For Norwegian international striker Ada Hegerberg, inspiring the next generation of women’s players is a personal goal. In an interview we hear that the Olympique Lyonnais star wants budding young players to feel her same love of the game.
Ada Hegerberg has packed a remarkable amount of success into her relatively young career, but the Olympique Lyonnais forward has never forgotten why she took up football in the first place.
“Wherever you play, you just want to have fun,” explains the 22-year old, whose passion for scoring goals has shone ever since she burst on to the scene. A two-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winner and the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe for 2015/16, Hegerberg has every reason to be enjoying herself, but she wants budding young players at all levels to feel her same love of the game.
To get that message across, Hegerberg has been lending a hand to UEFA’s #PlayAnywhere initiative, part of the Together #WePlayStrong campaign aimed at making football Europe’s foremost female sport.
Freestyle football world champion Liv Cooke’s incredible ball-juggling skills have been the focus of #PlayAnywhere as she toured some of Europe’s most unique footballing locations earlier this year. This included the remote fishing village of Henningsvaer in Norway where Hegerberg and her sister Andrine – a midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain – joined her in a match with local girls.
“I think Together #WePlayStrong is a big step for football,” says Hegerberg, who struck five goals for Norway in the qualifying competition for the 2010/11 UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship. “This project is about building interest and professionalism, and making younger women want to play football at a high level.”
Hegerberg is still at the relative outset of her own adventure, but she is thrilled to be inspiring the next generation already. “It’s a special feeling because I don’t think about myself as a huge role model. When everyone tells me that I think ‘Wow’. It’s an honour, really. I remember when I was young, I had idols who inspired me to go for my dreams, and I just want to give the same back.”