BBC WFOTY contender Ada Hegerberg

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We are profiling each of the five nominees for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017 award. You can see all their profiles, read full terms and vote here for your favourite online until 08:00 GMT/09:00 BST on Monday, 15 May.

Only one player scored more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo in Uefa competitions last year – BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017 nominee Ada Hegerberg.

The Olympique Lyonnais striker netted 18 compared to Real Madrid forward Ronaldo’s 17 in 2016, and played a significant role in her French club’s treble-winning season.

The Norway international scored the opening goal in the Champions League final against German side Wolfsburg and achieved her dream of lifting the trophy when they won 4-3 on penalties, adding the European crown to their Couple de France and Division One titles.

“It doesn’t come after one summer of hard work or one year – I think it’s been something I’ve been working on since I was a little kid, but now I see the results,” said the 21-year-old, who scored 13 goals in the Champions League and 33 goals in the league last season.

“It’s hard to do another season like that. I need to improve and that’s what I’m working on, I have the hunger to keep scoring goals.”

She was voted Uefa Best Women’s Player in Europe for 2016 and became the first female winner in 20 years of Norway’s Golden Ball award for the country’s best footballer.

Ada Hegerberg and Cristiano Ronaldo
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Football is something that has always been in the family for Hegerberg.

“I remember growing up and those Champions League nights, making tacos and sitting down with the whole crew [family] – I got a lot of good memories,” she said.

“I liked [former Arsenal striker] Thierry Henry a lot, I used to watch Arsenal. I found him such a fantastic player – he could finish from every angle when he had the ball at his feet, he was a complete player.”

Since making her top-flight Norwegian debut for Kolbotn at the age of 15, Hegerberg has been making an impression.

She finished top scorer in 2011, leading to a move to Norwegian club Stabaek along with her sister Andrine, 23.

They won the Norwegian Cup 4-0 against Roa with Ada scoring a hat-trick in the final and she finished the league’s top scorer on 25 goals.

Ada and Andrine Hegerberg<!–

That success earned the two Hegerbergs a move to Germany’s Turbine Potsdam.

Ada says having her sister, who now plays for Birmingham City, alongside her through her career and at international level has been a huge support.

“We’ve always been tough with each other, direct and honest – that’s the kind of relationship we have and it’s made us really close,” she said.

“She was the one dragging me out to play when I was younger and if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have the competition feeling between us and she has always been a role model.”

The move to Turbine Potsdam proved to be an instant success for Ada, who scored on her Frauen Bundesliga debut against Freiburg and she helped guide the club to a second-place finish in 2012-13.

She caught the eye of arguably the biggest club in Europe, signing for Olympique Lyonnais in 2014.

Two Division One titles, a Champions League and two Coupe de France trophies followed. With an array of awards already, will the BBC trophy be added next to her cabinet?

Why vote for me?

“It’s a huge honour to be nominated. I’m a winner of the Treble, didn’t compete in the Olympics though [as Norway didn’t qualify]. It’s up to the people to decide. I’ve got my focus on becoming a better player now, but the Champions League victory speaks for itself.”

BBC Sport – Football

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