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Three Soccer Player Spotlights for the Olympic Games

For many, the Olympics were the first time you could see female professional athletes on the big screen, competing before stadiums of thousands. With the Paris 2024 Olympics less than two months away, I’m outlining my top three new and/or outstanding names that are set to inspire some future Olympians. 


Courtesy of FC Barcelona


Aitana Bonmatí

You’d struggle to find a soccer fan in the world who hasn’t heard the name Aitana Bonmatí. While not a new name, it is definitely one to look for in the upcoming Olympic games. The Barcelona midfielder hails from Spain, and she’s had quite the season. In just a single year, she’s won the Champions League, World Cup, and Ballon d’Or—a feat no player, man or woman, has ever accomplished. There is no disputing her place at the top of every ranking. 


The midfielder seemingly effortlessly dictates games with the same finesse she handles the ball. She was voted player of the tournament in the Champions League and at the World Cup. She was UEFA’s Player of the Year and the current holder of the Women’s Ballon d’Or. If that isn’t enough, she’s only 25 years old. She’ll represent Spain as they make their Olympic women’s soccer debut in Paris this summer.


Bonmatí was named Laureus’ Sportswoman of the Year, becoming the first soccer player to win the award. “As the first women’s team to win the Laureus, we are proud of our status as pioneers and as a group we are as committed to equality and representation as we are to what we do on the football pitch.”


She’s helping pioneer women in soccer, proving in no uncertain terms that this is no longer just a boys' club.


Watch her and the Spanish women’s soccer team play against Japan on July 25, Nigeria on July 28, and Brazil on July 31!


Courtesy of Deportivo Cali


Linda Caicedo

The excitement around Linda Caicedo’s entrance into the World Cup was tangible. The forward competed for Colombia in the U20 World Cup and U17 World Cup, so her first senior World Cup expectations were high. Fans weren’t disappointed. Caicedo scored within 40 minutes of the tournament opener to beat South Korea. On her way to a group-stage win, she scored again with a spectacular solo effort against Germany. Colombia reached the quarterfinals, their best finish in Women’s World Cup history. 


The young prodigy is not just a powerhouse on the field but a truly inspirational woman in her personal life. The eighteen-year-old has already overcome ovarian cancer and a battle with the Colombian women’s football federation over poor conditions for the women’s national team. She currently plays for Real Madrid and will represent Colombia at the Paris Olympics this summer.


Catch her and the Colombian national team against France on July 25, New Zealand on July 28, and Canada on July 31!


Courtesy of Getty Images


Jaedyn Shaw

The nineteen-year-old American soccer player will make her Olympic debut this summer in Paris as a forward for the USWNT. She currently plays on the San Diego Wave FC and has represented the United States on the under-17, under-19, and under-20 national teams. In 2022, she was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year. 


In her youth career, she played for FC Dallas, where she stood out for her technical skill and aggressive playing style. At eighteen years and eight months old, she was the second-youngest player to compete in the NWSL. After her amazing feat of scoring the game-winning shot for her team against the Chicago Red Stars, she became the youngest NWSL player to score in their debut match. Despite being fairly new to the professional field, we’re super excited to see her Olympic debut and how far she’ll go.


She’s signed with the Wave through the 2026 season and will represent the United States in Paris. The USWNT is set to go against Zambia on July 25, Germany on July 28, and Australia on July 31. Not to be too biased, but…let’s go, USA!


Edited by: Sarah Muñoz

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