By 90Min
February 27, 2019

Lyon striker and historic Women's Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg will be a huge name absent from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after Norway coach Martin Sjogren admitted there is 'no chance' of the player reversing her decision to quit international football.

Hegerberg, who has won the Women's Champions League in each of the last three seasons and has scored well more than a goal per game since joining Lyon in 2014, made herself unavailable for the Norwegian national team in 2017 over frustrations related to gender equality.

FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Norway's male and female national teams later went on to sign an equal pay agreement by the end of that year, the first of its kind. But Hegerberg still preferred to stay away and isn't about to change her mind now, despite efforts from the Norwegian setup to reach a resolution.

"We tried to solve it, we had meetings, but she decided not to play," Sjogren has explained to BBC World Service, with the World Cup kickoff a little more than three months away.

"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," he added.

Hegerberg made her senior international debut for Norway at the age of just 16 in 2011 and was part of the team that finished second to Germany at Euro 2013, starting every game. She later scored three times at the 2015 World Cup, while also appearing at Euro 2017.

FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Norway have a strong history at the Women's World Cup after contesting the inaugural final against the victorious United States in 1991 and winning it next time around in 1995. The Scandinavians also finished fourth in 1999 and 2007, although they failed to get beyond the group stage in 2011 and were eliminated in the round of 16 four years ago.

These days, a Norwegian side without the best player on the planet is ranked 13th in the world by FIFA. They will expect to at least reach the knockout rounds at this summer's World Cup in France after being drawn into Group A alongside the hosts, South Korea and Nigeria, but going any further than the quarter finals feels like a stretch.

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