National team star Martin Ødegaard (21) could have been with the “emergency national team” to Austria, but the mental strain after the match chaos last week is one of the reasons why Ødegaard has instead traveled home to Madrid.
This was explained by top football manager Lise Klaveness at the press conference where the selection for Wednesday’s match against Austria in Vienna was presented.
After Norway did not play in the Romania match, they have decided to field an 18-man squad consisting of foreign-based players – plus the Vikings’ Veton Berisha – for the Nations League final against Austria:
Since Ødegaard has been diagnosed with covid19 disease
, the freshman could have joined the squad without being a potential carrier after teammate Omar Elabdellaouis. But after the chaos that prevailed around the national team last week, first in that the private match against Israel was canceled on the same day as it was to be played, secondly that the national team could not travel to Romania, the national team management lets the Real Madrid player rest.
– The overall assessment after agreement with us is that he goes back to the club and has done so. Due to very frustrating heavy days here, they waited a long time for match clarification, it is mentally challenging for everyone and for him. Injury history and club situation means that the best thing for him is to return to the club, says Klaveness.
Milan player Jens Petter Hauge was out of the question after taking a false positive test, according to Klaveness. Sampdoria player Morten Thorsby could not be present either. He got in the body this spring, but it is considered a long time ago that he can be part of the “emergency national team” without being on the safe side.
Klaveness elaborates a bit on the situation in the original squad, which came to Norway on Monday a week ago with the plan to play against Israel, Romania and Austria.
– It is a fact that there have been tiring rounds for the players. We have got a clear impression through the contact we have had with the players and coaches, that this has been very frustrating. When you are so rigged against a battle and the arena of achievement, and then you are going to play, or you are not going to play, the plane is standing, the plane is not standing, a completely unfamiliar situation; these are competition horses, they are in that mode, then it will be unredeemed, all of them, says Klaveness.
– Has Real Madrid asked you not to use Martin Ødegaard against Austria?
– I do not know, Klaveness answers.