Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has handed a first competitive start to 17-year-old midfielder Martin Odegaard in Real Madrid’s second leg Copa del Rey match against Cultural Leonesa.
Liga cameo under Ancelotti
Odegaard has made a start for Madrid before, against Roma in the International Champions Cup in 2015, but Wednesday will be his first in an official competition after his arrival at the Bernabéu from Stromsgodset as a 16-year-old in January 2015 for a fee in the region of 2.5 million euros. The midfielder’s only other appearance for the senior side was a 32-minute cameo against Getafe on the final day of the 2014-15 season under Carlo Ancelotti.
Odegaard’s star has failed to wax in quite the manner expected when he was signed to considerable fanfare by Real Madrid, who beat a host of Europe’s top clubs to the Norway international’s signature. Odegaard has played regularly for the reserves but has yet to break into the first team squad in any meaningful way and has been superseded in that respect by free-scoring Dominican forward Mariano Díaz, who was named for his first start of the season by Zidane for the second leg against Cultural after making his only his third substitute appearance to date in the return leg, when he came on in the second half and scored the final goal in Real’s 7-1 rout of the Segunda B side.
Odegaard has also failed to hold down his place in the Norway side after becoming the youngest player to debut for the nation at 15 years ,eight months and 10 days old in 2014. In recent international breaks, he has been relegated to the under-21s.
Real Madrid XI for Cultural game
Casilla, Carvajal, Pepe, Nacho, Tejero, James, Casemiro, Asensio, Isco, Odegaard, Mariano.
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