When the Norway players landed in England on July 3, they weren’t really being talked about as one of the teams with the potential to win Euro 2022. After a resounding victory against Northern Ireland in their first group match, that is starting to change.
A team packed with players starring in Europe’s top leagues, Norway’s individual talent dwarfs their FIFA world ranking of 11.
At the head of the group is the first Ballon d’Or winner and top scorer in Champions League history: Ada Hegerberg.
“It’s a very, very important game for the group stage,” said the Lyon striker. Sky sports news ahead of their big Group A game against England.
“Obviously playing at home in a packed stadium is the moment we play for. We’re going to enjoy it.”
Hegerberg apologized during our interview for speaking in clichés, stating that they have to “take every game as it comes”, but let out a rye smile when discussing whether he expected to ruin the England fans’ summer.
The striker returned from a 20-month injury break in October and one way to get through it was to set several short-term and long-term goals.
The short-term goals were diverse depending on the physical state, the long-term goal was to return to playing at the highest level with Lyon. She more than accomplished it by starring in the French giants’ Champions League campaign, scoring in the final.
Reconnected with ‘world class’ Hansen
Hegerberg is always quick to talk about the skills of her international teammates, especially Barcelona striker Caroline Graham Hansen, whom she calls “truly world-class.”
The pair’s friendship had to be put on hold during the build-up to the Champions League final in May, the usual text chats were interrupted.
But now they’re reunited, much to Hegerberg’s delight.
“Now that the season is over, it’s interesting because… Boom! We’re back together, we’re doing everything we can to do our best together and be the best for Norway.”
As well as being one of the most talented players in the competition, Graham Hansen is a serial winner.
He collected seven national trophies in five seasons at Wolfsburg before winning three consecutive league titles and a Champions League winner’s medal at Barcelona.
Add to that back-to-back Super League Women’s champions Guro Reiten and Maran Mjelde of Chelsea, Arsenal midfielder Frida Maanum and potential rising star Julie Blakstad of Manchester City. Norway truly have one of the most successful starting XIs in the tournament.
Nearly every player mentioned so far had an influential impact during Norway’s opening Euro 2022 victory against Northern Ireland. Blackstad, Maanum, Hansen and Reiten scored the goals.
Reiten assisted on the opening goal, while Hegerberg took less than 13 minutes to get a hand in a goal on his return to a major international tournament, often playing selfless passes for his teammates to shine.
It was a warning to the other teams in Group A and beyond: we are here to play. As the 2019 World Cup quarter-finalists, they are looking for another chance in the knockout rounds.
“I love to crash the party,” full-back Tuva Hansen told Fotmob.
Beating the team that most of the 30,000 fans turned out to cheer on in Brighton on Monday night will certainly be one way of doing that.
If that happens, Norway will no longer be an underdog.
Follow Euro 2022 through Sky Sports
Stay up to date with the latest from Euro 2022 via Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be provided by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, along with Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. For their part, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
Pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile presentation bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where the matches are played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will change its name for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from June 21. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews, as well as robust tournament programming.
Eurocopa 2022: The groups…
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
B Group: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Eurocopa 2022: The calendar…
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England 1-0 Austria
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland
friday july 8
B Group: Spain 4-1 Finland
B Group: Germany 4-0 Denmark
saturday july 9
Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden
sunday july 10
Group D: Belgium vs Iceland – kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
monday july 11
Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – kick-off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – Kick-off 8:00pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
tuesday july 12
Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick-off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy vs Iceland – kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
friday july 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
saturday july 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
sunday july 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
monday july 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter Final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
friday july 22
Quarter Final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarterfinals 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8 pm, New York Stadium
tuesday july 26
Semi-Final 1: Quarter-Final Winners 1 v Quarter-Final Winners 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-Final 2: Quarter-Final Winners 2 v Quarter-Final Winners 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
sunday july 31
Semi-final winners 1 v Semi-final winners 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley