For the managers of Europe's biggest clubs, it is tough when selecting their squads for their respective league campaigns and for the Champions League. However, there are few managers who would find it tougher than Zinedine Zidane.
Real Madrid's squad is packed with quality right across the field, and it is inevitable that someone is going to be left unhappy when they are not named in the club's European squad. And despite there being huge pressure on the Frenchman to make the right call, the 44-year-old has made a big decision.
Los Blancos' frontline is both terrifying and mouthwatering at the same time, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata all included in Zidane's Champions League squad. However, it is another attacking player in Real's midfield that has caused the biggest surprise.
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Having been tipped to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on loan this summer, after former boss Carlo Ancelotti called the signing of the 17-year-old a 'PR stunt', Martin Odegaard has been handed a confidence boost after making Real's European squad.
The Norway international did make the cut last season, too. However, after speculation about where the attacking midfielder would play his football this season, it had, at times, seemed more likely than not that Odegaard would leave the Spanish capital for a short spell elsewhere.
Liverpool, who were interested in the highly-rated youngster before he joined Real from Stromsgodset, were reportedly ready to take him on loan, while Odegaard himself was also understood to be interested in the move.
However, a loan switch to Ligue 1 side Rennes looked to have been progressing well, until FIFA intervened, due Odegaard's age. But not that it should concern the Norweigan too much, as he now has the opportunity to prove to Zidane that he can feature for Los Blancos on a more regular basis.
Opportunities for Odegaard
Zidane's side face Sporting Lisbon in their first Champions League fixture in 10 days' time, while Legia Warsaw could also represent a realistic opportunity for the 17-year-old to get his big break in the Champions League.
Despite Real Madrid being known for buying in ready-made, costly talent, it is refreshing to see Zidane restoring his faith in youth. Although the likes of Isco, James Rodriguez and Luka Modric will hope to have some say as to how much game time Odegaard receives, by proving why they're worth their place in Zidane's starting XI, ahead of the young Norweigan.
Will Zinedine Zidane give Martin Odegaard the opportunity to prove himself in the Champions League? Have your say in the comment box below.
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