Nigerian-born Spanish forward Vicky Lopez has been awarded the Golden Ball for her outstanding performance in the U-17 Women’s World Cup tournament held in India.
Born in Madrid to a Spanish father and a Nigerian mother, Lopez attracted the attention of Alfredo Ulloa, the president of Madrid CFF while playing Football on the beaches of Benidorm. She was signed for the youth team in 2018. Lopez now plays for Barcelona Femenini, considered as the best club in Women’s Football at the moment.
In the 2020-21 season, Lopez was called for the U-17 Spanish national team after she scored 60 goals in 17 matches. In the U-17 Women’s World Cup, she scored two crucial goals against Japan in the quarterfinals. She also had one assist and one key pass in Spain’s seven goals in the tournament.
Vicky Lopez was presented with the Golden ball by FIFA’s Technical Study Group after the final fixture. “Vicky impressed in every match with her ability to read the game, as well as her technical quality, dribbling and winning mentality, “reads a statement on FIFA’s website.
Apart from Vicky there were some other standout performers in the tournament.
Germany’s Loreen Bender scored 4 goals at the FIFA U17 World Cup that won her the Golden Boot. In the third-place match against Nigeria, Germany were 0-3 down. They fought back brilliantly with two goals in the 73rd and 84th. It was in the 90th minute that Bender produced a magic by scoring the equaliser with a brilliant bicycle kick.
Though she missed her in the penalty shootout, the Eintracht Frankfurt player won the Golden Boot with 4 goals and 2 assists.
Linda Caicedo made her professional debut at 14 and is a regular for the senior team at Deportivo Cali. She is a member of the senior Colombian national team, already having a double-digit appearances for the senior national team before turning 17. In the Copa America final this year, she scored the winner in their 1-0 semifinal win over Argentina and was named the player of the tournament.
In the U-17 World Cup, Linda finished as the joint top-scorer in the tournament. Her top-speed running with an ability to burst through is her foremost strength that often deceive opponents. She won the silver ball and the bronze boot in the tournament.
The Spanish goalkeeper won the Golden Gloves award at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Sofía laid the foundations for her side’s successful title defence. She played from the start in every game in the tournament and conceded just two goals.