Last week, Ada Hegerberg was catapulted into the media spotlight when she became the first Women’s Ballon d’Or winner.
It was in this historic moment that Hegerberg became a social media phenomenon. She was asked to twerk to celebrate winning the award and simply said: “No.” The clip went viral.
Following an inspirational speech about the women’s game, the 23-year-old’s refusal to twerk was applauded around the globe and lauded as a stand against sexism.
Yet the Norwegian footballer is making a bigger stand in her homeland—she won’t be playing at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Hegerberg stepped down from international duty in 2017, asking for progress in how women’s football is treated in Norway
In October that year, the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) and Norwegian players’ association (NISO) signed a pioneering agreement on equal pay. The deal gave the women’s team a total of 6 million Norwegian kroner, almost doubling the 3.1 million kroner they previously earned.
However, the increased number did not influence Hegerberg’s decision. Despite the equal pay deal, she was fighting for a more professional take on the women’s game in Norway.
“It’s easy to take hard choices when you know what the ambitions are and what values you stand for, so it’s all about staying true to yourself, be yourself,” said Hegerberg. [via CNN]
Voicing her strong beliefs off the field, Hegerberg’s record on the pitch speaks for itself. In 2016 she scored more goals in UEFA competition than Cristiano Ronaldo and the Lyon striker has won three European titles in a row at the age of 23.
A talented and important player for Norway, Hegerberg debuted for the national team at 15 and scored 38 goals in 66 appearances.
It is unlikely that Hergerberg will make a comeback for the World Cup in 2019 but the NFF remain hopeful that she will return to play for the national team again in the future.