Running in the family: Norway's football dynasty

Her father played for Norway, her brother for the U21s and sister Hege is a current internatonal. Tuva Hansen discusses family ties, smashing ornaments and coming of age at the WU19 EURO.

Tuva Hansen and family after the France win
Tuva Hansen and family after the France win ©Sportsfile

Tuva Hansen has football in her blood. Her father Hugo was a Norway defender in the 1980s and her siblings have also represented the country. While she names sister Hege as her all-time hero, Tuva has become a force to be reckoned with in her own right. UEFA.com spoke with the youngest Hansen about family ties, smashing ornaments and coming of age.

Are your relatives as football-crazy as they sound?
They're obsessed! My father played for Norway from the age of about 20 for quite a number of years, and my mother used to play as a girl – in a boys' team – until she met my father who was playing for the U17s. It was a childhood romance built on football!

Hege plays with me at Klepp and is a senior international striker. My brother Cato has played for the under-21s and for lots of clubs in Norway. There were always balls flying around the house – we used to break quite a few things in the living room.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My sister is by far the biggest inspiration. She has been there for me the whole time. My father's always been a big influence and support, but I think I'm closest to my sister. My parents are here in Slovakia to support me and the team, which is great. The advice they gave me was to enjoy this as much as I can, to play without too much pressure but do my best and make it one to remember.

Hege Hansen (L) in U19 action in 2008
Hege Hansen (L) in U19 action in 2008©Sportsfile

Has there been any sibling rivalry?
Hege plays as a striker – in fact she's one of the fastest players in Norway – so there's no competition for places. I usually ask her for tips on how to stop players like her! We have a very good connection on the pitch: I know her runs and I can put the ball up to her easily.

Do you feel you're shaping your own development as a player?
Definitely. It's an advantage to have so much football in the family, of course, but my career is about me and this tournament is about me and the team. I have come far with my family's support but I am becoming my own player now, making my own choices and developing as an individual.

Are you enjoying your time in Slovakia?
We were sore after the second game, where we lost to Netherlands, but we got a lot of confidence from winning against France. We're one group, not one player or even 11 players. We're one team, all the playing staff, coaches and everyone involved. We have an amazing team spirit.

Norway celebrate the France win
Norway celebrate the France win©Sportsfile

But you're no stranger to this tournament ...
No, I've played the last two, so I know it well. But this will be my last U19 EURO and it will be hard for me when it ends. The next step is the U23 team, and there are no competitions at that level, just training matches, so everyone wants to get promoted to the senior side as quickly as possible. It's a big step, but my sister is there.

What do you do outside football?
I study in Bryne, in the last year of high school. I've not really thought about what I'll do afterwards, besides concentrating on football, but I enjoy sports science, so perhaps something related to that. I want to stay with Klepp because I've earned quite a lot of responsibility there as a player and am enjoying the experience.