14 October 2014 10:00
Norway prodigy Martin Odegaard was overjoyed after becoming the youngest player to feature in a European Championship qualifier on Monday.
Odegaard – aged 15 years and 300 days – came off the bench and replaced Mats Moller Daehli in the 64th minute of Norway’s 2-1 win over Bulgaria in Euro 2016 qualifying.
The attacking midfielder – winning his second international cap – eclipsed the previous record held by Iceland’s Sigudur Jonsson, which set in a Euro 1984 qualifier aged 16 and 251 days.
Stromsgodset starlet Odegaard, who is reportedly attracting interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, said he is pleased to hold the record.
“It was a great feeling playing at home in front of such a large crowd, and we got three points,” Odegaard said afterwards. “Everything was great.
“I was nervous when I came on to the pitch, but when you are given a chance like that you just have to try and enjoy it. It’s cool to have the record now.
“It’s hard to describe in words everything that has happened to me this year. I just try and enjoy it all.”
Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo gave Odegaard his international debut in a friendly against the United Arab Emirates in August, which saw the teenager become the youngest player to play for the national team at senior level aged 15 years and 253 days.
“It was a good opportunity for [Odegaard],” said Hogmo. “I decided to give him a role he knows well from his club.
“Before he went on I told him to do what he does for his club. I would rate his game a little above average today.”