Ødegaard 'proud' to be Norway's youngest player

Martin Ødegaard is Norway's youngest international, aged 15 years and 253 days, after appearing in Wednesday's draw against the United Arab Emirates.

Martin Ødegaard is all smiles on the eve of Norway's friendly against the United Arab Emirates
Martin Ødegaard is all smiles on the eve of Norway's friendly against the United Arab Emirates ©Getty Images

Aged 15 years and 253 days, Martin Ødegaard became Norway's youngest-ever player when he started against the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

The Strømsgodset IF midfielder impressed during the goalless friendly in Stavanger, showing some good touches in central areas and nearly breaking the deadlock by almost connecting with a delivery from the left wing.

Ødegaard − who has registered three goals in 15 Norwegian top-flight appearances this season and is the Eliteserien's youngest debutant and its most junior scorer – said: "I'm really proud to have made my senior debut. It's been a dream for a long time to play for Norway.

"I was shocked when the coach [Per-Mathias Høgmo] told me that I would start the game, but I was very happy. All I want to do is play football. I was close to scoring but didn't quite reach a cross in the first half. I was surprised to start, and even more surprised when I got to play the full 90 minutes."

While effusive in his praise of Ødegaard's display, Per-Mathias Høgmo was more circumspect when asked whether the teenager would be in his plans for Norway's friendly at Wembley on 3 September and the beginning of their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign six days later.

"Martin played a good game," he said. "He created some openings that could have tipped the game in our favour and showed some of the qualities in attacking areas that we know he has. There are five or six places left to fill in the squads for the upcoming games against England and Italy and I can't confirm now that Martin is in the squad. We will pick the last few players in the next days."