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FOOTBALL

Ødegaard misses out on Real Madrid debut

Norwegian football prodigy Martin Ødegaard has missed out on his first stab at becoming the youngest ever footballer to play for Real Madrid, after he was left on the bench during the club’s match with Almeria.

Ødegaard misses out on Real Madrid debut
Martin Ødegaard (left) photographed at the Estadio Bernabeu in the break in Real Madrid's game against Almería Wednesday. Photo: EFE / NTB scanpix
The 16-year-old wunderkind was one of three players picked from Real Madrid’s sister team Castilla for the substitution bench, alongside Borja Mayoral and Diego Llorente.
 
But during the game, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, pulled Lucas Silva and Nacho from the bench, leaving the three Castilla players to wait for another moment to shine. 
 
Freddy dos Santos, the former Norwegian national, told Norway’s TV2 that he could not understand why Ancelotti had chosen to bring Ødegaard onto the bench for the first time without fielding him
 
“It was a letdown. I have no idea what Ancelotti is thinking,” said TV2 football expert Freddy dos Santos. “I get a bit of a feeling that he can’t be bothered simply because everyone expects it. He knows that it is only for the two youngsters that this matters. I hope he changes his mind.” 
 
Ancelotti’s decisions appeared to be justified tactically however, with Real Madrid winning the match 3-0. 
 
If Ødegaard had been brought onto the pitch he would have beaten Alberto Rivera's record as the youngest player to ever play for Real Madrid.  
 
Ødegaard still has some time. Rivera was 17 years and 114 days old when he played for the team in 1995. The Norwegian is 16 years and 133 days old.
 
The former Strømsgodset IF player was signed for Real Madrid in January, reportedly for €4m, after a bidding war which saw him train with Liverpool,  Bayern Munich,  Manchester United, and Manchester City.
 

FOOTBALL

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland want to jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2027.

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup
Sweden players during this year's World Cup in France. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The five Nordic nations want to share hosting duties for the 2027 edition of the World Cup finals and are to present the idea to the Nordic Council at a meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday, Danish football association DBU has confirmed.

FIFA is already positively disposed to joint bids for future finals tournaments, which has lent encouragement to the Nordic project, according to DBU's chairman Jesper Møller.

“We can see that support for women's football is here to stay, most recently at the (2019) World Cup in France, where matches were played in front of full stadiums and television viewers' interest was huge,” Møller said.

“A joint Nordic World Cup would not only ensure a fantastic experience for many football fans but will also strengthen important Nordic partnerships and community, and hopefully inspire many football-keen women and girls,” he continued.

“That's why support from the Nordic Council is important,” he added.

The Nordic Council (Nordisk Råd) is the official body for inter-parliamentary co-operation among the five Nordic countries and three territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

DBU is also looking into the possibility of hosting the 2025 European Championships in Denmark.

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