Football is always a game where being a young kid you dream of being the Roy of The Rovers superstar that grabs victory from the jaws of defeat. When I was 15 year’s old, I was discovering Oasis, sitting exams, playing PlayStation and failing amicably in my attempts to re-create the Gazza goal against Scotland in Euro ’96.
Norway have had a few stars that come to the mind of fans, who can forget Jan Arge Fjortoft of Swindon Town in the early-mid 90s, Tore Andre Flo and his success at Stamford Bridge and of the Baby-Faced Assassin Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Manchester United.
Now Norway has a new superstar, he name is Martin Odegaard, 15, and recently received a call up to the Norway Senior National Squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Malta and Bulgaria.
So what of the new Norwegian super kid? Ødegaard made his debut for Stromsgodset in April 2014 against Alaesunds FK. Since then he has made 18 Tippeliga appearances for Stromsgodset, providing eight assists and scoring three goals. However, it was the game against Sandnes Ulf, in July where he caught the nation’s eye.
He was involved in all three goals, scoring one and assisting two others. Media calls where already made for him to be called up to the national team, especially due to the limited attacking options available. This was further enhanced in August where he grabbed the headlines again by assisting all three goals in a 3-2 win away to IK Start.
Odergaard made his full debut for Norway in a international friendly against United Arab Emirates in a goalless draw in August and became the youngest player to player for Norway at senior level at 15 years and 253 days. He is renowned for his superb tricky and creative dribbling skills, playing with a youthful exuberance of energy and a fearless attitude that terrorises defenders. Odergaard’s talents have attracted the attention of soccer heavyweights Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The question for Odegaard will be how he develops and matures as a footballer – can he have a long and fruitful career? Could he peak too early? Will he be able to develop into a truly all round world-class footballer? Adding goals to his unquestionable talent. Of course these are questions that will be answered over a lengthier period of time but there have been other teenage sensations who have sparkled on the biggest stage.
Lionei Messi – Burst onto the scene aged 16 in 2004 against Espanyol for Barcelona, still regarded as one of the best players in the world has won three Champions League titles, six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies and been named World Footballer of The Year on four occasions.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Signed for Manchester United aged 18 in 2003 for £12m, wearing the famous No. 7 shirt. Won the FA Cup in his first season, scoring in the final against Millwall. Since then he’s gone on to win two Champions Leagues titles, two League Cups, four League titles, 2 Copa del Rey trophies and engineered an £80m move to Real Madrid. Current FIFA World Footballer of the Year and has won the gong on two occasions.
Wayne Rooney – Made his debut for Everton aged 16, famously ended Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run in 2002 with a wonder strike. Then set alight Euro 2004 in Portugal scoring four goals in as many games which earned him a £27m move to Manchester United and subsequently scored a hat-trick on his debut. He is currently Manchester United and England captain scoring 41 international goals earning 97 caps.
Pele – Arguably the greatest player of all-time, Pele won three titles with Santos, three World Cups with Brazil and famously scored a hat-trick in the 1958 World Cup final victory over Sweden. Later went on to score over 1000 goals, winning 11 league scoring awards in the process.
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