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Martin Odegaard lifts the lid on Cristiano Ronaldo’s dressing room attitude

Martin Odegaard lifts the lid on Cristiano Ronaldo’s dressing room attitude

Martin Odegaard identified Ex  Manchester United  star Cristiano Ronaldo as one of three players who helped him settle in at Real Madrid, shedding light on the accommodating nature of the superstar.

Odegaard left Stromsgodset in his native Norway to sign a £3 million transfer with Los Blancos in January 2015, when he was the most sought-after player in Europe.

When he first arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu, he was unable to speak Spanish. However, during his time with the club, he became fluent in the language.

Fortunately for Odegaard, who was 16 at the time, there were a handful of English-speaking teammates in the locker room. 

Prior to joining Real Madrid, Ronaldo, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos, who previously played for Bayern Munich and Bayern Munich, all spoke English.

Odegaard, now 24 years old and captain of the Premier League-leading Arsenal, recalled the nerve-wracking experience of entering the Bernabeu locker room all those years ago. 

The midfielder recalls that all of the senior players were “very kind,” and those who spoke English took “extra care” of him.

“All I’m thinking is about how these guys will treat me when I walk into their dressing room. This little kid who didn’t speak any Spanish,” Odegaard told The Players’ Tribune. “But they were all very kind and the ones who spoke English – Kroos, Modric, Ronaldo – took extra care of me in the beginning.

“They gave me advice and helped me a lot. But, honestly, I don’t think any of them were particularly worried about a 16-year-old from Norway taking their place in the team.”

Odegaard’s remarks are especially illuminating in light of the fact that Ronaldo is viewed by some critics as a player who values only goals and victories. 

During his early days in the Spanish capital, he went out of his way to look out for a teammate in the Real Madrid locker room, proving that this is not the case.

Odegaard would become the youngest Real Madrid debutant in history in May 2016, when he replaced Ronaldo in a 7-3 rout of Getafe at the age of 16 years and 157 days. 

However, that was one of the few highlights of his six-and-a-half-year tenure with the club, as he failed to score in his subsequent 10 appearances.

Odegaard spent time on loan away from Los Blancos in the Eredivisie and La Liga before finding a permanent home at Arsenal. He signed a temporary contract with the Gunners in January 2021, which was made permanent the following summer for £30 million, and has led his team to the top of the Premier League table this season.

Martin Odegaard lifts the lid on Cristiano Ronaldo’s dressing room attitude

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