Caicedo's journey around the world began in Guayaquil

CAICEDO'S JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD BEGAN IN GUAYAQUIL

The first Ecuadorian in Inter history made a habit of scoring stoppage-time goals at Lazio

Guayaquil, a city in Ecuador also known as the Pearl of the Pacific, was the starting point for Felipe Caicedo's tour of the world. He's added plenty of stickers to his suitcase over the years: Switzerland, England, Portugal, Spain, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Italy.

Felipe's story began in 1988 in the neighbourhood of Guasmo. Guayaquil is now a thriving tourist destination but had little to offer back then. Felipe played football barefoot in the streets. He bears the memory of that difficult childhood in a tattoo: a tear. A reminder of the sacrifices his parents made, as well as the pride of a united family.

Think how many children hope to make it as a professional footballer and how many paths there are  to get there - or have their dream shattered. Felipe tried to pursue this dream when he was 15 years old, taking part in a football reality show: he won it and was awarded with a Boca Juniors trial. The programme was called 'Camino a la Gloria' (The Road to Glory). And if glory is tough to achieve, the road ahead is certainly long. 

From his hometown to Basel, from Ecuador to Switzerland. A new life with new perspectives, where everything was different. Felipe kept chasing his dream, despite feeling homesick, and began racking up experiences, some more successful than others: Manchester City, Sporting Lisbon, Malaga, Levante, Moscow, with the Russian cold and a new league, the United Arab Emirates, Spain once again, and then finally Italy, when he joined Lazio.

Caicedo immediately managed to win the hearts of the Biancocelesti fans, redefining the term used to describe last-minute goals:  the "Cesarini zone" became the "Caicedo zone". Of his 33 goals scored in a Lazio shirt, six came after the 90th minute, while nine were scored after the 80th. He always believes until the very end. The Ecuadorian also experienced some success in a Lazio shirt, with Simone Inzaghi in charge, including a Coppa Italia triumph, in which he sent Joaquin Correa through on goal to wrap up the trophy. Familiar and friendly faces.

He scored 22 international goals in his career, including a brace against Brazil in 2011, and is the sixth-highest scorer in the history of the Ecuadorian national team.

Caicedo's arrival adds another country to the list of those represented at Inter. He is the first Ecuadorian in the club's history, bringing the number of different player nationalities to 50 – all of whom have sat on the bench at least once with Inter in official matches.

It's time to add another sticker to Felipe's suitcase, and this one is black and blue.


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