Odegaard was a 15 year-old wonderkid sought after by almost all of Europe when their paths crossed paths in Qatar.
Odegaard was with the Norwegian youth team at a camp at the same time Bayern were training there, and Guardiola was impressed by what he saw of the teenager on the training pitch.
The Catalan exclaimed to Jan Age Fjortoft, a former footballer involved in the Norwegian football setup, that “you have to bring that boy to Munich, you have to bring him to Munich! I will make him the best player in the world.”
The anecdote was revealed in Nordic newspaper Nettavisen in quotes carried by Diario AS. Odegaard was at the time playing for Stromsgodset but was said to have four clubs seriously interested in him: Liverpool, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
“Liverpool was his favourite club as a child,” Fjortoft said. “I think the reason that he ended up at Madrid was quite simple. They had a second team, while the other three clubs didn’t. The second team was coached by Zinedine Zidane – not a bad player and not a bad coach.
“Michael Reschke, who is now at Schalke, was responsible for Bayern’s recruitment at the time. I met him after Martin chose to go to Madrid and he told me: ‘If I had known that the second team would be so crucial I would have built one.'”
Odegaard has spent most of his time at Madrid since making that decision out on loan, with Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad.
He particularly shone at La Real last season, performing so well that Madrid called him back to the Santiago Bernabeu a year into a two-year loan.
Odegaard will hope that this will be the season where he finally makes good on his much-vaunted potential and becomes a key part of Zidane’s Madrid side.
Featured image courtesy of Goal.