TO linda caicedo her eyes shone. He was walking through the headquarters of the real Madrid As if hypnotized, slowly, like someone who thinks they are walking inside a dream and that at some point they are going to wake up and fall. She was dressed in black, then she wrapped herself in white, put on fancy pink cleats and went out onto the field to pretend that she was already playing on that perfect field, although it was only the day of her official presentation. She then said that shield and issued a short phrase but full of power and responsibility: Hello Madrid!, she said, as if delighted, and she didn’t wake up.

Linda Caicedo lives that waking dream, that of playing for Real Madrid. There she was presented on Friday, without fuss, but she already arouses great expectations. Without fuel Barcelona, without fuel chelsea, he chose the powerful white team, which is a way to touch the sky, although in the women’s branch that club still does not have the same prestige as the men’s, it is still Real Madrid, and that name weighs in every letter. Linda must already know, she must realize it when she arrives, when she tours the headquarters, when she dresses in white and when she notices what she has generated. Her because she arrives with an aura of a star, with the letter in her hand: her shine in the Colombian National Team in all its categories. But what comes will be on another level.

It is already there, and those who know it rejoice with it. From a distance, John Alberto Ortiz, her coach at Deportivo Cali, in which Linda was champion in 2021, speaks with emotion. He never doubted that Linda was going to make a leap of this magnitude very soon. She thought she was going to England, she liked that League, but when she found out it was Madrid, she was filled with pride.

“This step from Linda to Madrid, the biggest club in the world, is good for her because she had to make that leap in quality. She reaches a recognized team, which is not very competitive, but with her hand and what they are thinking, by hiring players of that quality, it is because they already want to compete at the highest performance», says Jhon, and it is like if I also lived the dream of the pupil.

«I think of her beginnings there in 2014, 2015 in a Valle team and she already made a difference with her game, and seeing her now almost formed from the sporting and integral aspects and the physical one would say that it was worth the effort she has made and that He will continue to do to finish training in his process and sports development ”, he says.

Linda Caicedo, with the Deportivo Cali shirt.

Another coach who knows her well is Andres Usme, He was her DT in the champion America in 2019. Usme was waiting for such news for Linda’s career. “She is a player who must continue to grow, she is a capable young woman and must evolve, and in that order of ideas going to Europe will help her in her evolution to grow as an athlete and in all aspects, such as the level of competition. She did everything right and that has her in one of the most powerful leagues.

Linda has already arrived, but now she will have to earn her place, open up a field, show that she also knows how to adapt and understand other football, other projects. ricardo rozo He knows about that, he is a connoisseur of women’s soccer. The former coach of the Colombian National Team, and who has been in Valdebebas, the Madrid headquarters, where he has soaked up this project, considers that Linda’s step is a success.

“It is a stellar moment in her role as a player, in her sporting aspiration. It reaches a ‘top’ team of the men’s branch, at the female level it is not so much, but the institution and its mentality is great, it is an elite team in what it hires, always the best, and it leads to a reference for our country in the 3 categories of the Selection. It is the most important recruitment in the country in women’s soccer. She will surely be a benchmark for Real Madrid as well, ”says Rozo.

Linda Caicedo, from girl to galactic

When Linda Caicedo was little, she had an inner voice that from time to time came out and sounded like an adult’s voice, with a hurricane force, that didn’t seem to come out of that tiny body. Her phrase came from the depths of her being as a child of hers: «Calm down, teacher, I’ll take care of it.»

This is how the teacher Ortiz used to say to him in the bravo games: «I’ll take care of it», he repeated and the teacher never forgot. That is why he thinks that in his new challenge nothing will be too big for him. Professor Ortiz expects a lot from her, but he has a warning about the responsibility assigned to him.

“I know her and mentally she is very mature for her age, what she has experienced so far has served her well. She has taken a quality leap. That they name her among the best in the world, she knows how to understand that, she assimilates it, but I think that you have to do damage accompanying her, because at a certain moment we give her the responsibility as in the senior team or in the clubs; she must burn her process and not forget that she is still youthful. We have demanded things from her in a process that she has accelerated, but we forget that she was barely 18, she is a girl, even her physiognomy and morphology as such, some bones have not closed completely, we have sometimes demanded certain things from her ”, says Ortiz and talks about another great challenge for his future: «I think about the leap in quality that he must take, not that he must solve it and be the star of a club: arriving with that label is sometimes counterproductive.»

In this new life, Linda will have to face pressure from the media and fans. Although Real Madrid is going through a process, and for that it has made stellar signings (see alternate note), these clubs cannot wait.

david menayo He is a journalist for the Spanish newspaper Marca and says that he is looking forward to getting to know Linda’s ability up close and recognizes that she has generated a special climate in the press in that country, because of how the signing took place even over Barcelona.

“For me it is an unknown quantity. He has a lot of talent, but he has to adapt to a high-level League and a top-level team. He will have to endure the pressure of verse in the focus and the fan will have to be patient, «warned the journalist.

Linda Caicedo begins her journey to the Real Madrid galaxy. She is already one of them. She wears white, she will wait for her debut, and surely she will have her character to tell her new DT, when she touches him, «calm down, I’ll take care of it.»

pablo romero
Editor of EL TIEMPO

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