MARTIN ODEGAARD: the story of a wonderkid!

20-year-old Martin Odegaard is starting to live up to his massive hype, four-and-a-half-years after joining Real Madrid!

THE ODEGAARD STORY SO FAR...

1998 – Born on 17 December in Drammen, Norway!

2005 – When he was six, Odegaard’s parents and others each invested £5,500 so their local club could refit a gravel field with artificial turf. This is seen as crucial for his development as Odegaard spent countless hours there!

2009 – Joins Norwegian Prem club Stromgodset aged 10 and trains and plays with older boys!

2012 – Aged 13 he made his first team debut during a mid-season friendly against local rivals Mjondalen IF. That same year he also has short training visits to Bayern Munich and Man. United!

2014 – Makes his league debut for Stromsgodset in a match against Aalesunds FK on 13 April. Aged just 15 years and 118 days, Odegaard becomes the youngest footballer to ever play in the Norwegian top flight!

Martin Odegaard scratching his head at Stromgodset
Martin Odegaard doing a cheeky grin during his Real Madrid unveiling

kicking up a strom!

2014 – In late July, away at Sandnes Ulf, Odegaard was involved in all three goals for his team, including a goal and an assist. He was also fouled for a penalty which was missed by a teammate. John Arne Riise, the most-capped player on the Norwegian national team, is impressed, and “demanded” Odegaard be called up to the senior Norwegian team!

2014 In August, Odegaard is called up for a senior international against the United Arab Emirates and plays the entire goalless draw, becoming the youngest player to play for Norway at senior level, aaged 15 years and 253 days!

Things get real!

2014 – On 19 October he scored two goals in a match for the first time in his career in the 2–1 win against Lillestrom!

2014 – Stromsgodset finish the season fourth in the league, qualifying for the Europa League, with Odegaard having scored five goals in 23 league games and registered seven assists.

2014 – In December, during the Norwegian close season, Odegaard trains with the first teams at Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Man. United and Man. City. He also visits Arsenal!

2015 – Odegaard travels to Madrid and trains with Real Madrid!

Martin Odegaard doing a cheeky grin during his Real Madrid unveiling
Martin Odegaard playing for Castilla v Athletic Club B

DIFFICULT START!

2015 – On 21 January, Real Madrid reached an agreement to sign Odegaard from Stromsgodset for a fee around £2.3m. Odegaard’s wages are rumoured to be £80k a week!

2015 – Odegaard trains with the Real first team but plays for their reserves Castilla in the Segunda B on weekends, managed then by Zinedine Zidane!

2015 – Castilla’s season peters out to a sixth-place finish, outside the play-offs, despite flying high when Odegaard arrived. He made 11 appearances for them before Zidane drops him after four straight losses.

THE DEBUT!

2015 – On 23 May, in the final game of the season, Odegaard makes his debut for Real Madrid, coming-on as a 58th-minute sub for hat-trick scorer and then-reigning Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in an eventual 7–3 home win over Getafe! He is youngest debutant in the history of the club at 16 years and 157 days old!

2016 – Finishes his second season at Real Madrid by playing 34 Segunda B games for Castilla who win their division!

2016 – Odegaard makes his first start for Real Madrid on 30 November, 679 days after signing for the club! He plays the full 90 minutes against Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey as Madrid win 6–1!

Martin Odegaard coming on for his Real Madrid debut replacing Cristiano Ronaldo
Martin Odegaard at his unveiling for Heerenveen

THE LOAN YEARS!

2017 – Starts the year by signing an 18-month loan deal with Dutch club Heerenveen! He makes his Eredivisie debut four days later in a 2–0 home win over Den Haag, replacing Arbër Zeneli in the last seconds. But his start is poor, registering only one shot and one assist in his first seven games!

2017 – Scores his first goal for Heernveen on 18 May in his 15th appearance (a 3–1 home loss to Utrecht in the first leg of a play-off semi-final).

GAMES, GAMES, GAMES!

2017 – Becomes a regular starter for Heernveen in the 17-18 season, playing 26 times and scoring his first regular-season goal on 18 November, in a 4–0 win at FC Twente!

2017 – Wins his 10th cap for Norway v Macedonia in November after a year and a half out of the senior side!

2018 – Heerenveen end the season in 8th place, their highest finish since 2015!

Martin Odegaard taking a freekick for Heerenveen
Martin Odegaard scoring his first goal for Norway against Romania

Put to the test at vitesse!

2018 – Real Madrid announce that Odegaard will spend the season in the Eredivisie again, this time at Vitesse!

2019 – Enjoys a breakout season playing 39 games, scoring 11 goals and making 12 assists!

2019 – Odegaard is the only non-PSV or Ajax player to make the 2018-19 Eredivisie Team of the Season!

2019 – On 7 June, Odegaard scores his first international goal against Romania in a Euro 2020 qualifying match, which ends in a 2–2 draw!

ROAD BACK TO MADRID!

2019 – On 5 July it is announced he will return to La Liga and spend a season on loan at Real Sociedad! Madrid will have the option to extend the loan and recall Odegaard or extend the loan for an additional year should they wish.

2019 – Plays a key role as Sociedad beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 with Odegaard scoring, assisting, and going home with the man of the match award!

2019 – Wins La Liga’s player of the month award having played every minute for Sociedad going into the October international break!

Martin Odegaard with his La Liga player of the month trophy for September
Martin Odegaard quote
Paz and Ketch BBC MOTD mag