Martin Ødegaard played 112 minutes in Norway’s UEFA’s Euro Qualification Playoff vs Serbia. His Real Madrid teammate, Luka Jovic, did not feature for Serbia. The loss means Ødegaard will not play a part in this year’s upcoming UEFA Euro 2021 tournament. Twenty years have passed since Norway last played in a major international tournament. With the likes of Haaland, Sorloth, Ødegaard, Sander Berge, and other talented young players, the Norwegians will have great hope and expectations ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process.
Norway set up in a 4-4-2 with Ødegaard primarily positioned on the right flank. Despite the talent on hand, Norway coach Lars Lagerback chose a conservative and defensive approach. This meant Ødegaard had to work more defensively and be tuned in tactically, rather than getting on the ball and dominating play. Once Norway went down a goal in the 81st minute, they were forced to attack. Ødegaard managed to record an assist, but in reality it was a brilliant solo effort from Mathias Normann. Ødegaard had just happened to be the player to pass him the ball prior to his blistering shot. That’s not to discredit Ødegaard’s performance - who, despite being shackled by Lagerback’s approach - still managed 4 key passes.
Ødegaard and all of Norway will be disappointed not to have the chance to produce on the big stage this summer, but it may be positive news for Real Madrid fans. Ødegaard will now have the full summer to rest and recuperate while many of his teammates push their body to the limit during the European Championships.