Ada Hegerberg ‘dreaming’ of Champions League glory after comeback from injury

Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg has said it would be a ‘dream’ to win the Champions League again after her comeback from a long-term injury that threatened her career.

Hegerberg has already won five Champions League titles with Lyon and was crowned the first ever Women’s Ballon d’Or winner in 2018. A year later, she dismantled Barcelona with a 16-minute hat-trick in the 2019 final and will face the same opponent again in Saturday’s showpiece.

But the Norwegian’s career was put on hold for 20 months in between then and now. She suffered an ACL injury in January 2020 and later endured a major setback eight months later as a result of a stress fracture in her left tibia.

Lyon kept faith in her, offering a new contract at the end of 2020, and it was October 2021 before Hegerberg finally returned to the pitch. She was prepared that it may have taken her some time to return to her former levels, but the goals have flowed once more over the last few months.

“Finding myself back on the pitch is already something incredible, especially when you see where I was a year ago,” the 26-year-old said, via Lyon’s official website.

“You have to take advantage of the moment. It’s a dream especially after so many difficulties.”

Speaking to 90min shortly after her October comeback, Hegerberg explained that simply being able to return to the pitch after so long out was an emotional moment.

“It was quite overwhelming, to be honest, all these emotions building up through that long period of time,” she said at the time.

“That was such a big step for me personally and I was overwhelmed by the response as well, all the support from all corners. I just let it soak in and onto the next, you know.”

Fast forward to now and Hegerberg is hoping that Lyon’s experience at this level against a Barcelona side with only two finals and one title under their belt.

As well as Hegerberg, the likes of Amandine Henry, Kadeisha Buchanan and Griedge Mbock Bathy have done it time and time again. Wendie Renard and Eugenie Le Sommer have both been present for all seven of Lyon’s Champions League triumphs.

The squad also has newer talent in American pair Catarina Macario and Lindsey Horan, Australian defender Ellie Carpenter, plus emerging French stars Melvine Malard and Selma Bacha.

“We have players with a lot of experience and quality,” Hegerberg said. “We are in the best time of the year. We also have to have fun…we know that we deserve to be at this stage of the competition.”

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