Martin Ødegaard reveals he struggled to make friends at Real Madrid
"When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends"
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has opened up on his time at Real Madrid, admitting that he found it difficult to "make friends" but is now happy at Arsenal, insisting that he is part of a "very nice" group.
The Norwegian made a £30 million permanent move from the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer after a successful loan spell following a six-year stint in Spain.
When Odegaard made the move to the Spanish giants as a 16-year-old, he was tipped to become one of the brightest players in world football, however he struggled to adapt and recently revealed his struggles during his time with both the senior squad and the Madrid B team.
Speaking to TV2, the 22-year-old said: "There were many tough periods both with the first team and the second team [at Real Madrid].
"But being around the best made me stronger. I feel that I have grown thanks to Madrid and I have learned from players like [Sergio] Ramos and Cristiano [Ronaldo].
"When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing. At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else.
"I came from a different dressing room culture and it is not easy to fit into a changing room [like the one at Madrid]. It was difficult but it is something that has made me stronger and I am happy to have experienced it."
The youngster then went on to state that he is enjoying life at the Emirates Stadium saying: "I am very happy at Arsenal. There is a very nice dressing room."
During his time at Madrid, Odegaard struggled with his relationship towards the Spanish media and after his departure, criticised them for writing misleading stories about him.
He said: "These days a lot has been said about me and my motivations for leaving. I only want to say that almost everything that is being said is not true," he wrote.
"It's a real shame that the press say things that aren't true, because many people sincerely think that's how it is.
"I have my reasons, I know what the truth is and what happened and that's why I think this[(leaving Madrid] is for the best."
Odegaard has made five appearances for the Gunners this season and scored his first goal of the season in a 1-0 win against Burnley.
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