“I’d prefer 30 minutes at [Real] Madrid than 90 at another team,” Guti said back in 2016 according to El Pais and Diario AS. It’s a phrase many Madridistas deem to be iconic, and carries a special resonance now that Martin Odegaard is on the verge of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu and La Liga for Arsenal and the Premier League in search of game-time.
Guti is a mythical figure at Madrid, a man who divides opinion but is undeniably significant. He appeared in over 500 games for the club, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga titles. At his best he was unplayable, a delightful mediapunta capable of terrorising defences and performing like a matador.
Odegaard spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Real Sociedad and thrived, certifying his status as one of La Liga’s most exciting creative presences. He returned to Madrid with the ambition of forcing his way into that incredible midfield trident of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, but was unable to and spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal. Now, he’s close to heading to North London on a permanent deal.