Colombians Abroad: Five Women Soccer PlayersTo Follow In The Old Continent

Although women's soccer in South America is growing little by little, several Colombian players have managed to establish themselves during their stay in Europe.

Leicy Santos, Natalia Gaitan and Manuela Vanegas

For this new season of women's European football we will witness the quality of several Colombian footballers, who have demonstrated with dedication and perseverance that dreams can be fulfilled away from home. Photos: IG-leicysantos10, IG-03nataliagaitan, IG-manuvanegas_02

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Colombianas en el exterior: cinco futbolistas a seguir en el viejo continente

Certainly, Europe is the continent where you see the most advances in women's soccer when compared to America, where several countries still host unattractive tournaments. Although the panorama here will not change in the short term, that has not been an excuse for Latinas, especially Colombians, to go abroad to show their talent.

When detailing the performance of the Colombian women's team in recent years, we see important achievements such as the Gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games, not to mention that at the club level Atlético Huila was crowned champion of the 2018 Copa Libertadores and América de Cali obtained a runner-up in 2021. This suggests that women's soccer in Colombia has immense potential.

Also read: These Are The Best Latinas In The WTA

For this new season of European women's soccer, we will witness the quality of several Colombian soccer players, who have demonstrated with dedication and perseverance that dreams can be fulfilled away from home. Here we show you five players who are raising the name of Colombia.

Leicy santos

Remembering the place of origin and keeping in mind that it has not been easy to get to where it is, is something that characterizes the woman born in Santa Cruz de Lorica. Coming from a low-income family, Leicy's beginnings go back to soccer games on the dusty courts of her hometown. Promoted by her father, in 2009 she took her first step by moving to Bogotá, a decision that little by little was bearing fruit.

After a couple of seasons with Independiente Santa Fe, where she made her Copa Libertadores debut and was the main figure in the team's first league title, Leicy brought her talent with the ball to the Spanish capital, where she still stands out as the best Latin Americans of the tournament with Atlético de Madrid. Although it was difficult for her to adapt at first, the midfielder is already considered a fundamental piece of the team, and much of that was seen this year when they lifted the Spanish Super Cup.

Catalina Perez

They say that in soccer the goalkeeper position is the most ungrateful, but at the same time, it is still the most decisive and that it tends to bring out the best in those who defend it. Colombia has several representatives there and the Bogota woman stands out among those who live abroad. Although she trained in soccer in the United States, Catalina has been present with the national team in the U-20 World Cups in 2010 and for seniors in 2015.

Her career as a professional is relatively new, as in 2019 she debuted with New England Mutiny in United Women's Soccer. From then on, Catalina jumped to the old continent to follow its evolution and in 2020 she landed in Italy to play for Fiorentina. After an internship with Napoli, the Colombian signed this season with Real Betis of the First Iberdrola of Spain, a league made to measure for Latinas and where it is expected that she can display all her qualities under the goal.

Yoreli Rincon

Being selected as one of the 11 soccer players of the decade according to Conmebol is something worthy of admiration, without a doubt. This is the case of the one born in the Piedecuesta municipality who, in addition to growing up in a family environment 100% linked to sports, also became the first Colombian professional soccer player when she signed a contract with the XV of Piracicaba of Brazil in 2012.

Her career has been marked by several milestones, such as being the first Colombian to play and score a goal in the Women's Champions League, with FC Malmö of Sweden. Since 2020 she has been standing out in Serie A, first with Inter Milan and now with Sampdoria, a club that this year debuts in the Italian top division. In fact, the first triumph in its history was thanks to the contribution of the Colombian attacker who scored a goal.

Natalia Gaitan

There are few multipurpose players, but precisely in Colombia one stands out and it is Bogota. Her beginnings were as a central defender, but to this day she also plays as a midfielder, two roles that have led her to stand out both with the National Team and in Europe. Beyond being a great soccer player, Natalia stands out off the field, as she has university studies in Marketing and International Business at the University of Toledo in the United States.

2015 was an important year for her, because in addition to being the captain of Colombia in the World Cup, she signed with Valencia CF of the Primera Iberdrola. She stayed with them for five years until she was transferred to Sevilla FC, a club that has given her the confidence to recover from a terrible injury suffered at the beginning of last season. For this 2021 she returns with the same desire and ambition to be able to achieve great things.

Manuela Vanegas

Being barely 20 years old has not been an impediment for the native of Copacabana, Antioquia, to stand out notably in the old continent. In fact, the defender has two interesting facts about her career: she was the youngest player to participate in a Copa Libertadores Femenina (13 years old) and, in addition, she became the first position player to stop a penalty in the Colombian league. .

His beginnings were linked to the goal, but in the end, she made her debut as a professional in defense while playing for Envigado FC in 2017. With experience in Atlético Huila and Deportivo Independiente Medellín, Manuela landed in Barcelona in 2020 to play with Espanyol, being one of the most outstanding soccer players of the team that ended up descending. For this season she defends the colors of Real Sociedad, a club that has seen in her an innate talent to lead the defensive line.