England forward Michael Owen, aged 33, as announced his retirement from football at the end of the season.
Owen, who won the Ballon D’Or in 2001 whilst still at Liverpool, moved to Real Madrid in £8 million for a season, before returning to English football with Newcastle for double his original fee. The Toon are perhaps the only club in his history who do not have fond memories of him, despite being prolific when on the pitch his injuries ruled him out for over half his 4 years there and his huge wages were a burden on the club. In his final season Newcastle were related to the Championship and Owen left as a fee agent joining table toppers Manchester United. He later moved to Stoke City, his current club.
Internationally Owen was very successful. He is England’s tenth most capped player and has scored 40 goals, leaving him 4th behind legends Charlton, Lineker and Greaves. His first and last England goals were nearly a decade appart.
Michael Owen will be remembered as a great player, especially in his younger days. An FA Cup final double against Arsenal will be the highlight of his amazing time at Liverpool, where he formed a famous partnership with Emile Heskey. His time at Real Madrid was short but surprisingly successful. Newcastle blighted by injuries. Manchester United fans love him for a 94th minute derby day winner. But it was on the international stage that Owen made his mark in history. ‘That goal’ against Argentina as a teenager, the hattrick against Germany.
Despite what you hear, Owen was one of the greats, in his day unplayable. His career tailed off recently but that shouldn’t detract from a player who terrorised the world, the last Englishman to be named the world’s best. Owen should be remembered for his talent, his pace, his instinct. Not his cruciate ligaments.