma Paralluelo (FC Barcelona), and Mapi León (FC Barcelona).
Completing the list of nominations are Rachel Daly (English, Aston Villa), Kadidiatou Diani (French, Olympique de Lyon), Caitlin Foord (Australian, Arsenal), Mary Fowler (Australian, Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (English, Manchester City), Lindsey Horan (American, Olympique de Lyon), Amanda Ilestedt (Swedish, Arsenal), Lauren James (English, Chelsea), Sam Kerr (Australian, Chelsea), Hinata Miyazawa (Japanese, Manchester United), and Keira Walsh (English, FC Barcelona).
Ballon d’Or vs. The Best
It’s worth noting that Linda Caicedo had also been nominated for the Ballon d’Or award, which is annually presented by France Football magazine. The two awards separated in 2017 when FIFA organized its contest separately from the traditional award that the French magazine has been presenting since 1956.
The main difference between the two awards lies in the voting process. While only 30 journalists chosen by the magazine vote for the Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s “The Best” award involves one journalist from each country, national team captains, and coaches, accounting for 50% of the vote. The other half consists of fan votes submitted through the FIFA website.