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.