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Scout Report

Scout Report: Ada Hegerberg | Norway and Lyon’s prolific forward

John Smith writes a detailed scout report about Ada Hegerberg, the Norway and Lyon forward.

Overall, the society of today has achieved significant progress regarding the complications of gender equality. However, whilst remarkable progress has been achieved in regards to women’s football, the sport is still frowned upon for some reason with the media and general public promoting inequality and sexism regarding the sport. Notwithstanding this, it is impossible to deny the fact that women’s football is on the rise around the world and will continue to do so.

Although the United States of America seems to hold the best female footballers on earth, when you take a further look at opposing countries from around the world, you begin to realise how much actual talent there is in women’s football. Ada Hegerberg is a woman that you might not know much about, but by the time you’ve finished reading this piece, you’ll know exactly why she deserves much more praise.

Who is Ada Hegerberg?

Although born is the city of Molde, Hegerberg actually grew up in the Norwegian town of Sunndalsora. Whilst her parents had no physical connection to the sport of football, the forward as well as her sister Andrine Hegerberg were introduced to the sport early on in their lives as they grew up playing for Sunndal Fotball. However, this ended abruptly in 2007 when their family moved Kolbotn, the centre of Oppegard, Norway. Living in their new town, the sisters agreed to join Kolbotn IL, where their professional careers kicked off.

As for Ada Hegerberg, although making her senior debut at the age of 15 in 2015, it was actually after she recently turned 16 when she made her proper impact on Norwegian football, scoring three goals in seven minutes as Kolbotn IL beat league champions Roa IL 4-1, her sister Andrine scored the final goal. Regardless of her age, the prolific forward became the youngest player to have ever scored a hat-trick in the Toppserien and also finished the season as Kolbotn IL’s top scorer. For her outstanding performances, the Norwegian was awarded the league’s Young Player of the Year award and soon transitioned to Stabaek for a year.

During her brief stint at her new team, Hegerberg was widely considered as one of the biggest talents in all of Norwegian’s football along with her sister, with the former also winning the Statoil “Talent of the Month” award. Additionally, she also won her first bit of silverware, the Norwegian Women’s Cup. Following the end of her one year deal, she and her sister agreed to join FFC Turbine Potsdam on a one year contract. Prior to the reunification of Germany, the team were one of the most dominant teams in all of German women’s football, and still remain one of the most successful teams in Germany.

In her one season at the club, Hegerberg finished second in the Bundesliga and also came runners up in the DFB-Pokal. Following the end of their contracts, the sisters finally split up for the first time in their professional careers. Andrine Hegerberg left for Sweden to play for Goteborg FC before joining Birmingham City whilst Ada Hegerberg signed a contract with French giants Olympique Lyonnais.

Her current two-year stint in France is easily her most successful thus far as a professional footballer. In her first season at the club, Hegerberg scored 34 goals in 32 games in all competitions, helping her to win a Division 1 Feminine and Coupe de France double. In the year that followed, the Norwegian scored over 50 goals in all competitions, adding a French treble to her collection – UEFA Women’s Champions League, Division 1 Feminine, and Coupe de France respectively.

During the 2015/16 season, Hegerberg was also awarded the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe, Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year, and FIFPro World XI, awards. In addition to this, the forward also gained substantial attention after it was revealed that she scored more goals in UEFA Competition in 2016 than any other football player, including Real Madrid’s world-beater Cristiano Ronaldo.

What is her style of play?

Despite her tender age, it’s hard to deny the fact that Hegerberg is currently one of the best women’s footballers to walk the earth. Her eye for goal is one of her biggest assets that has already seen her score on more than 100 occasions in club and country games. On top of this, the Norwegian striker has also flourished in different formations and styles of play. Examples of this include playing the number 9 role in an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation with other attacking outlets including Eugenie Le Sommer supporting her on the flank, as well as more recently gaining valuable experience in a striking partnership alongside prolific American-forward Alex Morgan.

What are her strengths?

The Norwegian forward is lucky enough to have many attributes in her arsenal that have allowed for her to become one of the best women’s footballers in the world despite her young age. Her comprehensive shooting ability is a noteworthy asset for both her club and country that have allowed for her to pull off many fantastic goals, that in return, have gone on to win her team the game.

Her last-gasp winner for Olympique Lyonnais vs Atletico Madrid is a clear example of this. Despite being blatantly fouled by fullback Kenti Robles, the forward was able to maintain possession of the ball and soon tried her luck from outside the box as opposing goalkeeper Dolores Gallardo failed to tackle her. You can watch the goal here:

Additionally, Hegerberg has gone on to prove herself as an exquisite, and skilful, dribbler on the ball. This has helped her when in one-on-one situations in particular, allowing her to drift the ball out of the reach of the opposing goalkeeper before slotting the ball in the back of the net. Her skilful ability has been demonstrated on multiple occasions too, most commonly when driving the ball forward into the opposition’s half, or, when coming up against a rival on either flank and looking to cut inside.

As mentioned earlier, the Norwegian flourishes when linking up play with some of her attacking teammates. Since arriving earlier in the year, Hegerberg has formed a formidable partnership alongside new arrival Alex Morgan that has helped take Olympique Lyonnais to a second consecutive Champions League final.

What are her weaknesses?

Although some regard her as one of the best women’s footballers currently playing, it’s important to remember that Hegerberg is still only 21 years of age and has more than enough time to improve on some of her weaknesses. For example, her overall passing ability is not something that could currently be praised. Despite having a reasonable passing accuracy, her passing ability is pretty substandard. Hegerberg is rarely known to play a risky pass and opts for an easier short one. By improving on her overall passing ability, it will improve her ability to get out of difficult situations, if neccessary, or to catch out opposition players.

In addition to this, another attribute Hegerberg could improve upon is her stamina. Whilst once again not necessarily a major weakness, it’d be of great benefit for both herself as well as her team if she were to work on this as it would allow her to stay on for longer parts of the game.

Read all our scout reports here

John Smith

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