Catarina Macario is one of the most talented young prospects in women’s football right now, and it’s been rumoured that she could be joining Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side next season.
As per The Athletic, the star is set to make her Women’s Super League debut in the forthcoming 2023/24 season with the Blues.
Macario – full name Catarina Cantanhede Melônio Macário – has been carving out her legacy in the USA as well as the top flight of women’s football in France – Division 1 Féminine.
However, the baller’s contract expires with her current club this summer, and she hasn’t featured in a league or country line-up for over 12 months.
But that hasn’t deterred the WSL giants from registering their interest in the free agent.
So you know her name, but who actually is this creative star?
GiveMeSport gives you the lowdown on this gifted athlete, letting you in on her anterior cruciate ligament recovery, trophy cabinet, and estimated market value.
How old is Catarina Macario?
Macario was born on October 4, 1999 — making the Brazilian-born football player 23 years old.
But despite her age, she’s been tearing up the football field since the age of four.
Described as ‘one of the deadliest attackers in the world’, Macario honed her skills in Brazil before jetting over to ply her trade in the United States at just 12 years old.
Who has Catarina Macario played for?
Born in San Luis, Brazil, the attacking midfielder joined Flamengo — a sports club based just outside of Rio de Janeiro.
After just six months, she exited her first team, joined up with Cruzeiro and eventually played with the Brasilia-based Santos Academy until 2011.
At 12, Macario joined the San Diego Surf FC academy before committing to play football for Stanford University.
A decorated collegiate, Macario made 69 appearances over three years for Paul Ratcliffe’s Stanford Cardinal team.
As per The Athletic, the 23-year-old scored a staggering 63 goals in 68 matches and scooped up a handful of trophies on the way.
However, in a shock move, the playmaker departed from the Californian-based team in her senior year.
She traded her last year of college football to sign her first professional contract with Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
Since joining Sonia Bompastor’s side in 2021, she’s scored 19 goals and made 27 appearances in all competitions.
During her time at the club, Macario has played a crucial role in securing Lyon’s Division 1 2021/22 title and the coveted Women’s Champions League trophy.
She is also dubbed as one of the team’s most creative players.
What country does Catarina Macario represent?
Despite being eligible to play for Brazil, Macario has represented the United States at both youth and senior levels.
While her preferred position is the false nine, she regularly sits in a midfielder role for the national side.
Despite playing for the youth sides since 2012, the baller didn’t make her debut for the senior United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) until January, 18 2021.
Interestingly, Macario hitting the field at halftime made history — she was the first naturalised citizen to ever play for the US senior team.
Since her debut, Macario has made it into the starting line-up 11 times, with her most recent game being a friendly against Uzbekistan on April 12, 2022.
What trophies has Catarina Macario won?
At just 23, the US international already has a trophy cabinet packed with silverware.
While playing for Stanford Cardinal, Macario picked up the NCAA Women’s College Cup in 2017 and 2019.
She was also awarded the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2018 and 2019, which crowned her as the best college footballer of the year, twice.
Elsewhere, she’s picked up the ESPNW Player of the Year, the Honda Sports Award and of course, the 2021/22 Champions League and Division 1 trophies with Lyon.
Fun fact – Macario is the only American to ever score in a Women’s Champions League final.
When did Catarina Macario return from her ACL injury?
Macario suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Lyon’s final league match of the 2021/22 season.
On June 5, it was confirmed she had torn her ACL and would undergo surgery and rehabilitation in the summer.
At the time, she made a statement on her injury saying that she was “devastated to be away from the field and my teammates for a few months.”
The USWNT has been sidelined for the entirety of Lyon’s league and 2022/23 campaign, and has yet to return from her ACL injury.
However, reports state that she could still be included in Vlatko Andonovski’s Women’s World Cup squad this summer.
With the highly-anticipated tournament kicking off at the end of July, it looks as if Macario could make her grand return to the field on world football’s biggest stage.
What is Catarina Macario’s market value?
According to SoccerDonna, the 23-year-old has an estimated market value of €150,000 (£130,000).
However, as Macario’s two-year contract at Lyon expires this summer, Chelsea will potentially be getting the athlete for free.
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