Ada Hegerberg is just 23 years old, a three-time Champions League winner, first female Ballon d’Or winner and set to surpass 300 career goals in 2019, scoring at a rate beyond the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Hegerberg owes all her achievements to being fearless.
“On the pitch, I can be really fearless. It’s all about performing and I forget about everything else. When I step off, in real life, I can be a different person. Being fearless will give you a lot of punches in the face,” she says
Hegerberg attributes her strong values and self-confidence to her parents, Gerd and Erik, both coaches. From as young as ten years old, she and her sister would travel to training by themselves after school. If they wanted it, they were told by their parents to get it by standing on their own two feet.
“The will to win, they always gave me this, When I was 15 and I just stepped on the A-team, I believed in myself… I just wanted something so badly that I could tell people around me that were ten years older that they had to play and perform. I would still say that I had respect.”
“Maybe that could be a surprise for some people but I’ve never looked at myself like an age. You’re young, you want to get someplace, and people will always have opinions about you. As long as you’re confident, believe in your values and have good people around you it’s never going to be a problem, when you lose because you want to win so badly. I think it’s a part of the game even though you’re ten years old, or if you’re 23.”
Hegerberg says the decision to retire from international duty a little over a month after the tournament was the hardest decision she’s ever made, one taken over sleepless nights.
She said, “I know what I want and know my values and therefore it’s easy to take hard choices when you know what the ambitions are and what values you stand for, so it’s all about staying true to yourself, be yourself.”
In moving on, she was named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2017, she was the first ever recipient of the Ballon d’Or Féminin in 2018. Ada Hegerberg has scored 16 goals from 10 games in the 2018/2019 France Division 1 Women league with her team-Lyon women.
She has 37 career goals in UEFA Women’s Champions league and sits at 9th spot in the all-time top scorers list.
She would not play for Norway at the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup, Norway is drawn against Nigeria, France and South Korea in Group A.