- Cyprus – Norway, at 20.45 Thursday
Larnaca (Dagbladet): Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard is here to train tonight with the national team in Cyprus.
It seemed like the mood was at its peak. He clearly evaded the strong challenge suffered by Mateo Kovacic on Sunday.
Odegaard injured the Croatian’s knuckles in his ankle as Arsenal beat Manchester City 1-0. At worst, the intervention could put Odegaard on the sidelines when Norway take on Cyprus on Thursday and Spain on Sunday.
– In one of the indoor groups, it was reported that “Ødegaard ran out” when he went down to do the count. There has been some crisis in the TV 2 camp, football expert Jesper Matthiessen tells Dagbladet.
– But it turned out well. He is up and ready to play international matches.
When the team trained in Larnaca this evening, the captain entered the field smiling and joking.
Matthiessen himself sat and watched the game on Sunday on a dotted line. The pictures were a few minutes later. Therefore, the internal message seemed more dramatic.
But on Tuesday evening, TV 2 saw with its own eyes that all was well with Odegaard. TV 2 owns the rights to broadcast national matches.
The media was dismissed from training after 15 minutes. With the palm trees rustling in the background – and the pleasant evening temperature – training seemed like an above-average experience.
– Odegaard is in the shape of his life, says Matthiessen.
– What he offers is on a new level again. It has become as good as we once thought it would be. It is at the highest level. He can play for any team in the world.
Coach Ståle Solbakken points out:
-It gets better and better and better.
It is probably a pipe dream of returning to Real Madrid and dealing with ‘unstable business’. But today Odegaard and Arsenal are inseparable.
Now the club needs Premier League and Champions League titles to move up among the big boys.
– Matthiessen says that many, including myself, were surprised when he became captain of the national team.
– Not talking about the national team. But his election as Arsenal captain is proof of the kind of leader he has become. It’s very nice to have an upbeat and optimistic leader like Odegaard.
What’s interesting is that Norway put themselves in an almost impossible position during the World Cup qualifiers.
– Mathiesen points out that progress seems difficult.
However, Norway are emerging as a team that will excite the public. The stars are there. Faith in the future exists. And Olival fills up.
Now it’s up to Chief Solbakken to put the puzzle together.
-Oscar Pope is a new player in this group. The last time we met Antonio Nosa. I’m excited to see Bob in the Norwegian national team. “It’s exciting that he’s getting playing time at City,” says Matthiessen.
The match against Cyprus begins at 20:45 on Thursday. Three days later, Spain awaits a horde of Olivall.
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