Martin Odegaard’s favourite player is Lionel Messi

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard’s favourite player of all time - not Cristiano Ronaldo.

This is according to Sky Sports’ well-connected Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who has explained why Odegaard has been finding things so tough lately at the Bernabeu.

There are multiple examples of tweets that Odegaard sent, prior to his move to Real Madrid, praising Messi as the best player in the world. But these were swiftly deleted following his transfer to the Bernabeu from Stromsgodset in January.

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Odegaard loves Messi

And Balague claims that Messi is not only the player Odegaard believes is the best player in the world - but also that the four-time Ballon d’Or is the Norway international’s favourite footballer of all time.

He wrote in his latest column: “(With Real Madrid) he had the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches and players in the world, despite the fact Lionel Messi is his favourite player of all time - check the social networks, he said it then deleted it.”

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Odegaard not entirely happy at Real Madrid

However, as has been detailed by various Spanish sources over the past week, Real Madrid have not been adhering to a certain clause to Odegaard’s contract - albeit for one very good reason - and this has angered both the player and his father.

Odegaard agreed to join Real Madrid under the impression that he would train with the first team five days a week, but the Spanish giants now believe it’s in the teenager’s best interests to spend more time with the reserves.

"So he went to Madrid and the idea was, as it says in his contract, he would train with the first team but play with the B team (Castilla) under Zidane,” Balague continued. "That's all well and good on paper but it's not working in practice. He enjoys training during the week (with the first team) but then he goes with Castilla and he doesn't feel part of the whole structure of the team - and his team-mates aren't particularly helping.

"After consecutive defeats, he was left on the bench and didn't play a single minute for two games with Castilla - and they played wonderfully. He then started this weekend just gone, and with the team losing 1-0 he came off, before it finished 1-1.

"So there is something going on there. He's been asked three times if he wouldn't mind coming to train more with Castilla, but he believes he'd learn more with the first team.

"His contract (where he can dictate his own terms of training) is not odd if you think of the business plan of Real Madrid - a club that is always looking for galacticos. He was THE galactico at 16."

Odegaard should swallow his pride

At this moment in time there appears to be a stand-off between Odegaard, his father and Real Madrid - but it’s in the interests of both the player and his club to sort out this dispute as soon as possible.

Failure to do so could risk the development of Odegaard, who needs to be playing regular football, regardless of whether it’s for Real Madrid Castilla or the Real Madrid first team.

Because of the intense competition for first-team places at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid fans are unlikely to see Odegaard make his senior debut for Los Blancos until next season at the earliest.

Zidane set to replace Ancelotti

Real Madrid may have a new man in charge at the Bernabeu by that point, presuming Carlo Ancelotti is sacked at the end of the current campaign, and that man is likely to be Zidane.

"Carlo Ancelotti did complain at the beginning because people at the top of the club were pressuring him to call Odegaard up against Schalke for their Champions League last-16 second leg,” Balague added. "But Ancelotti didn't because he feels he's not part of the first team, and he would have had to leave out another player who is.

"What is interesting is that Zidane is the one dealing with this. So it is up to him what happens next. It was down to Zidane to leave him out for two games at a time when there was pressure to play him.

"So Zidane is getting a taste of what it is to be a manager of Real Madrid."

Should Martin Odegaard swallow his pride and train more with Real Madrid Castilla - or should he seek a move elsewhere this summer? Have your say in the comments below!

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La Liga
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

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