Martin Odegaard implemented ‘crazy’ training methods while on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in Holland in 2018/19

 Martin Odegaard while on loan at Vitesse Arnhem
Martin Odegaard while on loan at Vitesse Arnhem

Martin Odegaard has turned into one of the Premier League's best footballers, but there was once a time when his team-mates were regularly left baffled by the strange training methods he used in his early career.

Following his highly anticipated move to Real Madrid in 2015 while still only 17-years-old, Odegaard had loan spells in Holland with Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem, as well as a season at Real Sociedad.

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During one such loan, at Vitesse in the 2018/19 campaign, Odegaard proved his credentials with his impressive performances - 11 goals in all competitions across 39 games - though his work-rate had some of his team-mates more than a little confused.

“He always wanted to go a bit further than anyone else – he’d even take an exercise bike into the sauna,” Navarone Foor, a team-mate at Vitesse, told FourFourTwo.

“He’d be in the gym doing crazy stuff, attaching weights to his wrists when he was running. We were always laughing, asking what the hell he was doing."

Odegaard is now captaining Arsenal in their Premier League title challenge against Manchester City, but the leadership he has displayed this season hasn't surprised Foor.


The winger currently plays for Cambuur in the Eredivise, but he pinpoints the exact moment he realised how special Odegaard really was.

“I remember we played Kozakken Boys in the cup just before Christmas,” Foor explained. “It isn’t always easy to play against amateur teams as they give more than a thousand per cent in their big moment.

"Even now, an amateur team, Spakenburg, is in the semi-finals of the Dutch Cup this year [they went on to lose 2-1 to PSV]. It’s the same here as it is in the FA Cup.

“We were doing everything possible to win this game and needed that quality. Martin stepped up to score in the very last minute. It was a tough, tough match, but he was there. He became a leader with his actions.”