Martin Odegaard is delighted to be an Arsenal player and a member of their dressing room after struggling to make friends at Real Madrid.
The Norwegian revealed in a recent interview that he struggled to blend with the personalities in the Madrid dressing room, but has found life much easier at Arsenal.
He has been one of their key players as they turn their season around and he is grateful for the type of teammates he has at the Emirates.
The talented midfielder says he was close to some of the best players in the world at Madrid in terms of sharing the dressing room, however, it wasn’t the best dressing room to be in and says players at the top don’t have time to make friends, but that made him grow a lot.
By contrast, the Arsenal dressing room is nice and easier for him to thrive as he shares it with a good bunch of players.
‘Of course there were many tough periods,’ Odegaard told TV2 as quoted by The Metro when asked about his time at Real Madrid.
‘I experienced a lot with both the first team and the second team. I have been close to the best and biggest.
‘It made me stronger. I feel I have grown a lot on it.
‘There were some tough periods, but also a lot of good that I have experienced. Being so close to the best in the world is special. I have learned a lot from it.
‘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. It can be tough at times. But it has made me stronger and I am very happy and pleased to have experienced it.
‘You live a little of your life outside. You become more left to yourself. It may not be the dressing room culture you are used to from a little closer to home. It is different.’
Asked about the difference between Madrid and Arsenal dressing rooms, Odegaard added: ‘It’s quite large, I would say.
‘I think it’s a bit like that in the biggest clubs. It gets a little more scattered and all that.
‘I’m very happy where I am now, a very nice dressing room and a good bunch. It’s nice and easy to thrive.’