Interview With Ada Hegerberg, Lyon and Norway National Team Forward (2015)
One of the most promissing talents in international football, the Norwegian striker Ada Martine Stolsmo Hegerberg has given an exclusive interview to Agência Esportes. A professional player since 2010, Ada, now aged 20, has already played 43 official matches for the Norway national team, scoring 23 goals.
Hegerberg started her career playing for Kolbotn Fotball and in 2011, aged only 16, was the team's top goalscorer in the Toppserien. The following season, she was transfered to Stabæk and finished the norwegian championship as runner-up and top goalscorer, with 25 goals in 18 games.
After attracting both national and international attention in 2012, Ada, alongside her sister Andrine, moved to Turbine Potsdam, from Germany, where she was a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal runner-up. The following year, the striker was signed by Olympique Lyonnais, from France, where she stills plays to date. In her first year at the club, Hegerberg netted 34 goals in 32 games. In the current season, she has already scored impressive 25 goals in just 14 matches.
With the national team, the striker was a runner-up in the UEFA Euro 2013. In June this year (2015), she was one of Norway's highlighted players in the FIFA Women's World Cup, with three goals and a nomination for the tournament's Young Player Award.
The start of a career and plans for the future
How did you and your sister get into football? Did anyone support you? If so, who?
Ada: I grew up into a football family, so it was a natural choice to start playing. Both my parents were players on a high level and my brother was also a footballer, although he never went professional. And of course I have a sister who is currently playing in Gothenburg and the Norwegian National team. I have been lucky to have such a supporting family. They have always had my back in the choices I have made in my career so far.
When did you realize you would follow the career of a professional footballer?
A: When I started to play in the highest division (Toppserien), at 14 years old, in Norway for Kolbotn I saw the possibilities to become a professional footballer and it inspired me a lot.
How did you feel when you moved abroad to play for Turbine Potsdam? Were you insecure with the adaptation process in such a traditional club in a different country?
A: It was a good experience to move abroad for the first time and to explore a new culture, both off and on the pitch, and also to get the opportunity to learn a new language. It was a tough challenge, but I learned a lot from taking the step to Germany and I grew a lot both as a person and player.
Recently you signed a new contract with Lyon. What are your plans for the future in both club and international levels?
A: I am very happy and proud to have signed a new 3 years contract with Olympique Lyonnais. It is a club with high ambitious which also suits my personal ambitions. Everyday I work consequently to become a better player, to reach the highest level as possible for my team, my club and myself.
Unfortunately, women's football still lacks greater attention and media coverage. Why do you think there is such a resistance from it?
A: I think the interest for the women’s football has increased a lot the last couple of years. The media is starting show some serious interest in the game. I feel as a player for Olympique Lyonnais and the Norwegian National team that we have an important impact and image in the media.
Do the young girls in your country get some kind o special support when it comes to football?
A: I hope that through the media we can inspire young girls showing our professionalism and our talent on a high international level. I remember when I was younger, how motivated I was to see the big girls perform on the big stages(The World Cup, the Euros, Champions League). This gave me a lot of inspiration to work hard. Today I see that all the work did pay off and I will continue to develop to reach the highest level as possible.
In your opinion, why is Norway women's national team more traditional and successfull than the men's national team?
A: The Norwegian women’s national team has had a strong tradition and has today a strong position on international level. It is important for us to develop the team, the style of playing, so that we can compete among the best nations in the world. It is hard for me to give a proper answer to your question, I don’t think we should compare ourselves too much with them, but rather learn and encourage each other as a Nation.
A couple of days ago, you published a video of a very beautiful goal of yours in the Champions League and wrote in the bottom "Peace, love and rock&roll". Do you like Rock Music? Which songs do you listen to in your playlist?
A: That is a typical phrase I like!! It suits my character a lot! Work hard, be humble and live life. I have a wide taste for music and I like pretty much of everything.
Do you have an idol or someone who really inspires you in sports? If so, who?
A: I have not have a specific idol, but I get inspired a lot from people who follow their dreams. My family inspires me a lot and I feel I have a lot of people around me who give me much motivation to succeed.
Despite being so young, you've already scored more than 100 goals in your professional career. What was your favorite one?
A: It is hard to pick one goal. I remember scoring a great header for Stabæk against Brøndby in the Champions League in 2012. If I should pick two more it has to be the one against Medyk Konin at home in the Champions League (this season) for OL. It was an amazing team effort, which I got to bang in the net in the end. I also want to mention the lob against Atletico Madrid away for OL some weeks ago.
What do you know about Brazilian football? Do you think there is some kind of dependence on Marta and Cristiane?
A: I grew up watching players like Marta and Cristiane in the World Cups. I think they have made a huge impact on both Brazilian and International football. I also used to watch Ronaldinho a lot in his best period for Barcelona. Brazil has had such an amazing history in the game of football and will maintain that position in many years to come.
Last but not least: what sort of advice or council would you give to youg girls who dream of playing football professionally?
A: My advice is to enjoy, be ambitious, don’t have any limits and work hard your ass off!