SYDNEY: Colombia’s teenaged striker Linda Caicedo is healthy two days after she collapsed in training, coach Nelson Abadia said on Saturday, adding that the frightening incident was partly due to the pressure of playing in her first Women’s World Cup.
Caicedo, who is expected to play Sunday when Las Cafeteras face Germany at Sydney Football Stadium, slowed to a stop during training on Thursday, then put a hand to her chest and laid down on the pitch as teammates and medical staff rushed to her aid.
“It’s just an incident, she was tired,” Abadia said. “She was a bit stressed as well, because she was playing in her first World Cup . . . (which) has great relevance. And she’s 18 years of age. She’s a girl as far as football goes. But she has a great capacity and great character to assimilate all of this.
“That is why she’s one of the players in the world today who is a rising star. And it was just an episode, it’s finished, it’s over. We’re quite happy about this. No problem.”
Caicedo became the youngest player to score in this World Cup in Columbia’s 2-0 win over South Korea, darting in from the midfield and curling in a shot from the edge of the box.
Assistant coach and Abadia’s son Mario described the young player as “de otra planeta” — “from another planet.” Caicedo has played in three World Cups this year, with the U17, U20 and senior sides. She made her senior team debut at age 14, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 15.
Nelson Abadia will not be on the sidelines with Colombia on Sunday as he serves the second of a two-game Fifa suspension for a red card he received at the 2022 Copa America tournament.
“I was just joking and saying that I believe so much in them and I’m so convinced in what they are is a team that I told Lady (Andrade, Colombia’s veteran midfielder) that I can go home now, I can watch the game on TV, and I’m quite sure, I’m quite happy and convinced because I know what their capacity is,” Abadia said.
“It’s different…one visualises much better when you’re on the field. However, the emotion that I have, it’s exactly the same whether I’m on the field or upstairs, it’s the same.”
Colombia and Germany are even atop Group H on three points apiece. The Colombians take on Morocco, 6-0 losers to Germany, in their final group game on Aug 3 in Perth.