17-year-old phenom Martin Odegaard’s standing with the Real Madrid first team just became that much more confusing. The latest reports from the Santiago Bernabeu allege that Real Madrid club president Florentino Perez has forced manager Zinedine Zidane to include Odegaard in the club’s pre-season tour against Zidane’s wishes.
For those that have been following the young Norwegian’s progress at Real, this shouldn’t come as any surprise after former manager Carlo Ancelotti, who handed Odegaard his first team debut back in 2015, labelled the player’s presence at Real a public relations stunt.
“When Florentino buys a Norwegian footballer, you simply have to accept it,” Ancelotti said. “Furthermore, the president decided that he would play three games with the first team as a public relations exercise.”
It looks as though Zidane is now the latest manager to have to accept the reasoning of Perez. Odegaard only played for Real Madrid Castilla, the club’s B-team, last season. He appeared in 34 matches while scoring a single goal.
However, Odegaard regularly trains with the first team, his involvement is supposedly written into his contract, and Real are hoping that his performances during the pre-season tour will entice another club to take him on loan this year.
Zidane, who’d previously coached the Madrid Castilla team himself, doesn’t believe that Odegaard merits his place on the first team and that the highly touted youngster receives preferential treatment.
Zidane’s two sons, Luca and Enzo, have both been selected to represent Real Madrid on their tour across North America.
Odegaard's yearly salary of €1.2 million has also caused some disquiet among the rest of the youth squad.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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