Friday, 23 January 2015

Odegaard: Norwegian Prodigy


Just 12 months ago, a 15-year-old Martin Odegaard was in the middle of his final year at school, worrying how we would fit in his exams around training with his local football team in Norway.

Now the footballing prodigy, who turned 16 last month, has signed for Real Madrid and will play alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
2014 was a whirlwind year for Odegaard, who rose from life as a schoolboy to being the youngest player to ever represent his nation before signing a £40,000-a-week deal with the European champions this week.

Odegaard was brought up in the small riverside city of Drammen in a strong Christian family, with the teenager often expressing his faith on Twitter.

He played for the youth team at his local team Strømsgodset, where his father used to play, who accommodated his studies around playing football.

Odegaard always stood out from children his own age and started training with the adult side, who play in the Norwegian premier league, when he was just 13.

Odegaard will be paid £40,000 a week, which could rise to £80,000 when bonuses are added - small fry compared to some Real Madrid players but a huge sum of money for a teenager.

Despite the money and new-found fame, the 16-year-old is keeping his feet on the ground and will play for the Spanish team's reserve side for the time being, which is managed by French World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.

Odegaard said: ‘Madrid had the best conditions for me to develop and my aim now is to become the best player I can.

‘It’s a big advantage for me that Real Madrid have a B team playing in a very competitive league and are managed by someone who was one of the best players in the world.’

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