Norwegian soccer superstar, striker Ada Hegerberg, is back on the Norwegian national team after five years of self-imposed exile. Hegerberg stepped away in 2017 to bring attention to disparities between men’s and women’s soccer in her home country. Her concerns included unequal pay for professional athletes, fewer opportunities for girls to play soccer, and male teams getting precedence in access to quality pitches for play and practice. In immediate response to her original announcement in 2017, the Norway Football Association doubled the pay for their female athletes so they would be on par with their male counterparts.
During the last five years, Hegerberg has focused on playing for her club, the Division 1 Olympique Lyonnais, out of Lyon, France. The striker was named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year for both 2017 and 2019. In 2018 she was the first ever female recipient of the prestigious Ballon d’Or [golden ball] trophy.
In her first game back with the Norwegian National Team, Hegerberg scored a hat-trick in a match against Kosovo, netting three goals. She and her teammates are well on their way to a stellar season, with their sights on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.