DUBLIN (VG) Leo Skiri Østigård can hardly have the words to say how great Martin Ødegaard is the captain of Arsenal and list the qualities that make Ødegaard unique.
– I don’t think the Norwegian people fully understand how important it is to have a Norwegian captain for a team that leads the Premier League during the day, Ostegaard tells VG after the match.
He plays for Napoli in Italy, the leader of Serie A, but is an Arsenal fan himself.
– So it’s great to follow, says the 22-year-old.
Arsenal are five points ahead of second-placed Manchester City after 14 matches.
With Erling Braut Haaland is out due to injury Odegaard is the only star in the Norway national team, and the captain of the Norwegian team greatly surprised the Irish journalists when he answered their questions for several minutes after the international match.
– Wow, the journalists said among themselves, smiling broadly.
Østigård I’m not surprised.
Martin is an incredibly good man. He has the ability to make many people feel safe, which is important in a team. He takes charge on the pitch, Ostegaard tells VG before repeating:
The young man is 23 years old and captain of the team that leads the English Premier League and the national team. It’s wild. This is probably Martin’s ninth year in the national team, which is incredible when you’re 23 years old. He’s been through a lot and is taking on a bigger and bigger role, and he’s growing into it. He’s a great leader.
Ødegaard scored both goals as Arsenal beat Wolves in mid-November:
On March 12, 2021, Stale Solbakken decided that Ødegaard was the new captain of the national team. On July 30 of this year, Mikel Arteta gave the 23-year-old a prize Same role at Arsenal.
– I became more secure in the role and gained more experience. Ødegaard tells VG and laughs.
In January, it had been eight years since Real Madrid brought in Odegaard from Stromsgodset. The path has gone through Dutch football to be a superstar for Arsenal. And on Sunday, he leads Norway against Finland in Ollival, and that match will also be without the injured Haaland.
The Norway captain has 46 caps, scoring two goals. Arsenal’s stat is 14 goals in 63 Premier League matches.
– I’ve grown with the role and I’m able to do it better and better, I feel like it’s going well. I enjoy it,” Odegaard says of the captain’s role.
National team coach Ståle Solbakken believes the 23-year-old has developed well as a captain and player.
The expectations that were placed on him when he went to Real Madrid were completely insane and impossible to achieve. He has grown on and off the field, he is a natural leader in our team. He is also the captain of the best team in the Premier League, and that speaks for itself, Solbakken tells VG.
How would you describe Odegaard?
– What you see is how he is, quiet and calm, when he says something, everyone listens to him. He has a good head of the ball. He makes tactical suggestions, it’s part of my outstretched arm. He’s a sensible fellow off the field. He’s young, Solbakken says, but he’s had a long life in adult football.
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