Martin Odegaard has broken a variety of age-related records during his time at Stromsgodset and the Norwegian national team, and has finally finished his whirlwind tour of potential clubs.
He’s chosen Real Madrid.
So what will the 16-year-old Norwegian star do now, besides rake in a reported $120,000 a week?
That’s where things get a bit more complicated. Yes, Odegaard will be training alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and company, but he’ll also be working with the reserves.
Odegaard will split training time with Madrid’s first team and the reserve team, where he will play until season’s end under the orders of France great Zinedine Zidane, club spokesman Emilio Burtagueno said. He added Odegaard would join the first team in the preseason next summer, and “we will make a decision from there.”
Odegaard said: “My goal is to become the best player I can, and whether I play for the first team or the reserve team doesn’t matter. It’s an advantage that the club has a good reserve team with a coach who was one of the best players in the world.”
Odegaard is saying all the right things, and it certainly helps that Real Madrid hired his father to coach in their youth system (It’s not a total ploy: Hans Erik Odegaard played 260 professional matches between Stromsgodset and Sandefjord in Norway.
We’ll have a long time before this move is rightly judged, but right now it feels a victory — even considering the money — for Real Madrid to have kept the talent away from Manchester United, Liverpool and the bevy of top-flight European clubs chasing him.
Your move, Martin. Show us some things.