One of the most talented strikers in Europe decided to call it a day in his shining career as a top striker. I am talking about none other than English hit man Michael Owen. The goal poacher brought down a curtain in his football career at the end of 2012/2013 campaign, the same season that several players retired, the likes of Benni McCarthy, Liverpool long serving defender Jimmy Carragher and one of the best managers in the world Sir Akex Furguson who managed Manchester United for almost three decades.
Micheal Owen, who is just at 33 played for Stoke City before retiring after sixteen years in professional football, he made his professional debut for Liverpool back in 1996 as a 17-year old boy and he says he always knew football was his sports “I knew I was going to be a footballer” says the legendary forward. Born in Chester, England, Owen played in two big leagues in Europe, a total of 216 appearance and 118 goals in process for Liverpool, attracted interest from Spanish big spenders Real Madrid in 2004. He made a move to Spain where he was mostly used as a substitute and that led him to make a move back to England, in 2005, only a year after he left Britain, Owen came back to English football and joined Newcastle United in a move that rocked the world, the fee of the transfer was reported to be around £16.5m.
The former Liverpool striker says his father Terry Owen, who was also a footballer, he is the one who motivated him to play football “I was always treated like a footballer by my father, and I am who I am today because of him.” In 1999, Michael Owen suffered a heavy injury that kept him out of the game for more than half-a-year “I paid the price in my career at some stage due to playing every game for Liverpool. I picked up a bad injury while I was at Liverpool and gave me a tough time, and killed my confidence somehow because I couldn’t play at my best level after spending time on the sidelines. It was early in my career and it was difficult for me but I managed to bounce back.” Says the 36-year old
His individual honours include 1997 Premier League Player of The Season, 1998 and 1999 Premier League Golden Boot Award and 1998 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player of the tournament. But according to the former Uefa Super Cup winner with Liverpool, the best award he received was the Ballon d’Or that he obtained in 2001 “Being named best European player of the year was just phenomenal, I look at that award every day and say to myself ‘not many outstanding players can achieve this’ it was just exciting to obtain an award of that calibre.” He says
When Micheal Owen fell out of favour at St James Park, many people never thought the front man would make yet another shocking move, in July 2009, Manchester United unveiled Owen in a two year contact that saw him help The Red Devils to lift the Bacleys Premier League title in 2010/2011 season, and in the process of the same campaign Owen scored a late winner to hand his team three valuable points against rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford “To play for Manchester United at the age of 30 was amazing, I had to change my game a little bit as I couldn’t get through the defenders as I did back then. I will never forget my days at United as they were pretty satisfying.” Says the former Real Madrid striker
Michael Owen spent a season at Stoke City for a year before hanging up his boots and scored only a goal in his eight appearances during his stay at Brittania Stadium.