PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03:  Ada Hegerberg of Sweden and Olympioque Lyonnais wins the 2018 Ballon D'Or at Le Grand Palais on December 3, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Ada Hegerberg: 7 Things You Need to Know About First Ever Women's Ballon d'Or Winner

A rapidly growing star name in the women's game over the last few years, Ada Hegerberg shot to global fame on Monday night when the Lyon and Norwegian striker was honoured as the first ever recipient of the brand new Women's Ballon d'Or award.


Here's a look at seven things you need to know about the groundbreaking star...

7. She Is No Stranger to Individual Accolades

Prior to her Ballon d'Or gong, Hegerberg has previously picked up several other individual awards for her feats over the last few years.


In 2016 she shared the stage with Cristiano Ronaldo as both were named Best Player in Europe by UEFA in the respective men and women's games. Last year it was recognition from the BBC, winning the 2017 BBC Women's Footballer of the Year gong.


In 2016, meanwhile, Hegerberg was named Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year, a prize won by only two other women this century.  

6. She Didn't Win FIFA's Top Prize This Year

Although widely recognised as the top player in the world in 2018, the Best FIFA Women's Player of the Year award controversially went to Brazilian veteran Marta, when it was handed out back in September.


The FIFA voting procedure drew criticism because it was felt that Marta's higher profile and previous wins of FIFA's top award - five between 2006 and 2010 - got her the nod ahead of Hegerberg, whose achievements had somewhat flown under the radar at a mainstream level.  

5. She Won't Be at the 2019 World Cup

The 2019 Women's World Cup is coming later this year. But while Norway have qualified for the eagerly awaited tournament in France, Hegerberg is unlikely to be there after choosing to step away from international football last year.


During a six-year senior international career that began when she was just 16 in 2011, Hegerberg scored 38 times in 66 games. She was named in the Euro 2013 and 2015 World Cup squads, scoring three times in the latter, and was a headline star heading into Euro 2017. 


Norway unfortunately finished bottom of their group, failing to score a single goal in three games, and Hegerberg took the decision to focus on her club career instead.


Earlier this year the player criticised a lack of football opportunities for girls in Norway, bluntly stating, "We've stopped talking about development and other countries have overtaken us."  

4. She Has Won the 'Treble' Twice

Part of the all conquering Lyon Feminin team since 2014, Hegerberg has twice won a 'treble' with the club, while completing at least a 'double' in her other two seasons in France.


The incredible 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons stand out in terms of trophies, with a now heavily decorated Hegerberg playing a key role as Lyon won Division 1 Feminine, the Coupe de France and Women's Champions League in both seasons.


She had earlier won a domestic double in 2014/15 and last season won a league/European double as Lyon retained their Division 1 and Champions League titles.  

3. She Has Scored a Stunning Number of Goals

At the still relatively tender age of just 23, Hegerberg has scored well over 250 senior goals for club and country, a truly remarkable return that even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't match.


While prolific as a teenager in her native Norway with second club Stabaek, Hegerberg struggled to reproduce that form for German club Turbine Potsdam.


But it was after joining Lyon in 2014 that her goalscoring return simply exploded. Hegerberg scored 49 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions for Lyon last season alone, previously finding the net 54 times in 35 games during the 2016/17 campaign.


She has scored 14 times in 14 games already this season.

2. She Isn't Driven by Records

For Hegerberg, who broke her own record for goals in Champions League season in 2017/18, it appears that record goalscoring feats are simply a by product of her preparation and professional dedication after working so hard to get where she is.


"A lot of people talk about records but you can get lost as a player if you think too much about them. I think more about preparation than numbers," the player said in July.


"If I'm well prepared, there will be results. So I try to kick ass and work hard in the moment and I know the record will come."  

1. She Has a Long-Term Contract at Lyon

Long-term contracts are not especially common for female footballers - it was even noted by The Guardian recently that players in the professional Women's Super League in England are at risk of the sack if they are injured for more than three months thanks to a clause buried 'deep in the small print' of the standard contracts used by WSL clubs.


Thankfully, that clause is yet to be activated by any club since it was introduced in 2011. 


Hegerberg, however, appears to have a secure future at Lyon after signing a deal 2021. It came off the back of her incredible 2017/18 campaign, but even just a three-year extension is still an unusually lengthy contract in the women's game.


"I always try to live in the present and take everything day by day to become a better version of myself. Lyon is where I’m able to do that and signing for another three years just made sense," she said upon agreeing the deal.