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Johnny Giles on teenage wonderkid Martin Odegaard: We started out on £8-a-week not €100k

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Real Madrid's new teenage signing Martin Odegaard from Norwegian club Stromsgodset holds up his jersey during his presentation at the Valdebebas training grounds in Madrid

Real Madrid's new teenage signing Martin Odegaard from Norwegian club Stromsgodset holds up his jersey during his presentation at the Valdebebas training grounds in Madrid

REUTERS

Real Madrid's new teenage signing Martin Odegaard from Norwegian club Stromsgodset holds up his jersey during his presentation at the Valdebebas training grounds in Madrid

Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard will reportedly earn €100,000-a-week after joining Real Madrid today, a lot has changed since John Giles time.

The 16-year-old, who already been capped by Norway, had his choice of top European clubs but settled on Los Blancos and agreed a contract that will see him earn around €12m before he turns 19.

The weekly wage is €99,992 more than what teenage players earned in John Giles time but the Ireland and Leeds legend believes Odegaard will make it if he doesn't let his new-found wealth get the better of him.

"He's obviously an outstanding talent but what it depends on now is the character of the kid himself," Giles told Off The Ball on Newstalk.

"Money corrupts, if he's an innocent type of lad and wants to be a professional footballer it won't matter about the money. He'll have €12m gross by the time he's 19. It takes the hunger out of it.

"When I started, it was £8-a-week and you had two years from 15 to prove yourself to be signed as a pro.

"You're not going to be corrupted by that kind of money. It's a genuine hunger.

"He's going to have to be a really good kid.

"I don't think it's healthy for a kid to have €12m gross before he's done anything."

Giles used the example of Lionel Messi to explain how young kids can rise to the top of the sport despite being offered huge amounts of money at such a young age.

"If you look at Messi's case, I think he joined Barcelona at 13 or 14 and took his family with him. He's was an outstanding talent, if kids are good enough they will get through," he added.

"If I was advising his parents, I would let him go to Madrid. They have the best of stuff and he's going to be judged at the highest level.

"If he doesn't make it, it doesn't mean that he won't become a very good player somewhere else."

Odegaard has been the most sought-after talent in Europe since breaking onto the scene with Stromsgodset only nine months ago and Madrid did not want to miss out on securing the services of the man of the moment.

He is the first Norwegian ever to play for the ten-times European champions and the fee is reported to be in excess of €3 million.

Online Editors