New Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo helped sway his decision to reject a host of Premier League clubs, by personally taking him aside when the Norwegian starlet trained with the club,
As relayed by the Daily Express, citing Norwegian TV, the 16-year-old wonderkid was given an incentive to opt for the Santiago Bernabeu above all over destinations, by none other than the Ballon d’Or holder himself.
The speculation surrounding his future had hit fever pitch in recent weeks, but he reportedly put pen to paper with Real shortly before the second-leg of their Copa del Rey defeat to bitter rivals Atletico Madrid.
In a move that dealt a blow to the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, Odegaard pledged his future to the La Liga giants. He’s since admitted that Ronaldo had more than just a little to do with it.
Ronaldo to Odegaard
"In a couple of years I'll stop scoring so many goals, so it'll be up to you to score them.
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"In a couple of years I'll stop scoring so many goals, so it'll be up to you to score them"
"It'll be fun telling our grandchildren that we trained with him."
The words appear to be high praise indeed from Ronaldo, who is currently sitting in the prime of his footballing life. The Portugal captain, who is a former United hero himself, is in unbelievable form, having already bagged himself 36 goals in just 30 appearances across all competitions this year.
Ronaldo in his pomp
His collection of the Ballon d’Or earlier on this month in Zurich, Switzerland, was an acknowledgement of the fact that he’s arguably the best player in the world right now, having seemingly surpassed Lionel Messi in the eyes of the masses.
Yet all good things must come to an end, and just as Pele and Diego Maradona before him there will come a time when he has to hang up his boots. By then perhaps Real are praying that Odegaard will be ready to step into his boots, with the youngster having already broken records for his performances for Norway aged just 15.
The sceptics will certainly be out when it comes to the idea of Odegaard directly replacing Ronaldo, but it’s difficult to dismiss all the hype surrounding his signing on with Los Blancos.
It’s believed the powers that be in Madrid are planning on creating a next-generation team for the future, with their ambition to have a number of their current starlets performing for the starting XI by 2020.