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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 22 June, 2018

'I don't regret Real Madrid move despite lack of opportunities'

Martin Odegaard was tipped for stardom when he burst onto the scene but he has since joined Heerenveen on loan.

MARTIN ODEGAARD INSISTS he does not “regret” joining Real Madrid despite struggling due to a lack of opportunities at the La Liga giants.

The 18-year-old was tipped to become a future star when he first burst onto the scene at Norwegian side Stromsgodset, with many comparing him to Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

Several world-renowned clubs including Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal were all keen on signing Odegaard, but he instead decided to move to Real in 2015.

But, although he became the youngest ever player to turn out for Real in May 2015, aged just 16 years and 157 days old, the attacking midfielder has largely featured for the club’s Castilla side since.

Odegaard recently joined Eredivisie side Heerenveen in an attempt to drag himself out of obscurity and play more first-team football, but he is adamant he does not rue moving to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking at his unveiling, he said: “Real Madrid is a good club, the best in the world. But everyone knows how hard it is to get playing time there.

I don’t regret my choice because I played at the best club in the world. To train and develop there is very good for a young talent.”

Odegaard has also rejected the label ‘wonderboy’ attached to his name and insists he is just looking forward to playing football with Heerenveen, who are currently fourth in the Dutch top flight.

This is a very nice club and I look forward to this adventure,” he added.

“I don’t see myself as a wonderboy. I look at myself as a normal guy and I don’t really pay attention to what other people say of me.

I had a good talk with the club and for that reason I came to this club. They are looking at my development and that is the most important thing.

“Heerenveen’s Morten Thorsby (Norway compatriot) is a good friend of mine and he told me great stories about the club.”

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