Martin Odegaard has been named the Norwegian Professional Football League’s Kniksens Hederspris winner for 2022.
The accolade is awarded to players who have made a significant contribution to Norwegian football, and the current national team skipper has been announced as this year’s recipient aged just 23 years old.
However, he already boasts a wealth of experience having made his club and national team debuts aged just 15, and holds the record as Norway’s youngest player as well as the youngest to feature for any nation in a UEFA European Championship qualifier.
The award was announced at the 50th anniversary of the Norwegian Professional Football League in Oslo Thursday evening, with the jury stating that Martin was a worthy winner.
“In addition to being one of the world's leading footballers, Martin Odegaard is a role model for all of us,” said Cato Haug, chairman of the Norwegian Premier League, speaking on behalf of the jury. “We can all be proud to have such a player in the world's toughest league that children and young people all over the world look up to.
“The respect the player earns among everyone is unique. An incredible number of hours have been put into training every year, whether it is under the auspices of the club or personal training. He shows great loyalty to the club and the team he plays for, and he always gives his all.
“He makes high demands both of himself and of everyone on the team. And without yelling, he has become a leadership figure.”
Upon receiving the award, Martin said: “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.
“I've been through a lot. I broke through early and remember it like it was yesterday. Time flies. There have been ups and downs, but I feel like I'm making progress all the way.”
Martin also received praise from Mikel Arteta, who added: “This is a special award that is highly valued in his country. Martin is humble, hungry and he loves what he does. That is why he is our captain.”
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.