At the tender age of just 15, Martin Odegaard, a talented midfielder with Stromsgodset, has been handed a maiden call-up to the Norwegian national squad.
Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo on Tuesday named Odegaard in his squad for a friendly against the United Arab Emirates in the south-western city of Stavanger on August 27, describing the youngster as a "comet". Born on December 17, 1998, Odegaard will be only 15 years and 253 days old come the day of the game.
"He has played so well in a number of league games that I wanted to see him in the national team," said Hogmo in a statement. "I said before the season that he was going to be the comet of this season and that he could become the youngest player in the history of the national team. I am not surprised that he has performed so well up to now. Now I can't wait to see him in action," added the coach.
Odegaard broke into the first-team at reigning Norwegian champions Stromsgodset in April and has already scored three goals and set up six more in 14 appearances. That form has made him a social media sensation and has, not surprisingly, stirred interest among several of Europe's biggest clubs. "It is a dream come true," said Odegaard, adding that he got "a little shock" when he heard the news.
Some commentators in Norway have said that Odegaard is too young to be called up to the full national squad, but his father disagrees. "If you are good enough, you are old enough," remarked Hans Erik Odegaard, himself a former Stromsgodset player.