A Few Years Ago…”: Cristiano Ronaldo Chose His Successor at Real Madrid in 2015, Where Is He Today?

Martin Odegaard: The Unfulfilled Promise and His Journey from Ronaldo’s Heir to Arsenal Star”

Eight years ago, Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard was on the cusp of a much-anticipated move to Real Madrid, amidst sky-high expectations. According to Odegaard’s former teammate, Martin Ovenstad, an intriguing revelation surfaced – Cristiano Ronaldo himself had tagged Odegaard as his potential successor.

In an interview with Norwegian television channel TV2 (via AS), Ovenstad recalled Odegaard’s conversation with Ronaldo: “Martin said he spoke with Cristiano and he said: ‘In a couple of years I will stop scoring as many goals and you need to take over’.” While there exists no concrete proof of this exchange, neither Ronaldo nor Odegaard has refuted it to date. Publicly, Ronaldo had expressed admiration for the young Norwegian, stating, “He is a good player,” before the Ballon d’Or ceremony in January 2015. “He is a young boy who can still grow – he’s 16 years old. He has a good future. We must give him time to learn and to make the best decisions, but I see a lot of potential in the player.”

However, Odegaard’s journey at Real Madrid fell short of these lofty expectations. After six years marked by struggles and loan spells, he eventually departed for Arsenal, initially on loan and later making the move permanent.

Reflecting on his time at Madrid in an interview with The Players’ Tribune, Odegaard disclosed, “[Playing for Castilla instead of the senior team] seemed like a smart plan at the time, but I ended up not finding my place with either group. With the B team, I wasn’t with them regularly, so I didn’t find that connection. In the first team, I was just some kid who came to train. I felt a bit like an outsider. I stopped playing with the spark that was typical of my game. I went a bit too safe for a time. I was worrying more about not making mistakes than actually playing my game.”

Today, Martin Odegaard thrives at Arsenal, amassing 25 goals and 15 assists in 110 games across all competitions. Meanwhile, Real Madrid embarks on a significant midfield overhaul, with talents like Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Guler, and Bellingham poised to fill the void left by Odegaard’s departure.


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