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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Norway's Martin Odegaard, 15, makes European Championship history

Martin Odegaard in action against Bulgaria.

Martin Odegaard became the youngest player to appear in a European Championship qualifier when he came on as a second-half substitute for Norway in Monday's 2-1 win over Bulgaria.

Odegaard, aged 15 years and 300 days, replaced Mats Moller Daehli in the 64th minute to a huge ovation from the home crowd. He broke a 31-year-old record held by Iceland's Siggi Jonsson, who was 16 years and 251 days when he made his qualifying debut against Malta in 1983.

Odegaard told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang after the game that "it was special." He added: "I think it went great today and we got the three points, that's the most important."

The Stromgodset midfielder only made his club debut in April in a Tippeligaen game against Aalesunds, making him the youngest player ever to appear in the Norwegian top flight. He scored his first goal for Stromgodset the following month and just four months after making his club bow he was in the Norway squad.

Odegaard made his senior debut for Norway in an international friendly against United Arab Emirates in August, which led teammate Morten Gamst Pedersen to say he has more potential than any young player he has ever seen.

"For his age he is unbelievable -- his knowledge of the game is unbelievable and his technical skills are fantastic," said the former Blackburn Rovers player. "You have to realise he is only 15 years old and he needs time to build up his physique but the potential is unbelievable. I have never seen a player with so much potential."

Odegaard turns 16 in December and is already being linked with a move to Europe's biggest clubs, and has trained with Bayern Munich and Manchester United in recent seasons.

Pedersen added: "I told him I would give him advice but that the most important thing is he enjoys his football and gets better. The best thing of all is he is a really nice lad -- he's down to earth and that will help him a lot wherever he ends up."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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