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Lyon success has not sated Hegerberg's hunger

Ada Hegerberg was Lyon's scorer in last season's final win against Wolfsburg and as they meet again in the quarters she tells UEFA.com that she just wants to keep improving.

Ada Hegerberg celebrates scoring against Wolfsburg in the 2016 final
Ada Hegerberg celebrates scoring against Wolfsburg in the 2016 final ©Sportsfile

A year on from beating Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women's Champions League final, Lyon visit their German rivals for Thursday's quarter-final first leg.

Lyon's scorer in Reggio Emilia last May, in the 1-1 draw that set up their penalty shoot-out success, was Ada Hegerberg. The Norway forward would be voted UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe after a hugely prolific 2015/16 season in which she top-scored in the UEFA Women's Champions League and fired OL to a treble.

But, as she tells UEFA.com, the 21-year-old Hegerberg feels she is still only getting started – with Wolfsburg next on the agenda.

UEFA.com: You have achieved so much at a young age. Is your hunger as strong as ever?

Ada Hegerberg: Yes, absolutely. The more you achieve, the more you want to win. After a fantastic last season when we won the Champions League, I started this one eager to do it again. It's important to have ambitions in order to improve in both the short and the long term.

Hopefully I have several years left in the game so I just try to work very thoroughly, paying attention to the small details, with a view to getting better every day. That's what it's all about. If I continue like this I will get better.

Watch 2016 final highlights

UEFA.com: How much are you looking forward to the quarter-final against Wolfsburg?

Hegerberg: It will be a great tie. They're strong opponents and it's over two legs, so overall there will be no doubt about which team are the best. It will be exciting because it will have a different feel to last year's final, since it's over two legs and not at a neutral venue. That's what I'm focused on at the moment and the same goes for the whole Lyon squad. We're looking forward to the two matches.

UEFA.com Does it bring back happy memories of last May's final? That was a real roller coaster ...

Hegerberg: Yes. The feelings that come to mind when I think of that final are hard to describe. Experiences like that motivate you and inspire you to do it all again. It's a challenge to retain all three trophies that we won last season, but I think we are capable and we have to revive the memories from that final when we meet Wolfsburg again.

Watch all of Hegerberg’s goals in Lyon glory run

UEFA.com: How important is the investment that men's clubs like Lyon and Manchester City are putting into the women's game?

Hegerberg: We're seeing that men's clubs have realised the value of investing in female clubs, which is a good sign. Putting more money into the women's game can enable us to go further. The Lyon president had a ten-year plan and that long-term thinking has helped us achieve good results.

That is important when it comes to other clubs investing as well  they mustn't just think in terms of the next two years, but rather about building successful clubs over the long run. I hope that will be the case in England too, so we can have even more competitive teams in the Champions League.

UEFA.com: You have become one of the most talked-about players in the world. How do you cope with the expectations?

Hegerberg: Honestly, I just focus on myself, on always doing better in training and constantly developing. It's really important for me to take those small steps. I feel I've had some amazing years up to this point. I'm still just 21, so I'm just trying to take it step by step and become a better player.

I feel I've had a fantastic season at the highest level in Europe, but I also want to do well with my national team to really prove that we have some great quality in our team. To an extent, that's the next ambition, to go far with my country but at the same time continue to perform with Lyon. Winning the treble again would be totally awesome!