World Cup competitions sometimes have a breakout star, and this year, that star is 18-year-old wonder Linda Caicedo of Colombia.
Before the games began in Australia and New Zealand, the youngster who joined Real Madrid earlier this year was widely anticipated, but she has well beyond all expectations.
In just two games, Caicedo has already scored twice and helped her side to two wins, including a well-known victory over Germany, the reigning world champion. In addition, She created one of the World Cup’s most memorable moments in the match, early in the second half.
The player took up the ball in Germany’s box after the score was tied, dribbled past two defenders, and fired a shot into the corner.
“At the time, I didn’t think I could play professionally again because of all the treatments and surgeries I had to go through,” the forward told FIFA. “Mentally, it was a very difficult moment in my life. I’m forever grateful that it happened when I was very young. I was able to recover, I also had my family’s support, and I feel very good now. What happened made me grow. I feel thankful and happy to be here.”
The Player’s Game
Caicedo’s agility and footwork continually drove her opponents to flee, and South Korea was unable to hold her. That was the case when, midway through the first half, she surged forward to double Colombia’s advantage and essentially seal the outcome.
She entered the area by cutting in from the left wing and evading several Korean defenders before curling in a shot. Yoon Young-geul of South Korea didn’t seem to be troubled by her shot because it was too central, but the goalie made the save.
As Caicedo ran toward the Colombian supporters in joy, she didn’t seem to mind receiving the helping hand. Casey Phair, 16, made history by being the youngest player to compete in a senior football World Cup when she came on as a South Korean substitute in the second half. Then, it was already too late.
Did the descriptions take you right into the football field?
“I just try to enjoy this moment,” the 19-year-old football star said “A football player has to be focused.”