13 fun facts about Martin Odegaard

martin odegaard
Everything you need to know about Norwegian midfield maestro Martin Odegaard.

Martin Odegaard is a Norwegian professional footballer who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Arsenal and the Norway national team. Born on December 17, 1998, in Drammen, Norway, Odegaard began his footballing journey at a young age, displaying exceptional talent and technical ability.

Odegaard started playing football at a young age, joining the local club Drammen Strong at just four years of age. He quickly progressed through the youth ranks, and by the age of eight, he joined the academy of Stromsgodset, a Norwegian professional football club.

Odegaard made his first-team debut for Stromsgodset at the age of 15, becoming the youngest player ever to play in Norway's top division.

Odegaard's performances in the Norwegian top division quickly caught the attention of European football's biggest clubs. In January 2015, at the age of 16, he signed for Real Madrid, one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world. Odegaard's signing was seen as a coup for Real Madrid, and he was expected to become one of the world's best players.

Despite his potential, Odegaard found it difficult to break into the Real Madrid first team. He was loaned out to various clubs to gain experience, including Heerenveen and Vitesse in the Netherlands, and Real Sociedad in Spain. It was during his loan spell at Real Sociedad that Odegaard really started to shine. He played a key role in helping the club qualify for the Europa League and was named the team's Player of the Season.

Odegaard is an attacking midfielder who is known for his technical ability and creative flair. He is comfortable on the ball, has excellent vision, and is a great passer. Odegaard is also a good dribbler and is capable of beating players with his quick feet. He is a versatile player who can play in a central or wide attacking midfield position.

Odegaard signed for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid in January 2021, and he made an immediate impact at the London club. He quickly established himself as a key player in the Arsenal team, impressing fans and pundits with his performances. Odegaard scored his first Arsenal goal in a 3-1 win over Olympiacos in the Europa League, and he has continued to play a vital role in the team's midfield. So much so that the move was made permanent in August 2021.

Odegaard has represented the Norwegian national team since the age of 15, making him the youngest player ever to play for them. He has since become a regular, playing in crucial matches and helping the team qualify for major tournaments. Odegaard played a key role in Norway's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, scoring two goals and providing four assists.

Odegaard has already achieved a lot in his young career. He has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and has impressed fans and pundits alike with his technical ability and creative flair. Odegaard's move to Arsenal has been a success so far, and he looks set to continue making a significant impact on the club's fortunes.

Here are 13 fun facts about Odegaard you need to know...!

  1. Born to become a footballer ⚽

    Born to become a footballer ⚽

    Odegaard was tipped for greatness from a young age owing to his impressive quality with the ball. The Norwegian international is considered one of Europe's hottest properties owing to his ability with the ball at his feet.

    Odegaard was born in Drammen, the port city of Norway, on December 1998 and was able to don the famous red jersey of Norway at age 15.

    The current Arsenal captain made his debut for Norway in a goalless draw against the United Arab Emirates in 2014 as he showed glimpses of greatness in the fixture.

    The midfielder bagged his first goal for the country in a stalemate against Romania in the qualifying rounds of Euro 2020. The current Norway captain has 47 appearances under his belt and would look to guide the team in red to glory someday.

  2. Father and Son Odegaard joined Real Madrid at the same time 👨👦

    Odegaard's father, Hans Erik Odegaard, had a less illustrious career than his son, but despite that, the father-son duo joined Real Madrid at the same time. In January 2015, the senior Odegaard was able to schedule a move to Spain as a Real Madrid youth coach while Martin was admitted as a football player.

    Despite not enjoying massive success in his playing career, Hans Erik Odegaard was a shrewd negotiator as he was able to pen down a silk-stocking deal with Los Blancos. Martin's father was scheduled to earn more than French legend Zinedine Zidane, who was the coach of Real Madrid's reserve team.

    While his father was making big money as a coach, Odegaard was taking his first steps as he had impressed the scouts in Spain's capital before securing a move at an early age.

  3. Odegaard's unusual contract at Heerenveen 👀

    Odegaard's unusual contract at Heerenveen 👀

    Odegaard had quite an unusual clause at Heerenveen doing his loan spell from Real Madrid. After failing to impress in the Spanish capital and finding fewer starts under newly appointed coach Zidane, the Norway international decided to switch ships and joined Dutch club Heerenveen.

    The Dutch outfit was the first club on his loan journey as he joined them in 2017 and was often seen starting for the club despite not playing well sometimes.

    This was due to a clause in Odegaard's contract that suggested that Heerenveen would pay Real Madrid €40,000 every time their loanee was available for selection but was dropped on the bench.

    So instead of shelling out 40,000 to Los Blancos, the Blue and Whites deployed Odegaard in their starting XI on a regular basis.

    The Eredivisie club didn't want to be indebted to Madrid and would bring the youngster for a few minutes to avoid losses.

  4. Barca tried to lure Odegaard before he joined Real Madrid

    Barca tried to lure Odegaard before he joined Real Madrid

    According to multiple reports, Barcelona was in contention to sign the Norweigan before Real Madrid came knocking.

    Odegaard joined Real Madrid at the age of 15, but the midfielder was scouted by Barcelona while Odegaard was operating in Norway.

    The young magician had reportedly trained with the Blaugrana for multiple weeks and was offered to join the Spanish heavyweights in January 2016.

    "Barcelona invited us to La Masia," Karlsen told Cadena SER. "We were talking to [Andoni] Zubizarreta and he also invited us to watch a game at the Camp Nou.

    "I think it was Barcelona-Ajax, so it was a very special night.

    "Barcelona are a great club, but Martin [Odegaard] and his father took into account many things before making a decision.

    Unfortunately the Spanish heavyweights were sanctioned with a transfer ban in 2016 which led to Odegaard joining arch-rivals Real Madrid.

  5. Odegaard was once awarded a fish 🐟

    Odegaard was once awarded a fish 🐟

    After failing to make an impression with Real Madrid, Odegaard was shipped to multiple teams across Europe before returning to Spain to play for Real Sociedad.

    Although his second stint in Spain was nothing short of magical as Odegaard was an influential cog in Sociedad's midfield.

    The young central player didn't need a contract clause to play every game for the Spanish side as he was weaving his magic for the Basques in the centre of the park.

    Owing to his tremendous exploits, the former Real Madrid player bagged the Player of the Month award for Real Sociedad. And to show appreciation towards his work, the Spanish club offered him a fish in the middle of the supermarket as a prize for his magical outings.

  6. A fan of Lionel Messi since an early age

    A fan of Lionel Messi since an early age

    Despite playing and training with some of the greatest of the game, Odegaard's idol wasn't a Los Blancos player.

    When asked about his idol, one would guess that Odegaard would be a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Norwegian international was reportedly a massive fan of Ronaldo's arch-rival Lionel Messi since his early days.

    The current Gunners midfielder's boyhood coach Herald Johannessen has stated that Odegaard was a fan of the Argentine World Cup winner growing up.

    Johannessen said in a 2019 interview with These Football Times magazine. "He loves Messi, so that was a little bit strange – he loves Messi and he goes to Real Madrid.

    "He was always looking at Messi. I remember that."

  7. Youngest debutant in Madrid's history
    Getty Images

    Youngest debutant in Madrid's history

    After his exploits in Norway, Odegaard was being chased by multiple European clubs. And after weighing up all his options, the young midfielder decided to join the project at Madrid.

    The current Gunners captain joined Los Blancos a month after his 16th birthday and debuted for the Spanish heavyweights in May 2015.

    Odegaard had replaced Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese had bagged a hattrick in a 7-3 routing of Getafe.

    Odegaard's debut at such a young age for Real Madrid meant that the Norwegian became the youngest player in Los Blancos' history to debut for the club at 16 years and 157 days - a record that still stands.

  8. The Norwegian is a fan of sushi 🍣🍥

    Odegaard's favourite food is sushi. The Norwegian footballer has mentioned in interviews that he loves to eat sushi and finds it delicious.

    He has even said that he enjoys making sushi himself at home. Odegaard's love for sushi could be due to its healthy and fresh ingredients, as well as its popularity in many countries, including Japan, Spain, and England, where he has played football.

  9. Odegaard appreciates Rafael Nadal 🎾
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    Odegaard appreciates Rafael Nadal 🎾

    Odegaard has often expressed his admiration for Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis superstar. Odegaard has described Nadal as his favourite athlete, citing his fierce determination, work ethic, and sportsmanship as reasons for his admiration.

    Odegaard has also spoken about how Nadal's mental toughness and resilience have inspired him in his own sporting career.

    The midfielder was in attendance at multiple games of the Spanish tennis star, including the French Open. The duo has great mutual admiration towards each other despite playing different sports.

  10. A fan of Ole growing up!
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    A fan of Ole growing up!

    While growing up in Norway, Odegaard was a huge fan of former Manchester United striker and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    The legendary striker was Odegaard's idol in a country known for producing some of the biggest names in football.

    And while Solskjaer took the role of managing Manchester United, the forward even heaped praise on the Norwegian international, calling him 'a very talented young player' before United's encounter with Arsenal.

  11. A man of many languages!

    A man of many languages!

    Odegaard is a fluent speaker of three different languages - Norwegian, Spanish, and English. The midfielder has spent most of his playing career playing in Norway, England, and Spain and would have rarely seen language as a barrier.

    Odegaard's current teammate Aaron Ramsdale had once revealed that team manager Mikel Arteta and Odegaard often discuss tactics in Spanish while also emphasising how fluent the midfielder is in English as well.

    The Gunners goalkeeper has stated that Odegaard speaks to most of the players in English while speaking to some in other languages.

    "Maybe one of the two of the lads who’s English isn’t perfect [he’ll speak to in foreign languages]. But Martin’s English is perfect and he’s speaking Spanish," suggested Ramsdale.

  12. His favourite movie is Inception 🎥🍿

    Odegaard has publicly shared that his favourite movie is Inception. This Christopher Nolan masterpiece follows the story of a skilled thief, Dom Cobb, who must navigate a complex world of dreams and subconsciousness to accomplish a seemingly impossible task.

    The film is known for its mind-bending plot, stunning visual effects, and exceptional performances by its cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ellen Page.

    Odegaard may be drawn to the movie's themes of exploration and discovery, as well as its intricate and layered storytelling.

    Overall, Inception is a thrilling and thought-provoking film that has captivated audiences around the world, including Odegaard.

  13. Odegaard's deal with Adidas ⚽⚽
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    Odegaard's deal with Adidas ⚽⚽

    Odegaard has attracted numerous endorsement deals, one of which is with Adidas.

    Adidas is a global sportswear brand that is known for its quality and innovative products, and partnering with Odegaard allows them to tap into his marketability and influence among fans.

    As part of the endorsement deal, Odegaard is likely to promote Adidas products on social media, during interviews and press conferences, and in other public appearances.

    This partnership helps both Odegaard and Adidas to increase their reach and exposure, while also benefiting their fans by offering high-quality products.