Ballon D'Or winner Ada Hegerberg won't play at Women's World Cup, says coach

Ballon D'Or winner Ada Hegerberg won't play at Women's World Cup, says coach
The 2019 Women's World Cup will get underway in the summer, but the best player in the world will not be a part of it after it was confirmed Norway's 2018 Ballon D'Or winner Ada Hegerberg won't be in the Norway squad.

Hegerberg has not featured for her country since the 2017 Women's European Championship after quitting international football and citing a lack of respect given to female players in Norway.

And now, just over four months away from the Women's World Cup and just ahead of his side's Algarve Cup campaign, Norway team boss Martin Sjogren confirmed that the Lyon striker will not be a part of his squad for the tournament.

Sjogren met with the 23-year-old to discuss her situation, but wasn't able to convince her to join his squad for the tournament, which takes place in France between June 7 and July 7 this summer.

"We tried to solve it. We had meetings, but she decided not to play," he told the BBC World Service.

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"As a coach, you need to focus on the players who want to be a part of the team and Ada doesn't.

"We respect that and we have been working hard with the other players and they have been doing a great job."

Norway were knocked out of the 2017 European Championships without scoring a goal.

Hegerberg's decision to step away from the team came shortly after, leaving the side without their talismanic striker.

Shortly after Hegerberg announced her self-imposed international exile, the Norwegian Football Association and the Norwegian players' association signed an equal pay agreement.

But Hegerberg stuck to her decision, saying it was an "easy choice" to make.

Hegerberg captured the 2018 Women's Ballon D'Or just a year after winning the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award, and is a huge star in women's club football.

But it seems the chances of Hegerberg making a return to international football are slim at best, with Norway's Swedish coach Sjogren suggesting they had reached an impasse with the player.

"She has a big profile in the game and Ada of course would be a great add to our squad if she wants to be a part of it," he said.

"I don't think much about it because we have to put all of our focus on the players who want to be here.

"We won't get that phone call because she has declared she is not going to play the World Cup."

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