Prodigious Martin Odegaard, just 15, called up to the Norway national team
In a sensational move, Norway’s national football coach Per-Mathias Hogmo called up a 15-year old prodigy to the national team. Hogmo made the brave decision when he invited Martin Odegaard to join the national squad ahead of Norway’s friendly against United Arab Emirates. The Scandanavians are scheduled to play two friendly matches – first against the UAE on 27 August and then against England at the Wembley on 03 September.
The young boy was born on 17 December, 1998 – giving him an opportunity to become the youngest debutant for Norway at 15 years and 253 days. The previous youngest player to play for the national team was Tormod Kjellsen, who was 15 years and 351 days old when he represented Norway against Sweden in 1910. Odegaard has played with some distinction for the reigning champions in Norway, Stromsgodset.
He has even scored three goals in his 14 appearances thus far for the Norwegian club. Several other European clubs have been sending scouts to get a closer look at this promising young footballer.
Among the clubs that have expressed an interest are Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris St-Germain and Ajax. “I said before the season that he could be the youngest player ever to play for our senior team,” said Hogmo in a statement released to the media.
The boy himself though has admitted that he was surprised. “This is a dream come true,” gushed Odegaard, “I am shocked.” The young boy has the credit of being the youngest Norwegian to ever play top level club football and this call up promises to catapult him into the big league. There has been some concern voiced about the possible impact on calling up a raw boy to national duty, but his father refused to buy into the argument.
Hans Erik Odegaard was himself a player at Stromsgodset, the same club his represents now. "If you are good enough, you are old enough," said Hans Erik Odegaard, throwing caution to the wind. The younger Odegaard will be in the eye of a storm should he turn out on the pitch in that friendly against the UAE in Stavanger.