Caroline Graham Hansen - Norwegian dribbling genius
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
24-years-old Norwegian professional footballer currently playing for FC Barcelona and the Norway women's national football team.
- Hello? Is this Leo Messi? - No, it's Caro Hansen on the phone. - Oh, that's even better.
Caroline Graham Hansen was born and raised in Oslo. She spent her youth career at Lyn, where she played until the age of 15. In 2010, 15-year-old Caroline moved to Stabæk and made her debut at Toppserien (the top level of women's association football in Norway). For three years spent in Stabæk, she appeared in 71 matches in which she scored 32 goals. In August 2013, Hansen signed a contract with Tyresö FF (Swedish Damallsvenskan champions). She helped Tyresö qualify for the 2013–14 UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals. It was quite a short adventure, Caro appeared in 7 matches and scored 3 goals. She decided to return to Stabæk in January 2014 to complete her high school education. At that time Hansen was already monitored by some clubs from the European top. On the 8th of May 2014, German club VfL Wolfsburg announced that they had signed a contract with Hansen. And here Caro's career gained momentum. During five seasons in Wolfsburg, Caro Graham Hansen appeared in 88 matches and scored 29 goals. Wolfsburg year after a year dominated the German Frauen-Bundesliga and German DFB-Pokal. Hansen with Wolfsburg won DFB-Pokal five times in a row. In seasons: 2014/15; 2015/16; 2016/17; 2017/18; 2018/19. In addition, she won the Bundesliga three times in a row, in the seasons: 2016/17; 2017/18; 2018/19. After very successful five years in Vfl (it can be honestly admitted that the only thing missing was winning the UEFA Women's Champions League title), Caro Hansen received an offer from Barcelona and moved there in May 2019.
Caro Hansen also has a very successful international career. So far, she has represented her country 77 times and scored 26 goals. In 2011, 16-year-old Hansen was a part of the Norwegian U-19 team who finished as runners-up in the 2011 UEFA Women's U-19 Championship. Norwegian winger was also included in the squad for the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. She made her senior debut for Norway against Belgium in November 2011. In June 2012 she scored her first senior international goal in an 11–0 win against Bulgaria. In that match, she also assisted more than half of Norway's goals, which is very impressive. Hansen was a very important player for Norway at the UEFA Women's Euro 2013. The team reached the competition final. In the final, they lost against Germany. In 2015 she was ruled out of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup because of the serious knee injury. Caro appeared at the Women's World Cup in France this year and she was a key player for her national team. Norway reached the quarter-final, where they were eliminated by England. Caro played 5 matches at the World Cup and scored one goal. At the World Cup, she attracted attention with her calmness and extremely brilliant dribbling skills.
Once I have these statistics behind me, I can now go to what catches the eye every time I watch this player in action. Caroline Graham Hansen is a player who, in my opinion (but I think many people will agree with me), is the most talented dribbler in all women's football leagues in Europe. Watching her on the pitch as she gains the speed and passes her rivals like training poles is a big pleasure. Graham Hansen is a player who has everything to be the best player in the world. She is very fast, has phenomenal dribbling, can find herself in the penalty box and has an amazing shot from the distance. She also seems to feel good in a combination game. Her technique is admirable. You can watch it over and over again and you will never get bored. She is also a leader on the pitch. She's not a player who can be heard on the pitch, she seems to be a rather calm, composed player who focuses simply on the game. But you can see that she is the leader of her national team when in difficult moments she is not afraid to take the burden of the game on her back. She just takes the ball and leads her team, she's not afraid of dribbling and even when she lost the ball, she is not afraid to try again in the next action. You can see how hard she works on the pitch, I'm not just talking about the offensive, she often goes back to the defensive to help break down the opponents' actions. The things that also characterizes her are very accurate passes and perfect crosses from the corner kick spot. I remember the first time I noticed her when she was still playing in Wolfsburg. I was watching the match and at one point she got the ball and started to run alone against 3 or 4 opponents. I thought to myself: "What the hell is this girl doing?". 10 seconds later I watched in disbelief as the ball landed in the net. I was delighted, I was speechless. What a talent. What courage. What a technique. What a player. This is one of my first memories connected with this unbelievable baller. From that moment I knew that Caroline Graham Hansen is a player whose career I will follow.
What has always impressed me is her ability to play in a small space. She is technically so good, she runs with the ball close to her foot and she has full control over it. In 1 on 1 duel with the goalkeeper she is cool-headed. Watching her highlights on YouTube, you can see that she is not panicking, she looks to the end as the goalkeeper is set and chooses which corner of the goal she wants to hit, or by one trick she passes the goalkeeper and packs the ball into the net. Very confident on the pitch, especially with the ball next to her foot. Her goal in the match against Belgium in 2013 can only be described in one word: brilliant. Her second goal against Northern Ireland in the 2018 WC qualifier match is pure poetry. It's on YouTube if you don't believe me, just check it. A phenomenal volley just in the top corner of the goal. Stunning. Caroline Graham Hansen is a real talent. Also a true role model for young girls. I watched her interviews during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. CGH is very modest and can say inspiring words to young girls who want to follow her steps. In some interview, she was asked about what advice she got as a child, which helped her to get where she is now. She replied: " Never stop trying. Keep on try, to take opponents 1 by 1, doesn't matter if you fail, you just have to try again, understand why you didn't succeed, try to focus how you can make it". It defines her very well because you can see that she has put these tips into practice. I personally like to listen and watch her interviews. Every time I get a positive dose of motivation. In words that she speaks about how proud she is to play for Norway and to be part of such a developing female football. Almost in every interview, she mentions that it is important to have fun and enjoy playing football.
Maren Mjelde - captain of Norway women's national football team said in an interview: "I had heard a lot about her before I saw her play. They said she was the most talented player Norway had ever produced. She was only 16 and her technique was superb." In the same interview, she pointed out Hansen's advantages: "Caro has the kind of attacking skills that not many players have. Her ball control is amazing and in terms of the technique, she’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen. She’s a very powerful lone striker. She’s a great leader and a great team player at the same time. All her energies go into helping the team to play better and win." Then she added: "She’s got the quality to change games, and when it comes to one-on-one situations, she’s the best in the world."
Caroline Graham Hansen is a player who is considered one of the best female football players in the world. She is only 24 years old. She will definitely play football for a few more good years. For fans, this is a piece of great news. For her teammates also. And for her opponents? Well, if I had the opportunity to play against Hansen and I could win a 1 in 1 duel against her, I would probably put it in the "achievements" column in my CV. Do you need motivation for training? Do you need a person who will be a role model for you? Do you need to see a football virtuoso? Three words. Caroline. Graham. Hansen. I don't know what we did that we deserved to live in the times of such an outstanding athlete. But I am very happy about it. I want to wish Caroline a lot of health and no injuries. She will definitely keep delighting us many times in the future. Am I ready for this? I am and can't wait because watching every match played by this player is a great pleasure. If you have never tried it before, then you have to do it. You won't regret it. Caroline Graham Hansen - Norwegian dribbling genius.
A note from the author
I'm extremely happy that I can publish my articles here, but I want to leave the name of my own blog here because this is where I always publish them first: usualunusualmotivation.sport.blog