Ødegaard set for Norway international debut

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Martin Ødegaard. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix
19:24 CEST+02:00
Fifteen-year-old Martin Ødegaard has been called up to the Norway football team for the friendly against the United Arab Emirates on August 27.

Ødegaard, the rising star of Norwegian football and who currently plays league football for Strømsgodset, will become the youngest ever player to win an international cap for Norway.

"This is a dream come true. I was shocked and the call came as a surprise, but I was of course very happy," Ødegaard said on the Norwegian Football Association website.

The young midfielder has attracted the attention of Norway clubs and some of Europe's top sides.

Norway coach Per-Mathias Høgmo said on website “I said before the season  that Martin will become the comet of this year, and that he could be the youngest national team player. I'm not surprised that he has convinced [everyone].”

Norway play United Arab Emirates in a friendly on August 27th and then begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Italy in Oslo on September 9th.

Meanwhile as one player's international football career begins, another's come to an end.

Norway and Crystal Palace defender Brede Hangeland has quit the international scene, ending a 12-year career during which he captained his country, won 91 caps and scored four goals.

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Brede Hangeland. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Hangeland wrote in a press release: “Having considered it for a long time, I have given the national team coach Per-Mathias Høgmo a notification that I withdraw from being a national team player for Norway.”
He wrote further: “I have over many years taken a very heavy strain of my body and at the age of 33, it feels necessary to make this decision.”

Hangeland won his first cap for Norway against Austria in November 2002 and was made captain by then-coach Åge Hareide in 2008.

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