REAL MADRID

Ødegaard training throughout his holidays in Drammen

The Norwegian midfielder is spending his Christmas holidays at home where he is following a strict training regime but his Spanish classes are on hold until he returns...

Ødegaard training throughout his holidays in Drammen

As a footballer, Martin Ødegaard has many qualities and one of them is discipline. Even before he signed for Real Madrid, his father Hans-Erik instilled a strong work ethic into him and now the player, who is currently on loan at Real Sociedad, continues his daily training regime during his holidays. While some players prefer to escape to soak up the sun on the beach during the break in LaLiga at Christmas, Ødegaard would rather be back home, in the snow in Drammen, his hometown - just an hour's drive from Oslo.

Odegaard's friends in Drammen

In Drammen, he has everything he needs to continue his strict daily routine (his father built a covered pitch when Ødegaard was still a child so he could play even in the coldest weather). And at home he is able to disconnect and catch up with his friends. Last week he met up with Magnus Moldjord, who is also from Drammen and plays for Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina and also Mats Daehli, a team mate in the national team who is currently on the books at German side St. Pauli.

Ødegaard began special training to beef up his physique during his final season in Madrid before he went out on loan. The Norwegian press accused Madrid of stifling his progress because of all the weight training he was doing in Valdebebas when in fact, all of those workouts were having the opposite effect. And besides, it was Ødegaard himself who was keen to take on extra work inside the gym. He also takes part in activities which compliment playing football such as tennis - one of his great passions.

Odegaard in action against Real Madrid

Odegaard's popularity in Norway

Ødegaard is relaxing at home just as his popularity in Norway is reaching new levels. In a recent poll conducted by daily VG, out of 100 candidates, he has received the most votes for the Sportsperson of the Year award - outstripping the likes of Norwegian athlete Karsten Warlhom (who holds the second fastest time in history for the 400 metres hurdles) and chess champion Magnus Carlsen, a national icon.

But Ødegaard won't have much time left for much socializing during his time in Norway. He is expected back in training with Real Sociedad tomorrow as Imanol Alguacil's start preparations for their opening game of 2020 - against Villarreal on 5 January. The only part of his routine which has been put on hold is his Spanish classes. His level of Spanish was decent enough when he arrived in San Sebastián but he is still learning the lingo - along with team mates Alexander Isak and Modibo Sagnan in a private classroom in Zubieta.