Ada Hegerberg: Norwegian Class in the Box



Ada Hegerberg is playing for Lion

Ada Hegerberg is the all-time leading goalscorer of the UEFA Women’s Champions League at the age of only 26. The Norwegian striker has lead Olympique Lyonnais to 5 straight Champions League trophies (2016-2020), scoring in three of the Finals. She has proved to be a world-class topscorer, as we could recently see in the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain, where she scored in both games and help her teammates create many chances with her movements.

In this analysis, we will analyse which movements she uses in order to be a deadly player in and around the box.

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The first principle of her game we want to highlight is the amount of runs she makes into the box, and the quality of those runs. Hegerberg manages not only to get many shots by running into the box with a perfect timing but also to generate space for her teammates to shoot.

As we can see in this sequence below taken from the first leg of the UWCL Semifinal against PSG, the Norwegian striker manages to attract attention from the PSG defenders and creates space behind for Malard, who shoots and then forces a penalty that allowed OL to score the equalizer in Paris.

Ada Hegerberg is brilliant at making runs to create space for her teammates


Thanks to Hegerberg's runs, teammates can finish many actions inside the box


Another characteristic of Hegerberg is the feints she uses during her unmarking movements to get defenders confused and be able to get an advantage in the play. This is very important in strikers, especially in crossing situations, when defenders are mostly focused on the ball and have difficulties reading the unmarking movements of their direct opponent.

With this movement, Olympique Lyonnais’ star manages to get to the ball before the defenders, who are expecting Hegerberg to attack a different space, and therefore often react late when the ball gets into the box. As we can see in the pictures, she starts a movement towards the far post which causes the PSG defender to follow her movement. This creates immediately a space to attack in the near post, which Hegerberg uses to shoot and create a clear chance.

When attacking the box, Hegerberg feints before making the final run. This helps her create space to finish the action


Hegerberg applies striker individual fundamentals to make feint runs before attacking the ball in crossing situations

2. Feints B

Another movement often used by the Lyon’s #14 is to attack the blind side of the defenders, making it difficult for then to keep an eye at the same time to the ball and the player to be marked. This gives her big advantage when attacking crosses from the flanks. Finally, she shows great scanning abilities inside the box, looking always for the free space to attack.

Inside the box, Hegerberg has the ability to detect free spaces to finish the action, even if these are opposite to where the ball comes from


By moving to open spaces, while the defenders are only paying attention to the ball, Hegerberg gets perfect spots to score without opposition


As we can see above, Hegerberg is initially placed in the near post but turns her head and detects Juventus defenders not covering the far post zone, so she moves horizontally to the second post, unnoticed by the vecchia signora’s defenders, who are mostly focused on the ball. This movement allows her to attack the cross at the second post with advantage and head the ball into the net.

In this analysis we’ve seen some of the characteristics that make Hegerberg one of the best strikers of the last decade, with a differential talent when it comes to attacking the box, with many movements that create huge advantage for her and her teammates.


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