When a plan comes together: Martin Ødegaard’s bumpy path to destiny | Arsenal

There was a football pitch in Drammen. But like most other outdoor pitches in that part of Norway, it was made of hard gravel: built for durability rather than control or technique. So in 2005, Hans Erik Ødegaard and about a dozen other parents simply forked out £50,000 to build a state-of-the-art all-weather surface, just a few hundred yards from the lavish villa he shared with his family.

Money was not a problem. The Ødegaards ran a chain of high-street clothing stores and Hans had been a professional footballer in his younger days. But he had even grander ambitions for his son,…

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