Ada Hegerberg is one of the brightest young stars in world football – but she will not be playing on the greatest stage of all this summer.
The 23-year-old Norwegian has been unstoppable in recent years and scored a hat-trick against Barcelona last month as Lyon won yet another Champions League title.
The star striker boasts a career record of 255 goals in just 254 games and was crowned the inaugural recipient of the Ballon d’Or Feminin last year.
While she is one of the best around, fans won’t be seeing her play in this summer’s Women’s World Cup.
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Why is Ada Hegerberg not playing at the Women’s World Cup?
Hegerberg joined French powerhouses Lyon from Turbine Potsdam in 2014 and has netted more than a goal per game since.
She famously scored 49 goals in just 32 matches last campaign to pick up the first ever Ballon d’Or award in the women’s game.
The forward was part of the Norwegian team that played in the 2015 World Cup, where she was nominated for the Best Young Player Award.
In total, she has played 66 times for her country, scoring 38 goals.
But in the summer of 2017, Hegerberg decided to stop representing the national team in an effort to draw attention to the pay differences between the men’s and women’s game.
She continues to stand by this form of protest and as such will not be representing Norway this summer in France.
Hegerberg explains: “I’ve always respected men’s footballers for what they earn. The gap is enormous, but at the same time you need to give young women and girls the same opportunity as the men. That’s where we need to do the change.
“There are federations, there are clubs, there are men in high positions who have that responsibility to put the women in the right place and that’s where I think, I feel, and I know, we have a long way to go.”
Norway, who beat Nigeria 3-0 in their opening Group A tie, take on hosts France in Nice tonight.
And with the Women’s World Cup now well underway, talkSPORT is your home for the showpiece tournament.