Usain Bolt is continuing to chase his dream to play soccer professionally.
The eight-time Olympic champion begun a week-long training stint with Norwegian top-flight side Stromsgodset on Wednesday, the Tippeligaen club confirmed.
Bolt, 31, trained with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund earlier in 2018 and scored a header in training and was said to have impressed despite the training sessions largely seen as a publicity stunt.
With Stromsgodset, like Dortmund and Bolt, also sponsored by Puma, it appears this could also be a nice little publicity stunt for the Norwegian side. So if the team you support is sponsored by Puma, look out for Bolt very soon…
The Jamaican sprinter will play in Soccer Aid at Manchester United’s Old Trafford home on June 10, with this stint at Stromsgodset seen as a way for him to warm up for that match.
However, it appears that the Norwegian side are quite impressed with what they have seen.
“He is a good football player, otherwise he would not have been training with us,” director of football Jostein Flo said, via the BBC.
Bolt was given the shirt number 9.58 by Stromsgodset, which is of course the time of his world-record 100m success.
He will play in a training game against Norway’s U-19 side during his time with Stromsgodset.
The Colorado Rapids have snagged a Manchester City midfielder, even if he hasn’t been around the Etihad Stadium for a half decade.
After what amounts to a half-decade’s worth of loan spells with Strømsgodset in Norway, Bismark “Nana” Adjei-Boateng has his first new permanent team since 2012.
[ MORE: How will U.S. line up vs. Serbia? ]
That’s when the Ghanaian joined Man City after two years in its academy. He was quickly on loan to Godset, where he’d make 100 appearances and score 17 goals.
That’s not far from the rate of return Mix Diskerud posted at Stabaek in the same league, though there are natural questions as to why Adjei-Boateng wasn’t shipped to New York City FC.
Colorado added midfielder Sam Hamilton from Denver in the first round of the SuperDraft, and have Dillon Powers and Sam Cronin in the middle of the park as well.
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?
[ MORE: MLS players willing to strike over salaries ]
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.
From the Associated Press:
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.
The long-rumored saga that is the transfer of teenage Norwegian star Martin Odegaard from Stromsgodset to Real Madrid is official now.
Odegaard just turned 16 in December and has set several records, including the youngest to play in a Euro qualifier and the youngest to suit up for Norway’s national team. He’s been capped thrice, and scored five times in 23 appearances for Stromsgodset.
[ MORE: Arsenal closing in on La Liga defender ]
Again, he’s 16.
Odegaard’s Norwegian club, Stromsgodset, released the following message on its web site late Wednesday (early Thursday in Norway). Real Madrid has the same at its site.
Real Madrid C.F. and Stromsgodset Fotball have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Martin Odegaard.
Tomorrow, January 22 at 13:30 hours and after the medical examination, the player will hold a press conference accompanied by Emilio Butragueño, Real Madrid´s Institutional Director, at Real Madrid City.
So it’s on, as expected. Now to see if Odegaard can deliver the goods.
He’s been linked with nearly every major club in England, from Liverpool to Manchester United, but it appears teenage sensation Martin Odegaard could be landing in Spain.
Norwegian outlet VG.no claims Odegaard, 16, has boarded a private jet to Madrid to sign with UEFA Champions League title holders Real Madrid. Odegaard is the youngest player to hit the pitch in a Euro qualifier, and the youngest player to ever represent Norway.
A loose translation of the report claims Real Madrid consider him an A squad player despite his age.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Liverpool have been considered the most likely landing spots for Odegaard, the last one because he comes from a family of Reds supporters.
Odegaard already has five top-flight goals in 23 games for Stromsgodset at his tender age, and is thrice capped by Norway. He’s considered to be at his best as an attacking midfielder, or second striker.
He is the reigning Tippeligaen Young Player of the Year and his progress toward a new club has been one of the most followed journeys in soccer for the last six months.