Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he did not want Martin Odegaard and believes Real Madrid president Florentino Perez signed the Norwegian starlet as a “public relations exercise”.
The Italian coach, who handed Odegaard his La Liga debut on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign, has revealed his opinion on the transfer in his new book, Quiet Leadership.
Odegaard, who established his reputation as one of Europe’s most highly-rated teenagers during his time with Stromsgodset, was lured to Real Madrid on the promise that he could train with the club’s first-team stars and compete for a place in Ancelotti’s squad.
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However, the experienced Italian clearly felt Odegaard wasn’t ready for first-team football and Odegaard subsequently spent most of his first season playing under Zinedine Zidane in the Castilla setup.
In hindsight, it seems Ancelotti’s decision to hand Odegaard his first-team debut during Real Madrid’s 7-3 win over Getafe in May 2015 may have been a direct instruction from Perez.
Ancelotti: It was a PR exercise
“When Florentino buys a Norwegian footballer, you simply have to accept it,” Ancelotti was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “Furthermore, the president decided that he would play three games with the first team as a public relations exercise.”
“He could be the best player in the world, but I don't care because he was not a player who I asked for,” the new Bayern Munich head coach added. “That signing was to do with PR.”
Real Madrid a bad move for Odegaard?
Odegaard, who turns 18 in December, hasn’t made a first-team appearance for Real Madrid since.
Rafael Benitez didn’t feel the Norwegian playmaker, who has been capped nine times by his country, was ready for first-team action and it seems Zidane is of the same opinion.
It’s understood that Los Blancos will attempt to organise a loan move for Odegaard for the upcoming season.
Will Martin Odegaard ever be good enough for Real Madrid? Have your say by leaving a comment below.