You’ve now got six Champions League winners medals. What are your favourite memories?
Every final we have won has been special in its own way. The first one because it was the first one, but it’s always the next one that is the most difficult. So, there have been some incredible football games in the Champions League – I can look back to the year of 2016 and some fantastic performances – but all the finals are held dearly. And the day I beat the record of most goals scored [in 2019] was special because I know Anja Mittag very well; a legend in the world of football. Taking over her spot was a huge deal and she sent me a little text. That shows her class. So that was a good day.
What would you say to young girls with a dream of playing in the Champions League one day?
There is so much to tell. The first thing I would say is to really dig deep and find out what your qualities are. We all have different qualities; we are all unique in our own way. And keep watching the games, be inspired, try to get into the stadium and actually feel the atmosphere live. I think that does something to you, to see the level live and just take that inspiration, go home and work hard.
Was last season a turning point for women’s football?
For sure, you could feel that there’s some special attention. The Champions League format changed a little bit with the group stages and the way it’s televised. It’s been absolutely amazing and honestly, as a player, seeing the development, seeing how many people actually care about these types of games, it’s what you train for. You shouldn’t forget that we’ve come from a year without any spectators in the stadiums. So these are special times and what we want as players is to give the audience a good game – a spectacle.
You’re one of the world’s most decorated players. What’s the next step for Ada Hegerberg?
As clichéd as it sounds, it is very much about hard work. I visualise football every day before practice; after practice I analyse what can be done better. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was 11 or 12 years old, starting with my dad. It’s all about working on details every day, always wanting to take the next step. There are always new areas where you can improve. I can honestly say that having this injury… obviously I could have lived nicely without it, but it has helped me to reflect in a completely different way on how I train, eat and take care of my body. So I feel like it has given me an extra level of competence.
Given everything that’s happened, how do you sum up the season?
Looking back, what we achieved, what I achieved personally after what I’ve been through… I mean, it’s emotionally very inspiring to continue. I don’t stop here. I feel like I’m going into some beautiful years of football and I’m just ready to enjoy it.