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Women's World Cup: "I never doubted" my presence, says Ada Hegerberg

2023-07-17T14:10:39.032Z

Highlights: Ada Hegerberg says he is "very proud" of the work done to return to his level in order to be ready for the World Cup (July 20-August 20) The Norwegian star says he was able to finish the season well with the OL team collectively and individually. The World Cup comes early with a new coach but the Blues have talent to do well, according to the 29-year-old. The 2026 World Cup will again meet with great popular success, says the star.


Long absent from the field, the Norwegian star says he is "very proud" of the work done to return to his level in order to be ready for the World Cup (July 20-August 20).


What is your state of form before this World Cup, especially after being unavailable for a long time due to injuries?
Ada Hegerberg: I was able to finish the season well with the OL team collectively and individually. I stepped up. There was quite an intense period because I came back in the final stretch of the season with very important matches. I feel good. It was a tiring season because it took a lot of courage and a lot of work to get back to my level. I am very proud of that. I never doubted.

To discover

  • 2026 World Cup: dates, venue and format
  • World Cup: The complete table of the final phase
  • All results of World Cup matches

How is your return to the national team after five years of absence because you challenged the lack of professionalism?
It goes well, in a good group. There is always work to be done in selection. Being part of it again makes me feel good. It can give me more opportunities to contribute to women's football on and off the pitch. With a new president at the federation, Lise Klaveness, very involved in developing women's football, this can be a very good thing.

How does this World Cup look like for Norway?
I don't think you can say we're one of the favourites. We have a lot of qualities, desire. We must be ambitious but also realistic. Our last results have not been very good. We want to show a better image of Norway. It takes a lot of preparation, having a cohesive group and playing on individual quality to form a team.

Ada Hegerberg JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

But Norway was one of the best nations in women's football...
Yes, we have a hell of a history with titles of world champions (1995), Olympic champions (2000). But in recent years, it has become a little harder. We fell asleep. That doesn't mean we can't do anything anymore because we have some quality players. But you have to put them all together to give the best for the team. It is very interesting. I can't wait.

What can we expect from this World Cup for the evolution of the game?
There is always a great atmosphere at major tournaments, with countries that reveal themselves, populations that find themselves behind their selection as at the last World Cup (in France in 2019, Editor's note) with then a craze for the discipline. There is never a problem with the public. This is what we expect with this World Cup which will again meet with great popular success. It will be up to us to produce beautiful game.

The World Cup comes early with a new coach but the Blues have talent to do well.

Ada Hegerberg

What do you think of the recent changes in the France team?
I have international teammates in Lyon. We had a lot of discussions with Wendie Renard, with whom I share the same vision of women's football. For her, the arrival of Hervé Renard seems a real catalyst. He is a very experienced technician, who has won in selection. The World Cup comes early with a new coach but the Blues have talent to do well.

And changes at the head of Olympique Lyonnais?
We had an extraordinary adventure with (president) Jean-Michel Aulas. What he did was exceptional. His departure is a bit emotional and goes beyond football. Michele Kang (majority shareholder of OL Women) is a very impressive woman with the way she approaches the place of women in general and her desire to reach yet another dimension for our team. You have to be optimistic and demanding.

You have one year left on your contract in Lyon...
I like the fact that the club wants to keep me and I have one year left on my contract. I spoke with Michele but so far, the club has not come forward to my agents.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-07-17

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