Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais has been crowned the winner of BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2019. The annual award from the BBC World Service – now in its fifth year – is voted for by football fans from around the world. This is the second time that Hegerberg has won the award, having also taken the prize in 2017.
The 23 year old striker from Norway says: “Winning a second time is amazing, I’d like to thank everyone for voting for me, it’s a big, big honour. BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year speaks for itself; I’ll stay hungry, motivated. It means a lot to me”.
When asked about her highlight of the last year Hegerberg said: “You have all the glory, and then days that are tougher, but winning the Ballon d’Or was beyond my world to be honest, and obviously winning the Champions League for a fourth time in a row, and scoring a hat-trick – it means a lot to me.”
On winning the award for a second time she added: “I’m really happy to have [the trophy] back. My family and friends, we share this one together”.
Hegerberg emerged as the winner from a five player shortlist of the top names in women’s football. Denmark and Vfl Wolfsburg forward Pernille Harder came second and Australia and Chicago Red Stars striker Sam Kerr came in third place in the public vote. USA and Portland Thorns’ Lindsey Horan and Japan and Olympique Lyonnais’ Saki Kumagai were also nominated.
Hegerberg won the Champions League and league title with Olympique Lyonnais in 2018, finishing the Champions League season with a record 15 goals, and moved into the top 10 all-time scorers. Last week Hegerberg secured a fourth successive Champions League gold medal as Olympique Lyonnais beat Barcelona 4-1 in the Final in Budapest. Hegerberg scored a hat-trick to ensure she finished as the competition’s top scorer for the second consecutive season. She also won the Divison One title and Coupe De France.
She first signed for Olympique Lyonnais in 2014, when she went on to have a very successful season scoring 26 goals in 22 league games.
In 2015 Hegerberg played for Norway in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she scored three goals in three group stage games. However, this summer Hegerberg will not be taking part in the Women’s World Cup saying she has taken an indefinite break from international duty because of what she called a “lack of respect” for female players in Norway.
Hegerberg is the fifth player to win BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. Last year’s winner was the UK’s Lucy Bronze.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, says: “Huge congratulations to Ada Hegerberg for winning the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2019. This is the second time she has won the award, voted for by football fans around the world. Now in its fifth year, it is getting bigger each year, reflecting the ever growing interest in women’s football around the world. I wish Ada the best of luck and will be watching for more brilliant achievements over the next year”.