Zinedine Zidane has picked out Martin Odegaard’s mentor this season

Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Young Real Madrid star Martin Odegaard is learning from two of the all-time greats in Zinedine Zidane and his new midfield mentor.

Martin Odegaard started the first game of Real Madrid‘s 2020-2021 season against the team he shined for as a loanee, Real Sociedad. That start was a sign Zinedine Zidane had an important role in mind for the Norwegian midfielder, and since his return from injury, Odegaard has indeed played a key role for the team.

The 21-year-old put in a good shift against Villarreal last weekend, and he followed that up with his best performance in a Real Madrid shirt in the 2-0 win over Inter Milan. Odegaard’s impact in the first game was felt when he left the pitch, as Real’s control of the midfield battle slipped without him.

According to a piece from Carlos Forjanes of AS, Zidane is using Luka Modric in a mentorship role for Odegaard to help the young midfielder become a superstar at the Santiago Bernabeu one day.

It all makes sense. Modric is the perfect midfielder to have as an example. He is the best midfielder of his generation, having surpassed Xavi and Andres Iniesta on the basis of his Champions League success, Ballon d’Or win in a World Cup year, and continued excellence into the age of 35.

Odegaard was tabbed as Modric’s future replacement while at Sociedad, but Modric is absolutely still going strong. He should even be renewed for at least one more year, since he has shown so much energy and ability in 2020-2021.

That means Odegaard isn’t just ticketed to replace Modric in the future. Right now, they are both co-existing in a Real Madrid midfield that includes world-class passer Toni Kroos, defensive midfielder Casemiro, and all-action youngster Fede Valverde.

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It will be exciting for Madridistas to see the additional steps forward Odegaard makes in the 2020-2021 season while under Modric’s wing. Odegaard has the same potential to help defensively, make defense-splitting passes, score from range, and carry the ball. Without comparing him to Modric and putting additional pressure, we can say that Odegaard is the right man to lead Real’s midfield for the next several years.