Madrid, with another Odegaard

The Norwegian midfielder is reunited with Ancelotti, who made him debut in the first team in 2015: he is now more mature after playing in the Netherlands and England.


On May 23, 2015, in the last league match of the 2014-15 campaign, Carlo Ancelotti made Martin Odegaard debut in an official match. The young Norwegian entered the field instead of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese had scored a hat-trick against Getafe. That day, the midfielder took to the field with number 41 on his back. He was then 16 years and 156 days old: he became the youngest debutant in the club's history: “It was very special for me to play at the Bernabéu. I am proud and happy. I'm doing great here in my first year. I really enjoyed it. I have felt very comfortable. I was nervous about playing in front of so many people, but I tried to enjoy myself ”, he explained at the end of the match.

Now, six years after that debut, Martin Odegaard will meet again with Carlo Ancelotti in the white dressing room. But the Odegaard who returns to Valdebebas after his six-month stint at Arsenal is not the same one that made the Italian coach debut. The Odegaard of 2021 arrives with the intention of earning a place in the eleven of the transalpine. More mature and more experienced after having spent four and a half years on loan from loan to loan, in which he has gone through the Dutch Herenveen and Vitesse, Real Sociedad (where he had his most brilliant season) and Arsenal (where he has been these six last months), with the parenthesis of the first half of last season, who played with Madrid, but hardly enjoying minutes in the team: just 368 minutes spread over nine games. “The situation is that I am a Real Madrid player and I will be back to start the preseason there in a week and a half. Madrid has been clear that they want me back. So it will be time to go back and resume training ”, said the midfielder in the preview of the match between France and Portugal, where he was a commentator on Norwegian TV2.

Within the white team, they have never wanted to hear of a possible final departure from the Norwegian. Modric's age (35 years old), the shortage of players for the white center of the field and the necessary process of renewal of the squad make him an active asset for the future. The example is that, after leaving Arsenal in January, Kroos and Modric ended up almost blown up and with continuous muscle ailments. It was Zidane himself who tried to stop his departure due to his limited presence on the pitch: the French coach and the Norwegian had a talk where the coach insisted that he not leave. But Odegaard needed to feel important.

Now comes Ancelotti, an expert coach in dealing with these types of players, who find it difficult to adapt to the demands of a large team, he knows the potential he can achieve under his leadership. Modric and Kroos need relays that maintain the level of Madrid in all the competitions they must play. The Croatian finished last season with 48 games played and more than 3,700 minutes played. For his part, the German finished with 42 games and more than 3,100 minutes (the last two games he did not play when suffering from Coronavirus). A real outrage. To these figures we must add the matches they are playing with their respective teams in the Eurocup. All of this will force Odegaard to step forward. A step in which to show the maturity acquired since Ancelotti made him debut in 2015.

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