Before the Champions League final Lyon - Barça: Ada Hegerberg, and life is better at OL

Before the Champions League final Lyon – Barça: Ada Hegerberg, and life is better at OL

It’s a radical change of scenery. A year ago, Lyon was giving serious signs of concern. His supremacy over French and European football had been considerably shaken. The Fenottes had just seen PSG crowned champion of France and thus put an end to 14 years of national domination. At the beginning of the spring, they had seen this same PSG sweep away their hopes of keeping their trophy in the Champions League from the quarter-finals. Something was suddenly missing at the Rhone club. Or maybe someone.

A year later, Lyon is no longer far from being back at the top. OL are on track to regain their throne in D1 Arkéma with a five-point lead over PSG with two games remaining. He will also have the opportunity to add an 8th European title to his record on Saturday against FC Barcelona, ​​in a Champions League final which will oppose the last two winners of the event. And which will give rise to a remake of the 2019 final, won by the Lyonnaises (4-1). A match that had seen Ada Hegerberg burst the screen with a hat-trick.

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Almost a year and a half without playing

The Norwegian, a few months after winning the first women’s Ballon d’Or in history, was then at the top of her game. Six months later, she suffered a terrible injury with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She went almost a year and a half without playing. His absence was not necessarily felt at the end of the 2019-20 season since OL had won the championship and the Champions League. But much more over the whole of the 2020-21 season, where OL suffered cruelly from the absence of their Norwegian star.

Disputed goal, double from Renard and great action concluded by Hegerberg: the OL recital in video

It is no coincidence that the renewal of Lyon coincides with the rebirth of Hegerberg. The Fenottes striker, who returned from her injury at the beginning of October 2020, was first most often a substitute to regain her rhythm and her sensations. His double off the bench in the clash brilliantly won against PSG (6-1) in mid-November already indicated the proximity of his return to the fore. The confirmation did not take long. In her next five matches, the Norwegian scored six goals and two assists. And thus found stats worthy of its standards.

235 goals in 201 matches… and much more than that

But there is more to the 26-year-old’s exceptional ability to thread goals like pearls. Above all, there is this strength of character that allowed him to get through this terrible ordeal. “For Ada Hegerberg, it is a culminationsaid Jean-Michel Aulas on the evening of his double against PSG. We all doubted her too, but she started to work beyond what she could endure. We were amazed by what she did. Everybody was looking for her to score.” And she scored to the delight of her president, who had not hesitated to extend her contract until 2024 when she was still in the midst of her recovery.

Ada Hegerberg (Lyon) scored against PSG in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Credit: Getty Images

An act that also says a lot about the capital importance of Hegerberg in Lyon. A club where she has won 17 titles since she settled down on the banks of the Rhône. A club where she scored a whopping 235 goals in 201 appearances, including 54 in 52 Champions League matches. A club, above all, where its aura goes well beyond the figures, however staggering they may be. His presence brought back this serenity that Lyon seemed to have lost last season. This is also why his presence is essential at OL.

“Playing this final is incredible”

His leadership should not mask the impact of other Lyon individuals, from Wendie Renard to Catarina Macario via Melvine Malard or Selma Bacha, among others. But he was essential in the capital meetings of the second half of the season. And in particular on the semi-final return of the Champions League won at the Park against PSG (1-2). Hegerberg did more than open the scoring that night. “HASda is one of my leaders, mental leaderssaid his coach, Sonia Bompastor, after the meeting. She had a very courageous match, with a lot of generosity. At this level, she is a driving player.”

If life is better at OL, it’s largely thanks to her. And the Champions League final comes at the right time to mark its rebirth. “I’m happy since I came back and I’m enjoying every dayshe confided this week on the UEFA website. I have to say it’s been a long road so to be able to play a final with this team is an amazing thing.“Winning it would be even more so against the impressive Barça of Alexia Putellas, author of 30 victories in… 30 league matches. But with Hegerberg, there is nothing impossible for Lyon.

Ada Hegerberg and the Lyonnaises will play in the semi-finals of the Champions League

Credit: Getty Images

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