Every once in a while a player will emerge on the scene and plays in such a way that you watch them and go, “Yowzers! This player is a special one.” Enter stage right, Strømsgodset’s fifteen year old attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard. If you haven’t heard of Martin Ødegaard or Strømsgodset, you’re forgiven as both the player and the club ply their trade in the Tippeligaen (Norway’s Premier Division). Handed his debut for the reigning Tippeligaen champions he’s been an ever present this season, notching 3 goals, quite a few assists, and an uncountable number of mazy dribbles which begs the question; “So this Tippeligaen, it is, a professional league, right?”
Yes, it is a professional league, of a decent standard too, currently ranked 27th in Europe by UEFA coefficient. It’s just that Ødegaard is very talented, so talented in fact that he’s just broken the Norwegian record for being the youngest player to represent the country in a full international by nearly 100 days. If you’re interested Ødegaard was 15 years and 253 days old, when he played the full 90 against the UAE, beating the 104 year old record held by Tormod Kjellsen who was 15 years and 351 days old, when he won the first of his two caps in 1910.
Will the talented Nike Mercurial Vapor wearing youth forge a top class career? That remains to be seen, but he is on the radar of some big clubs like Bayern Munich and Juventus, he’s even piqued the interest of a mid-table English side known as Manchester United. Being fifteen his foreign options are limited by UEFA/FIFA rules on the transfers of minors, so the good people of Norway may get to enjoy their young international for the time being. The rest of us? We’ll have to suffice our self being all googly-eyed at highlights clips until he makes a move. Highlights clips like this one: