Rising football star selected for friendly

Expectations for young Nicklas Bendtner continue to rise after he is selected for the national team

Even in the world of professional football, the past week has been unusual for 18-year-old Nicklas Bendtner. Transferred to Birmingham City from Arsenal on Friday. Notching up the winning goal in his debut on Saturday. And being tapped by the manager of the national team on Tuesday.

'I was of course totally happy. This is a boyhood dream come true,' said Bendtner, after receiving the news from Olsen.

The Danish side's poor scoring statistics led Olsen to bring Bendtner up to the A-team and bypass the U-21 side.

'He has the right tools and it's important to get a closer look at him. Now he can say hello to the others on the team and grow used to the atmosphere. That way he's over that hurdle when we need him in important matches.'

Despite his young status, Olsen said Bendtner earned his spot on the team for the friendly against Poland played at Odense Stadium on the island of Funen next Wednesday.

'I don't look at birth records. I look instead at whether players are mentally ready and still hungry,' Olsen told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Keeping the young player grounded was also a priority for Olsen.

'I've said to him that he can't expect playing time even though he would have played 90 minutes for the U-21 team.'

Bendtner ruffled feathers during the U-21 European Championship over the summer when he criticised fellow forward Morten 'Duncan' Rasmussen 'for not doing anything'.

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