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Martin Odegaard says it was 'not easy to fit in' at Real Madrid but Arsenal group is 'very nice'

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Martin Odegaard admits it was ‘not easy to fit in’ at Real Madrid but reveals he is now happy in a ‘very nice’ Arsenal dressing room after his £30m move

  • Martin Odegaard is settling into his permanent career at Arsenal this season 
  • The Norwegian completed a £30m move from Real Madrid earlier this year 
  • Odegaard admits it was difficult to make friends at the Santiago Bernabeu
  • The midfielder was able to learn from Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo


Martin Odegaard has revealed it is difficult to make friends in a ‘tough’ Real Madrid dressing room and admits he is now happy in a ‘very nice’ Arsenal group. 

The Norwegian made a £30million permanent switch to the Gunners after impressing on loan last season, bringing a six-year stint in the Spanish capital to an end.

Odegaard was tipped for greatness when he joined the Real first-team at 16 years of age but, now 22, has opened up on the difficulties he endured in both the Spanish giants’ main and B team squad. 

Martin Odegaard (above) has revealed he found it difficult to make friends at Real Madrid

Martin Odegaard (above) has revealed he found it difficult to make friends at Real Madrid 

The Norwegian completed a £30m permanent move to Arsenal after a loan spell last season

The Norwegian completed a £30m permanent move to Arsenal after a loan spell last season

The Norwegian told TV2: ‘There were many tough periods both with the first team and the second team (at Real). 

‘But being around the best made me stronger. I feel that I have grown thanks to Madrid and I have learned from players like (Sergio) Ramos and Cristiano (Ronaldo).’

‘When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing. At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else.

‘I came from a different dressing room culture and it is not easy to fit into a changing room [like the one at Madrid]. It was difficult but it is something that has made me stronger and I am happy to have experienced it.

Odegaard had the chance to learn from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (left) at Real Madrid

Odegaard had the chance to learn from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (left) at Real Madrid

‘I would say there is a big difference. I am very happy at Arsenal. There is a very nice dressing room.’

Odegaard also endured a difficult relationship with the Spanish media during his time at Real and slammed sections of the industry for writing misleading stories about his time in the country. 

Newspaper Marca, which has close ties to Real and president Florentino Perez, penned a disparaging article about the 22-year-old following his switch to Arsenal, describing him as ‘an economic bonanza but a sporting failure’.

In an August Instagram post , the Norwegian showed his gratitude to Real and said he ‘completed a dream’ by moving to the Santiago Bernabeu and ‘got the opportunity to learn from the best in the world and my idols’. But he then hit out at the media treatment of him.  

The 22-year-old revealed he is much happier in the Arsenal dressing room after his move

The 22-year-old revealed he is much happier in the Arsenal dressing room after his move

‘These days a lot has been said about me and my motivations for leaving. I only want to say that almost everything that is being said is not true,’ he wrote.

‘It’s a real shame that the press say things that aren’t true, because many people sincerely think that’s how it is.

‘I have my reasons, I know what the truth is and what happened and that’s why I think this (leaving Madrid) is for the best.’

Odegaard has made five Premier League appearances since making his move to the Gunners permanent in August, scoring the winner in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Burnley.  

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