Heerenveen

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Norwegian whizkid Odegaard leaving Real Madrid on loan

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Martin Odegaard’s whirlwind recruitment has yielded little for Real Madrid, who Tuesday shipped the youngster on loan to Heerenveen.

The loan is an 18-month deal, giving Odegaard the opportunity to get first team minutes in the Netherlands.

Odegaard posted a five-goal, six-assist season as a 15-year-old for Stromsgodset in Norway. He was the youngest player to ever win a cap for Norway (15).

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That helped trigger massive recruitment pitch from teams across the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and more.

Real Madrid won his signature, but life was anything but peachy. He’s made few appearances for the First Team, and this year saw him only appear in a Copa del Rey match versus a lower league side.

USMNT captain Michael Bradley played for Heerenveen at age 19, while Bas Dost, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Will Johnson, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have also spent time with De Superfriezen.

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FIFA clears Heerenveen winger to play World Cup qualifiers for Kosovo

Photo by Ivan Da Silva/Getty Images
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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has cleared another player to represent Kosovo ahead of this week’s World Cup qualifying.

FIFA says 21-year-old Arber Zeneli can switch from Sweden, where he was born and represented at youth and under-21 level.

FIFA’s approval for Zeneli’s application follows a chaotic rush last month to clear six Kosovo players hours before its competitive debut as a national team. Kosovo then drew 1-1 in Finland.

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Kosovo-eligible players played for other countries before the Balkan republic became members of UEFA and FIFA in May.

Zeneli, who has ethnic Albanian family roots, was already named in Kosovo’s squad to play Croatia on Thursday and Ukraine on Sunday.

The Heerenveen winger was in Sweden’s title-winning Under-21 European Championship squad last year but did not go to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.