Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has always admired Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard, and it’s been no secret. Add to that, it seems Ronaldo stands correct in a prediction he made seven years ago.
Back in 2015, Odegaard joined Real Madrid at the tender age of 16. But he struggled to create an impact at the Spanish capital. Real Madrid kept on loaning out Odegaard each season until they struck a permanent deal with Arsenal in the 2021 summer transfer window. Arsenal splashed out £30 million to bring him on a permanent tenure after a successful loan spell for them. He joined The Gunners in January 2021 on loan but returned to Madrid after the end of the 2020 – 2021 campaign. The then newly appointed Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti decided not to continue with the Norwegian and parted ways. Odegaard came back to London after Arsenal struck a deal and paid the asking transfer fee for him.
Since then, the 23-year old never looked back and became a vital part of Mikel Arteta’s setup. Additionally, on the recent matchdays, he also gets to wear the captain’s armband. This exemplifies that Odegaard also possess leadership qualities. He is also the captain of the Norway national football team.
Odegaard netted six goals and assisted for further six goals in the league. As per fbref, the young Norwegian notched 6.3 xA (expected assists), 122 shot-creating actions and 67 key passes. He is finally realising his true potential and proving his ex-Real Madrid teammate and legend Cristiano Ronaldo correct in the process.
What Ronaldo said about Odegaard back in 2015
“You see many players with potential. I will mention Martin Odegaard of Madrid for example, at 16 he’s still young but you can see he’s a very good player. He’s a great player, I think he’s a young boy, he can still grow. He has a good future ahead. We must give him time to learn, to take his best decisions. But I see a lot of potential in the player, he has got a good left foot.”
In a 2015 interview held by BT Sport, Ronaldo was asked to name five young players he thought would go on to enjoy stellar careers. He replied:
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