Ada Hegerberg, a former Ballon d’Or winner, had a difficult time during her 20-month absence, and tears streaming down her face at the end of her return in the Women’s Champions League served as a reminder of what she – and football – had missed.
Hegerberg, 26, was at the top of her game until she suffered an anterior critical ligament damage in January 2020.
Four months prior, the Norwegian had shattered the all-time Champions League goalscoring record, a year after scoring a hat-trick in the final to help Lyon win their fourth consecutive trophy.
She was able to “feel like a footballer again” last week when she came on as a substitute in Lyon’s first group game against Hacken.
“I feel like I have been reliving that moment through my head throughout all of these months,” she told BBC Sport.
“There were a lot of emotions and pure joy as well. It’s a big road left ahead of me but that was like a big win.
“I feel like I didn’t need these 20 months to get a reminder of how much I loved football, but it certainly gave me another level of appreciation of the sport. It’s my biggest passion and I feel like a little kid again when I play football and go to training. That’s how it should be.”
Source: BBC Sport