Ada Hegerberg wasted no time making her presence felt in her return to the Norwegian national team, scoring a hat trick in the team’s 5-1 win over Kosovo in World Cup qualifying.
She scored her first goal with the national team in five years in the 21st minute, then scored her second mere two minutes later. At the 60-minute mark she completed the hat trick.
Frida Maanum and Celin Bizet Ildhusøy also found their way onto the score sheet.
Erëleta Memeti scored the lone goal of the game for the Dardanians.
Hegerberg, who won the first ever Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018, tweeted after the match the she “couldn’t have dreamed of a better comeback.”
“As Norwegian as it gets,” she wrote.
A thousand thanks for all your messages . I couldn't have dreamed of a better comeback. As Norwegian as it gets. Tusen takk Sandefjord. Next stop: Oslo. HEIA #NORGE! 🇳🇴📸 @vegardgrott pic.twitter.com/QA7wrrFjRC— Ada S Hegerberg (@AdaStolsmo) April 7, 2022
A thousand thanks for all your messages . I couldn't have dreamed of a better comeback. As Norwegian as it gets. Tusen takk Sandefjord. Next stop: Oslo. HEIA #NORGE! 🇳🇴📸 @vegardgrott pic.twitter.com/QA7wrrFjRC
With the hat trick, Hegerberg now has 41 goals through 67 appearances with the national team, ranking ninth all-time amongst Norwegian goalscorers. Isabell Herlovsen, who played from 2005 through 2019 and recorded 133 caps, sits first with 67 goals.
Hegerberg last played for the national team in 2017 before stepping away in protest over the treatment of women’s soccer in the country in comparison to the men’s game. As a result, she missed the 2019 World Cup.
The 26-year-old plays for Olympique Lyonnais in France. She’s been out for the better part of the past two seasons due to injury. After rupturing her ACL in January 2020, she suffered a stress fracture in her left tibia that September. She finally made her return to the game in October 2021 after 20 months away.
In late March, she was included on the Norwegian roster that was named by coach Martin Sjogren. She said then that it felt “incredibly good” to be back.
“I will do my part to help us achieve great things, both on and off the field—for football, for Norway, but not least for the next generation,” she said at the time.