Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard won Norway’s prestigious Kniksens Hederspris award last week, and Mikel Arteta has revealed that the midfielder was ‘very surprised’ by the announcement.
The accolade is Norway’s highest sporting honour and is awarded each year to a player ‘who has made a significant contribution to Norwegian football.’
Mikel Arteta says Martin Odegaard was ‘very surprised’ to win Norway award
Odegaard, who is Norway’s youngest-ever player, was handed the Kniksens Hederspris award after Arsenal beat Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League last week.
The 23-year-old made his club and international debuts when he was just 15, and he’s now the captain of the Norwegian national team as well.
It is a proud moment for Odegaard and his family to receive such a prestigious award, and even though he fully deserves it for his contribution to football in his country, he apparently wasn’t expecting it at all.
Arteta said about Odegaard, as per Arsenal.com: “I’m very happy.
“He got that award when we were in Norway to play Bodo and he was very surprised with it. He should take it as a big compliment, it’s a big award, I think he was really happy with it, so we’re all proud of him.”
Odegaard too admitted that he was surprised. He told Arsenal.com: “I’m flabbergasted. I have to admit that. I didn’t expect this. It’s a bit surreal. It’s a great honour to receive this award.”
Odegaard has not just been brilliant for Norway over the years, he has been sensational for Arsenal as well since he joined them back in 2021.
The 23-year-old, however, has taken his game to a whole new level this season after being named the club captain by Arteta. He is integral to the way the Gunners play, and he’s one of the biggest reasons why they are on top of the Premier League table.
Arsenal have had plenty of world-class creators over the years, but Odegaard is just a bit different. He’s not just silky on the ball and possesses incredible vision, but he’s also a tireless worker and often leads the Gunners press.
The Norwegian is the perfect number 10 for Arteta’s system, and if he continues to perform as he has, Arsenal could go on and achieve something really special this season.