This 18-year-old Colombian survived cancer. Now she’s the World Cup star

18-year-old Colombian soccer player Linda Caicedo, a cancer survivor, is emerging as a star in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The backstory: Linda Caicedo made her professional debut at age 14, became a top scorer in the Colombian league, and has overcome ovarian cancer.
* She returned to the field after overcoming cancer, winning her second Colombian league title in 2021.
* Caicedo signed with Real Madrid C.F. as a forward after she turned 18 in February.

Rising star: Linda Caicedo has gained international recognition through her performances.
* Her goal at the Copa America Femenina secured Colombia’s qualification for the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics.
* She is now participating in her third World Cup in a year, performing impressively in both the under-20 and under-17 editions in 2022.

Health concerns: Fans and analysts have raised concerns about Caicedo’s health due to events in training sessions and during a game against Germany.
* Both instances were attributed to fatigue and exhaustion, with Colombia’s assistant coach Angelo Marsiglia dismissing any serious concerns.

What they’re saying: Caicedo is being touted as the next big name in soccer.
* She’s been compared to Brazilian player Marta, who’s scored more World Cup goals than any man or woman.
* Linda Caicedo has been identified as a continuation of Marta’s legacy and a symbol of hope for the future of soccer in South America.

The big picture: Colombia is set to play against Morocco on Thursday in their last match of the group stage and is currently leading Group H.

View original article on NPR

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