Ada Hegerberg

Who is Ada Hegerberg?

Ada Hegerberg is a Norwegian professional footballer born on 10 July 1995. She plays for Lyon in Division 1 Féminine. Furthermore, she has previously played in Toppserien with Kolbotn and Stabaek.

Hegerberg had previously represented Norway at the junior international level and earned her senior squad debut in 2011. She was a member of the silver-medal winning squad at the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship. Furthermore, she represented Norway in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and the UEFA Women’s Championship in 2017.

On 25 August 2016, Hegerberg received the 2016 UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award, and she was selected BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2019. She was the first woman to get the Ballon d’Or Féminin in 2018. She had the record for most goals scored in a UEFA Women’s Champions League season 15 and is the all-time leading scorer in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Hegerberg was born in Molde but raised in Sunndalsra, where she played for Sunndal Football with her elder sister Andrine. Their family relocated to Kolbotn in 2007, and the sisters eventually joined Kolbotn IL.

In 2010, she made her Kolbotn debut. On 6 August 2011, she got three goals in seven minutes as Ra lost 4–1, with Andrine scoring the game-winning goal. At 16, she became the youngest player in Toppserien history to score a hat-trick. Whilst just 16 years old, she ended the 2011 Toppserien season as Kolbotn’s leading scorer and was named the league’s Young Player of the Year. Both Hegerberg sisters joined Stabk before the 2012 season. She got five goals in the first half of Stabk’s 8–2 victory against Fart in May 2012. At this point, the sisters were the two of the most promising players in Norwegian women’s football, with Ada winning the Statoil “Talent of the Month” award for the second time in May 2012. She became the league’s leading scorer with 25 goals in 18 matches in the 2012 Toppserien. She also scored twice in the Norwegian Women’s Cup semi-finals in 2012, when Amazon Grimstad was defeated 3–0. Hegerberg scored a hat-trick in Stabk’s 4–0 final triumph against Ra.

She and her sister contracted with the German club 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam till 30 June 2014, where they were colleagues with their countrywoman Maren Mjelde. Hegerberg scored in her Bundesliga debut in a 3–1 loss to SC Freiburg. In their debut season in Germany, the Hegerbergs and Turbine finished second in both the 2012–13 Bundesliga and the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal.

She joined Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2014. Hegerberg had a fantastic first season in France. In addition, she scored 26 goals in 22 league games to help Lyon win the Division 1 Feminine for the seventh time. Also, Hegerberg scored the tying goal in the 47th minute of the Coupe de France Féminine Final, resulting in a 2–1 win against Montpellier.

Ada Hegerberg rejoined Lyon for the 2015–16 season. In Lyon’s 5–0 win against rival PSG on 27 September, she scored a hat-trick. Hegerberg became the first player since Julie Morel in October 2008 to score a hat-trick against PSG. Hegerberg agreed to a contract extension to continue with the club until the 2019 season in November. 

Lyon won the league for the eleventh time straight on 8 May 2016. Hegerberg finished the season as the league’s leading scorer, with 33 goals in 21 games. Moreover, Hegerberg won the Coupe de France with Lyon a week later. Lyon went on to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League thanks to Hegerberg’s 13 goals in 9 matches.On 3 December 2018, she became the first woman to win the Ballon d’Or Féminin.

Lyon defeated Paris Saint-Germain 5–0 on 13 April 2019, with a goal and an assist from Ada Hegerberg, a huge individual performance. Lyon won the championship ten days later. After scoring the lone goal in the Coupe de France semi-final against Grenoble Foot 38, Hegerberg helped on two of the three goals in the final against Lille OSC, allowing them to win yet another championship.

Ada Hegerberg was named Player of the Match in the 2019 UEFA Women's Champions League Final on 18 May 2019
Ada Hegerberg was named Player of the Match in the 2019 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on 18 May 2019

Ada Hegerberg was named Player of the Match in the 2019 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on 18 May 2019. She became the first player in UWCL history to score three goals in a single game, scoring a hat-trick in only 16 minutes. Lyon clinched the triple with a 4–1 victory against FC Barcelona, capturing a fourth UWCL title in a row, an unprecedented feat in modern football. By the season’s conclusion, Hegerberg had won 13 of the 15 awards available to her during her time with Lyon.

She was the UEFA Women’s Champions League all-time leading scorer on 30 October 2019, when she scored her 53rd goal in her 50th appearance.

Ada Hegerberg suffered an injury before Lyon’s match against Stade de Reims on 26 January 2020. An MRI scan subsequently revealed that she had damaged her ligament. On 28 January, the club confirmed that she would be out for the rest of the season. The season stopped only a few weeks after the COVID-19 breakthrough.

She signed a contract extension with Lyon on 18 December 2020, keeping her at the club until 20 June 2024. Hegerberg would not be available until the start of the 2021–22 season, according to a subsequent press statement from the club.

Ada Hegerberg made her Lyon debut after 21 months on the sidelines on 5 October 2021, playing the last 12 minutes of Lyon’s 3–0 triumph against BK Hacken in the first match of the UEFA Champions League group stage. She scored her first goals after her injury on 14 November 2021, with a brace against archrival Paris Saint-Germain in one of the most critical games in women’s football.

International Qualifications

Ada Hegerberg, at 15, was a member of Norway’s under-19 squad that competed in the 2011 UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship. She was included in the team for the final event, in which Norway advanced to the final. Hegerberg was part of the Norwegian squad that went to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. In the group stage, she and Andrine scored a 2–1 victory against Canada. On 19 November 2011, she made her senior debut for Norway as a substitute in a 3–1 loss to Northern Ireland at Lurgan.

Ada Hegerberg made her championship debut for Norway in the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship, drawing 1–1 with Iceland on 11 July 2013. She scored her first tournament goal when Spain was beaten 3–1 in the quarterfinals, and she played the complete 90 minutes as Norway was defeated 0–1 by Germany in the final.

Ada Hegerberg was a member of Norway’s squad at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She got three goals in three group stage games, including a two-goal effort in a 3–1 win against Ivory Coast in Norway. For her achievements, Hegerberg was nominated for the Best Young Player Award.

Ada Hegerberg received the 2015 Norwegian Gold Ball, which is presented to the finest player in Norway, in January 2016. The last time it was given to a woman was 20 years ago.

In 2017, Ada Hegerberg opted to withdraw from the national squad to protest due to disagreement with the NFF about how women’s football is treated. Despite some progress, such as doubling the pay pool for women, Hegerberg refused to be called up, missing the 2019 World Cup. Her time with the national squad was very dismal.

Hegerberg’s five-year exile from the national squad ended in March 2022. Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick against Kosovo in her first game on 7 April.

Media and Sponsorship for Ada Hegerberg

She was one of the world’s most sought-after athletes. Ada Hegerberg became an ambassador for the wristwatch Hublot and the financial technology firm Mastercard after winning the Ballon d’Or in 2018. In the summer of 2019, she became the worldwide ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup, the largest international U12 competition for girls and boys, after visiting UEFA Champions League Final and the French Open for her sponsor Mastercard. After six years of collaboration with sports equipment provider Puma, Nike and herself announced a long-term agreement in the summer of 2020. The American conglomerate promoted Hegerberg in various marketing initiatives, reaffirming its commitment to activism, notwithstanding Hegerberg’s reputation as a gender equality and environmental campaigner.

Hegerberg has had a significant media influence in recent years. She is commonly regarded as the number one ambassador for her sport, owing to the countless interviews for women’s football.

My Name Is Ada Hegerberg, a documentary on Hegerberg, was released on the US-based streaming platform ESPN+ on 19 November 2020. Several publications, including Sports Illustrated, have called Ada Hegerberg one of the most influential women in sports.

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