Pep Guardiola planned to make Martin Odegaard ‘the best player in the world’ before decrying Bayern Munich and Liverpool for Real Madrid, claims ex-Norwegian star Jan Age Fjortoft
- The then Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola tried to sign Martin Odegaard in 2015
- Odegaard was influenced by Real Madrid’s B team, led by Zinedine Zidane
- The Norwegian is now 21 and is finally part of the first team after three loans
Pep Guardiola had plans to make Martin Odegaard the best player in the world when he tried to sign him to Bayern Munich, according to Jan Age Fjortoft.
Odegaard made his league debut for Norwegian Stromsgodset at the tender age of 15 years and 118 days, sparking a bidding war between Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Real Madrid for his services.
The then Bayern manager Guardiola was desperate for the German giants to sign the Norwegian and stated that he believed he could elevate the child prodigy to the top of the global game.
Martin Odegaard chose Real Madrid for Bayern Munich and Liverpool in January 2015
Former Middlesbrough and Norwegian striker Fjortoft was a coach in the Norwegian national team’s camp when Guardiola declared his hopes for Odegaard.
He revealed on the Here we go podcast Guardiola told him: “You have to bring that boy to Munich, you have to take him to Munich! I’ll make him the best player in the world.”
“Later, when we got back, I invited Martin, his father and the national team manager to my house.
‘I then wrote on paper which four clubs were closest to Odegaard at the time. Liverpool, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
The then Bayern boss Pep Guardiola said he could make Odegaard the best player in the world
Ex-Norway striker Jan Age Fjortoft stated that Odegaard was going to Madrid because of their second team
‘As you know, Liverpool was his favorite club, his youth club. I still think the reason he ended up at Real Madrid was quite simple. First, Real Madrid had a second team, the other three clubs did not.
The coach of the second team was Zinedine Zidane. He’s not a bad player, he’s not a bad coach. Michael Reschke, now at Schalke, was responsible for Munich’s recruitment.
“I met him after Martin chose to go to Real Madrid and he told me,” If I had known the second team would be crucial, I would have built a second team. “
Odegaard spent two and a half years with Castilla, Real Madrid’s reserve team, before lending 18 months to Heerenveen in the Netherlands.
After three consecutive loans, Zinedine has integrated Zidane Odegaard into the first team
After another Eredivisie loan to Vitesse, the 25-cap international spent a third season on loan with LaLiga side Real Sociedad.
Real Madrid have not added a major player this summer due to their financial troubles exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
That meant 21-year-old Odegaard has finally broken into the first-team roster at Bernabeu, with four league appearances for Los Blancos so far this season.