Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard: Life, Clubs, Career and Stats

Martin Odegaard plays as a midfielder for football club Arsenal and Norway’s national football team and also captains both sides. Hailed as a wonder kid during his early days, Odegaard has only recently grown in stature and started to receive his plaudits on the biggest stage.

He is known for his technique, creativity, and passing ability. After beginning his club career in 2014 with Norwegian club Stromsgodset, Odegaard has played for some huge clubs like Real Madrid and Arsenal.

He joined Real Madrid from Stromsgodset in 2015 for €4 million plus add-ons, becoming their youngest player. However, he was unable to make many senior appearances and spent most of his time on loan at Vitesse, Heerenveen, and Real Sociedad. He eventually joined Arsenal on loan in January 2021, and the move was made permanent that summer.

Odegaard was born on December 17, 1998 in Drammen, Norway, to former footballer Hans Erik Odegaard. Hans played for Stromsgodset and Sandefjord Football. He co-founded the football section of a local club named Drammen Strong and coached the team, where Odegaard’s journey began.

Martin Odegaard Information

  • Full Name: Martin Odegaard
  • Profession: Professional footballer
  • Height: 1.78m
  • Weight: 68 kg
  • Foot: Left-footed
  • Playing position: Attacking midfield
  • Jersey Number: 8 and 10
  • Professional Debut: 2012
  • Date of Birth: December 17, 1998
  • Place of Birth: Drammen, Norway
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Father: Hans Erik Odegaard
  • Mother: Lene Cecilie Odegaard
  • Siblings: Emilie Odegaard, Mari Odegaard, Kristoffer Odegaard

Martin Odegaard Early Life

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard at Stromsgodset (Pic credits: Getty)

Martin Odegaard in a city named Drammen in Norway to Lene Cecilie and Hans Erik Odegaard. Drammen is the sixth-largest city in Norway and is situated around 27 miles away from the capital, Oslo.

Odegaard’s father Hans was a former football and also an assistant manager. He played for Stromsgodset and Sandefjord Football before becoming an assistant manager for Mjondalen IF. He also co-founded a football section at Drammen Strong. Hans and Lene invested in a local club to help them replace their gravel turf with an artificial turf, where Martin Odegaar spent a lot of time.

Odegaard also received the Statoil Talent award in April 2014 and also for the entire 2014 season while at Drammen Strong. The club received around €29,000 from Stromsgodset when the latter sold the young midfielder to Real Madrid.

Martin Odegaard Club Career

The Norwegian joined Stromsgodset’s youth system in 2009 but started playing with boys 2-3 years older than him. He played a few games for Buskerud teams as part of the Norwegian Football Federation’s talent matches between district teams.

At age 12, Martin Odegaard impressed everyone in a U-16 tournament in Norway in 2011, especially former manager Lars Tjaernas, who said:

“The best 15-year-olds in the country were gathered for a tournament between the top clubs… It was definitely not the first time he had astonished his opponents or the spectators. He was three or four years younger than the others. It was impossible not to realize that we were witnessing something out of the ordinary.”

Stromsgodset

After going through Stromsgodset’s youth systems, Odegaard started training with the first team in 2012 and made his debut in a friendly against local rivals Mjondalen IF. The following year, aged 13, he played for Stromsgodset’s junior team (aged 17-19) and also their third team in Norway’s third tier.

In 2014, the club included him in B-list of amateur players so he could play three matches for the first team despite not signing a professional contract. He trained in the evening at Mjondalen IF, a semi-professional team, at times, as he was enrolled in compulsory education during the daytime.

Odegaard’s first competitive game for Stromsgodet was against Aalesunds FK at Marienlyst Stadion in the league on April 13, 2014. He was the youngest player to play in Tippeligaen at age 15 years and 118 days. He then signed a professional contract with Stromsgodset, which expired at the end of 2015.

He then scored his first senior goal against Sarpsborg 08 in a 4-1 win for his side, becoming the youngest scorer in Tippeligaen. He made his European debut in July 2015, featuring in his side’s 1-0 defeat against Steaua Bucuresti in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

Later, against Sandnes Ulf, Odegaard made a big impact by being involved in all three goals for Stromsgodset. This match impressed the Norway team’s senior member John Arne Riise, who demanded the youngster get a chance with the national team. Manager Nils Johan Semb though, believed that they shouldn’t rush Odegaard despite him being an excellent player.

The youngster also trained with the first teams of big European clubs like Bayern Munich and Liverpool in 2014 and also visited Arsenal’s London Colney.

Real Madrid

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard at Real Madrid (Pic credits: Getty)

Being impressed with his performances, Real Madrid signed Martin Odegaard in 2015 for a reported fee of €3-4 million, which could rise up to €8-10 million. He was set to train with the club’s reserves and the first team but mainly played with the latter.

He made his debut for the reserves side – Real Madrid Castilla – on February 8 against Atletico Madrid B in the second tier of Spanish football. He scored his first goal for the club on February 21 against Barakaldo CF. He was later dropped after four defeats, citing language barrier and training issues.

First-team manager Carlo Ancelotti, though, urged fans to be patient and included Odegaard in the first-team squad against Almeria on April 29. However, he made his debut on May 23 in a 7-3 win over Getafe as he replaced Cristiano Ronaldo. Aged 16 years and 157 days, he was the youngest debutant in Real Madrid history.

Odegaard made a few more appearances at Real Madrid before being sent on loan for three straight seasons at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad respectively.

Arsenal

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard and Arsenal life Community Shield in 2023 (Pic credits: Getty)

After returning to Real Madrid for the start of the 2020-21 season, Martin Odegaard joined Arsenal on a six-month loan in January 2021. He made his debut against rivals Manchester United on January 30 as a substitute. He scored his first goal for the club on March 11 in a 3-1 win over Olympiacos in a Europa League Round of 16 first-leg tie.

He won Arsenal’s Player of the Month award in March due to his excellent performances, which included a goal in a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

His performances saw Arsenal permanently sign Odegaard in the summer of 2021 for an initial fee of €35 million, with potential add-ons worth €40 million. He had a decent season with the club, where they finished fifth in the Premier League, missing out on the top four against rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette’s departure, Martin Odegaard was named the club captain ahead of the 2022-23 season. He led them to a Premier League title challenge. However, despite leading the table for 248 days, Arsenal lost the title by five points to Manchester City.

Odegaard also led the team to another title challenge in the 2023-24 season but again lost against Manchester City on the final day of the season.

Having initially signed a five-year deal, Odegaard’s current contract with Arsenal will run until 2028. He has made 153 appearances for the club, scoring 35 goals and providing 25 assists.

International Career

Martin Odegaard made 12 appearances for Norway’s U15 (2), U16 (6) and U17 (4) sides before joining the Norway U21 side. He made his U21 debut against Portugal in the 2015 U21 European Championships.

Odegaard was then called up for Norway’s senior team in August. He became the youngest player on the team as he featured in a goalless draw against the United Arab Emirates on August 27. He also became the youngest starter in a European Champions qualifier when Norway lost 5-1 against Croatia on March 29, 2015.

He scored his first senior goal for Norway in a 2-2 draw against Romania in a Euro 2020 qualifier. He then became the captain of the side in 2021, having been appointed by manager Stale Solbakken.

Style of Play

Martin Odegaard is an attacking midfielder, who thrives on his creativity. He is known for his technical ability in possession and creative passes to his teammates. He likes to operate just behind the attacking line and run the midfield and the game.

Odegaard isn’t the strongest in terms of physicality but he uses his body feints and other dribbling skills to get past defenders. His vision is another prominent trait as he is able to see his attackers making good runs.

The left-footed midfielder also has a good work rate, which allows his team to gain possession back quickly if they lose it.

Martin Odegaard’s Personal Life

Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard with Helene Spilling (Pic credits: Getty)

Martin Odegaard is the son of Lene Cecilie and Hans Erik Odegaard. He has three siblings – Emilie Odegaard, Mari Odegaard, and Kristoffer Odegaard. He completed his education in Norway but started playing football during his schooling.

Odegaard follows Christianity and speaks English, Spanish and some Dutch along with his native language. He is in a relationship with Helene Spilling.

Career Statistics

YearTeamAppearancesGoalsAssists
2014-2015Stromsgodset2557
2015-2017Real Madrid Castilla6258
2015-2021Real Madrid1100
2017-2018Heerenveen (loan)4335
2018-2019Vitesse (loan)391113
2019-2020Real Sociedad (loan)3679
2021 –Arsenal1533525
2014-Norway57310

Martin Odegaard Honors

Real Sociedad:

Copa del Rey 2019-20

Arsenal:

FA Community Shield 2023

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