New Real Madrid signing Martin Odegaard believes Cristiano Ronaldo "is the best player in the world right now."
The Norwegian prodigy spoke during his unveiling to the Spanish press on Friday, a press conference that saw him immediately asked to choose between Ronaldo and his Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Nicholas Rigg of AS provided the 16-year-old's response:
There isn't a teenager in world football with more pressure on him than Odegaard. Huge things are expected of the player who reportedly set Madrid back £2.3 million, not to mention an incredible £80,000 per week, as reported by The Associated Press (h/t Daily Mail).
Rigg tweeted an image to sum up the hubbub following his arrival:
In October, Odegaard scored two goals to lead Stromsgodset beyond Lillestrom in the Tippeligaen, per Soccerway. This is the type of performance that has created so much hype. He's confident on the ball, loves to attack and is already involved in Norway's national scene. The player's qualities are highlighted below.
Odegaard's visits to a number of elite European sides undoubtedly ramped up interest in his signing prior to Christmas. He seemingly had the pick of the continent, but upon choosing Los Blancos, he isn't worried by the constant gaze that will follow him.
In fact, Odegaard is ready to perform in whatever capacity the club sees fit, per Rigg:
The player also underlined why he chose to link up with the Bernabeu squad, a comment Bleacher Report UK poked fun at on Twitter:
An image of Odegaard with his new team-mates was also tweeted:
101 Great Goals highlighted the average teenager's perils in comparison to Madrid's latest signing:
It's likely Odegaard will spend ample time working in Madrid's Castilla ranks. This squad currently includes Enzo Zidane, the son of club legend Zinedine, not to mention likely future stars such as Guillermo Varela, Alvaro Medran and Cristian Benavente. (You can check the up-to-date squad on Transfermarkt.)
Whether Carlo Ancelotti wants to provide Odegaard with playing time remains to be seen. The attacking midfielder would have to overcome the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Isco to make his first-team debut.
His most likely route to the senior squad would have been the Copa del Rey, a competition Madrid were recently dumped out of by Atletico Madrid. Perhaps if there's nothing left to play for at the end of the season, the Bernabeu will take a proper look at the starlet's talents.
Odegaard's presser highlighted the whirlwind lifestyle of a prospective star. He'll need to adjust quickly, as, rightly or wrongly, onlookers are sure to reach conclusions from his first few appearances at any level for Madrid.