Linda Caicedo came second yesterday in the voting for The Best award in the women’s category awarded by FIFA at a gala held in London, United Kingdom. The Colombian was only surpassed by FC Barcelona’s Aitana Bonmati, who managed to win the award in a magical year for the Spaniard, who has already won the Golden Ball and the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award. Her successes (a world title with Spain and a domestic and European treble with Barcelona) speak for themselves. However, it is the midfielder’s winning style that has set her apart from other similarly successful players.
For her part, Linda Caicedo also completed a 2023 full of successes: her signing for Real Madrid at the start of the year and receiving the Golden Girl award for best U-21 player were the first accolades of a professional career in the elite that has only just begun and promises years of great personal and collective achievements ahead.
Linda Caicedo’s meteoric career
Although she did not win, Caicedo made history, coming second in an international vote of this magnitude at only 18 years of age, demonstrating the high regard in which the Cali native is held in the world of soccer. This award is voted by fans (25%), journalists (25%), captains of 211 national teams (25%) and coaches (25%).
With 40 votes, Linda Caicedo was just 12 behind the winner. Of the total number of ballots, the Colombian obtained 11 votes from the national coaches, 11 more from the captains of the national teams, 11 from the fans and 7 from representatives of the sports press. They were many, but not enough to overcome the favorite, who fulfilled the predictions. Completing the podium in third place was another Spanish world champion in 2023, Jennifer Hermoso.
With her second place, Caicedo achieved the best result for Colombian soccer, both in the men’s and women’s categories, on the FIFA individual trophy ladder. She also became the first Colombian to reach the podium for any personal distinction. Until now, Colombia’s best success in individual trophies was Falcao Rodriguez’s fifth place in the voting for the 2012 Ballon d’Or, a position that was repeated by another Colombian, James Rodriguez, in the following year’s voting.
Indeed, Linda Caicedo’s style has fascinated the soccer world. Her technical ability and skill with the ball make her a versatile and surprising player. Caicedo stands out for her explosive speed and precise dribbling, eluding opponents with ease. Her keen vision allows her to create scoring opportunities, either by assisting teammates or scoring the goal herself. In addition, her aggressiveness and defensive determination reflect her commitment to the team. Linda Caicedo embodies the passion and dynamism of soccer, leaving a lasting impression with her unique and exciting style.
From Colombia to the world elite
Caicedo achieved worldwide projection thanks to her stellar interventions with Colombia’s women’s national team in the 2022 World Cups, while she was still U-17. In the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, played between July and August 2023, the goal that the Colombian scored against Germany in the group stage was chosen as the best of the tournament.
Desired by major European clubs, she finally joined Real Madrid, Spain, on February 24, 2023, two days after reaching the age of majority, which made her the first Colombian player to play for the Spanish club.
In less than a year, she played in three World Cups, including the senior World Cup, and her agile style led Colombian sports idol Carlos Valderrama and his teammate Faustino Asprilla to praise her in an interview on ESPN television. Asprilla himself described the Cali native as a “marvel” and defined her as a “world phenomenon”.