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World Cup Football

Michael Owen

Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979 in Chester) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United.

 

Michael Owen - Real Madrid - 2007

Source.

Michael Owen - Real Madrid - 2007

The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League he finished as joint top scorer.

He repeated the feat the following year and was Liverpool's top goal scorer from 1997–2004, in spite of a recurring hamstring injury. His first major club honours came in 2001 when Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or that year. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool.

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Comment "michael, he is a great player in fact one of the best strikers the world has ever known. he is a real hero"

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Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004 but was frequently used as a substitute. In spite of this, he scored 13 goals in La Liga and had the season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played. He returned to England the following season, joining Newcastle United for £16 million.

He had a promising start to the 2005–06 season but injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. After the final season of his four year contract, Newcastle were relegated, and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent.

Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to appear, and score, in Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to ever have scored in four major tournaments for England.

He played at the 2006 World Cup but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's seventh most-capped player and has scored a national record of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008. Owen's long injury absence after the 2006 World Cup resulted in a dispute between FIFA and The FA and Newcastle United, and eventually resulted in an unprecedented £10m compensation award to Newcastle, and brought changes to the compensation arrangements between club and country regarding injuries sustained by contracted club players while on international duty.

Early life

Born on 14 December 1979 in Chester, Cheshire, Michael James Owen was the fourth child of Jeanette and Terry Owen. His father is a former professional footballer and played for clubs such as Chester City and Everton. Owen was introduced to football at the age of seven by his father who soon saw Michael as the most promising athlete in the family. A boyhood Everton fan, Owen attended Rector Drew Primary School in Hawarden, Wales and by the age of ten, some of the nation's leading scouts were monitoring his progress.

He later played for Deeside Primary School's team (where he scored 97 goals; beating previous record holder Ian Rush by 25 goals) and joined the youth team of Mold Alexandra, playing with the under-10s at the age of eight after a local physical education teacher, Howard Roberts, persuaded the league to allow an under-age player. Owen scored on his debut for Mold Alexandra, a 2–0 win over local rivals Bagillt. After leaving Deeside, Owen attended Hawarden High School, where he also played for the school team.

Club career

Liverpool

At age 13, when Owen started attending high school, he became eligible to sign a schoolboy contract with a club. He held talks with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, before he eventually signed for Liverpool (despite growing up as a supporter of their rivals Everton), the club that persuaded him to attend the FA's School of Excellence at Lilleshall in Shropshire at age 14. Throughout this time, he continued his studies at Hawarden High School and achieved ten GCSEs.

Liverpool signed Owen after he graduated from Lilleshall at 16, and joined the club on the Youth Training Scheme. The star of Liverpool's 1996 FA Youth Cup triumph, scoring in the final against a West Ham United team that included Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, Owen scored prolifically as he rose rapidly through the Anfield ranks. After four months, he signed professional forms for the senior team just after his seventeenth birthday on 18 December 1996.

He made his debut for Liverpool against Wimbledon in May 1997, coming on as a substitute and scoring a goal. With an injury to Robbie Fowler, he was thrust immediately into action as a first team regular alongside the likes of newcomer Paul Ince and playmaker Steve McManaman in the following 1997–98 season.

He scored his first European goal for the club against Celtic in the UEFA Cup and recorded his first professional hat-trick against Grimsby Town in the League Cup. His first Premier League hat-trick came later that season at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday, a week after he had scored two consolation goals in Liverpool's surprise 3–2 home defeat by Southampton.

Owen ended that season as a joint top scorer in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers' Chris Sutton and Coventry City's Dion Dublin, scoring eighteen goals, and was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year by fellow professionals.

The 1998–99 season proved to be another good season for Owen as he scored 23 Goals in 40 games for Liverpool. Despite his form, Liverpool were unable to mount anything like a title challenge and their seventh place finish was not enough to attain even a UEFA Cup place. Owen injured his hamstring in a league game against Leeds United on 12 April, which proved to be a recurring injury and prematurely brought his season to an end.

The next season was a frustrating one for Owen as he was out injured for lengthy periods, effects of the injury suffered the previous season but nevertheless managed to score 12 goals and helped Liverpool to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

In the run-up to Euro 2000, Owen was still suffering hamstring problems and received treatment from the Bayern Munich doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.

In the 2000–01 season, he helped the club to their most successful season in several years. The team won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup, with Owen scoring two goals in the last few minutes against Arsenal in the FA Cup final to turn what had appeared to be a 1–0 defeat into a 2–1 victory, the game has since been christened "The Michael Owen Cup Final".

Winning the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup allowed Liverpool to play in the Charity Shield and the UEFA Super Cup at the beginning of the 2001–02 season. Liverpool won both matches with Owen scoring the second goal of the 2–1 win over Manchester United in the Charity Shield and the third goal in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup win over European champions Bayern Munich. Liverpool thus became the first English team to win five trophies in one calendar year. Just a week later, Owen would again beat Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, as the English international hit a hat-trick in England's 5–1 win over Germany in Munich.

At the end of the year, Owen became the first English player in twenty years and the only Liverpool player ever to win the European Footballer of the Year award. He was also voted World Soccer player of the year in 2001; he is the only English player to win the award and was the first Premier League player to do so. He scored his 100th goal for Liverpool on 21 December 2001 against West Ham United. Liverpool finished second in the league in the 2001–2002 season and Owen played a key part in the success, scoring 28 goals.

The 2002–03 season saw Owen on top form again as he hit 28 goals. Liverpool were on top of the table and looked like genuine title contenders for the first time in several years, but a run of bad results saw them eventually finishing fifth in the table. Owen also scored at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when Liverpool beat Manchester United 2–0 to win the League Cup and scored his 100th Premier League goal against West Bromwich Albion.

In an injury-hit 2003–04 season he still managed to score 19 goals, getting his 150th goal for the club on 15 February 2004 against Portsmouth, but otherwise it was a bleak season for both him and Liverpool.

Following Gérard Houllier's sacking as Liverpool manager, speculation about Owen's departure from the club began. During the first few Champions League games at the start of the 2004–2005 season, Owen sat on the bench to avoid being cup-tied for the Champions League, something that would have meant none of the top clubs in Europe would want to sign him. Since 1998 Owen had been Liverpool's top scorer every season until he left the club. Real Madrid signed him for a fee of £8 million on 13 August 2004, with midfielder Antonio Núñez moving in the other direction as a make-weight.

Real Madrid

Following their successful bid, Owen was presented with the number 11 shirt by Real Madrid. Owen had a slow start to his Madrid career. He was often confined to the bench and drew criticism from fans and the Spanish press for his lack of form. A successful return to action with the England squad in October 2004 seemed to revive his morale, however, and in the first following match, he scored his first goal for the club, the winner in a 1–0 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev.

A few days later, he scored his first Spanish league goal in a 1–0 victory over Valencia. The scoring spree continued, as he found the back of the net in three of the next four matches to make it five goals in seven successive matches. He ended the season with thirteen goals in La Liga, with the season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played. Following Real's signing of two high-profile Brazilian forwards, Robinho and Júlio Baptista in the summer of 2005, the speculation arose that Owen would return to the Premier League. During his time at Real Madrid, Owen scored 18 goals from 41 games, 15 of which were starts.

Newcastle United

On 24 August 2005, Newcastle United announced that they had agreed a club record fee of £16.8 million to obtain Owen, although they still had to negotiate with the player's advisers. Liverpool and local rivals Everton entered the fray, but were unwilling to match Madrid's asking price. As the 2006 World Cup was less than a year away, Owen wanted to get more playing time to secure his position as the first-choice striker in the England squad and joined Newcastle amidst rumours that he had inserted an escape clause valued at £12 million.

On 31 August 2005 Owen finally signed a four-year contract to play for Newcastle United, despite initial press speculation that he would rather have returned to Liverpool. Roughly 20,000 fans were present at Newcastle's home ground of St James' Park for Owen's official unveiling as a Newcastle player. Several days after signing he suffered a thigh-injury in pre-season, which ruled him out for the start of the 2005–06 season.

He scored his first goal for the club on his second appearance, the second goal in a 3–0 away win at Blackburn Rovers on 18 September – Newcastle's first win of the season. Owen scored his first hat-trick for Newcastle in the 4–2 away win over West Ham on 17 December. It was also a "perfect hat trick", with one goal scored with each of his left foot, right foot, and head.

On 31 December 2005, Owen broke a metatarsal bone in his foot in a match against Tottenham Hotspur. He underwent surgery to place a pin in the bone, to help speed the healing process. He was expected to be out of action until late March, but the healing process did not go as hoped and on 24 March he underwent a second, minor, operation. Owen then stated that he should be fit for the final few weeks of the season with Newcastle.

His return to action finally came against Birmingham City on 29 April when he came off the substitutes' bench in the 62nd minute. After the match Owen stated that he was "not 100% happy" with his foot. He underwent a further x-ray and made himself unavailable for Newcastle's final game of the season.

A damaged anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, sustained in the first minute of the group match against Sweden at the 2006 World Cup, kept Owen out of regular football for nearly a year, until April 2007. The seriousness of Owen's injury at the World Cup inflamed the so called 'club-versus-country' row in England, centring on the liability of the world governing body FIFA and the English national association The FA for the cost of injuries to players incurred while on international duty.

Newcastle were aggrieved at the length of time Owen would now be out of action in forthcoming Premier League and Cup competitions as a result of the World Cup injury, particularly as he had been out for the half-season prior to the World Cup. Under the existing insurance arrangements between club and country, Fifa and the FA had been paying £50,000 of Owen's £110,000 weekly wages since he suffered the injury, totalling about £2m for the time he was out of action. By September 2006, Newcastle were threatening to sue the FA for further compensation, for a reported figure of £20m.

The Owen case was a high profile follow up to an already ongoing legal claim for compensation from Fifa over an injury incurred by Abdelmajid Oulmers on international duty. The compensation claim by Newcastle included the £10m cost of buying Owen's replacement, Obafemi Martins, £6.2m towards Owen's salary costs while injured, the possibility of long-term damage to Owen's fitness and ability, the loss of league position and cup competition progress, depreciation of Owen's four-year contract, and the cost of medical treatment for Owen. In February 2007 Fifa made Newcastle a "final offer" of £1m. By April 2007, Newcastle were threatening to take out an injunction to stop the FA picking Owen for England games.

The club finally reached a compromise settlement figure with Fifa and the FA. Fifa indicated that the settlement was between £6m and £7m. The club, stating that Owen's wages had "now been paid in full", stated the overall compensation achieved totalled £10m. Resulting from the Owen compensation claim, the FA doubled their future insurance coverage of England players to £100,000, and FIFA introduced a compensation fund for injuries sustained at World Cups.

Owen began light training on 12 February 2007, when pictures on the club's official website highlighted Owen running and carrying out minor exercises. He made his comeback from injury on 10 April 2007 in a 4–1 behind-closed-doors friendly against Gretna, scoring after ten minutes and then setting up fellow striker Shola Ameobi before coming off an hour later. Owen then started his first game for Newcastle United in over a year, against Reading on the 30 April 2007 in a game that Newcastle United lost 1–0. He played the full 90 minutes, having a goal disallowed for offside. Owen was stretchered off an hour into Newcastle's game with Watford on 13 May 2007, suffering concussion after colliding with team-mate Matty Pattison.

On 9 May 2007, Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd reacted angrily to reports that Owen could move on to another club at the end of the 2006–07 season, due to a release clause in his contract. A report in The Times newspaper suggested Owen could be available for less than £10million and could be a target for the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Despite these reports, Shepherd warned Owen "to show some loyalty" and warned him that "none of the big four clubs want him." However, in a video posted on YouTube, a group of Liverpool fans asked Shepherd if they could re-sign Owen, he responded by saying that he would "carry Owen back to Liverpool" himself.

Shepherd also stated his dislike of Owen's agent but praised Owen as a "good lad". This led many to believe that Owen would exercise his right to leave if the £9 million valuation was matched. On 10 June 2007, Owen's new manager at Newcastle, Sam Allardyce, confirmed the existence of the release clause in Owen's contract and admitted he feared that the club would be powerless to prevent Owen from leaving. However on 12 July 2007 Owen committed his immediate future to Newcastle United, stating: "I believe that these can be good times to be at Newcastle, which is why I am more than happy to be here."

On 17 July 2007, he scored for Newcastle in a pre-season friendly against Hartlepool United. Several days later, Owen picked up a thigh injury in training. Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce admitted that Owen was likely to miss the start of the forthcoming Premier League season due to the injury which "doesn't look as encouraging as we first thought."

Owen made his comeback from injury in a club friendly on 13 August 2007 and declared himself available for Newcastle's next match, against Aston Villa, as well as England's forthcoming international matches. On 29 August 2007, Owen scored his first competitive goal for Newcastle since December 2005 when he scored in the Carling Cup against Barnsley. Three days later he scored in the league, with a late winner against Wigan Athletic.

In late September 2007, after an encouraging start to the season playing for both Newcastle United and for England, it was reported that he would urgently require an operation for a double hernia and would likely be out of action for at least a month. In his first match back from the hernia operation, he scored a late goal coming off the substitutes bench to clinch victory for Newcastle over Everton.

In November 2007, Owen suffered a thigh strain whilst on international duty, ruling him out for six weeks. This reignited the 'club or country' row, with then Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce voicing his disappointment that Owen was risked in a low-key friendly game against Austria.

After over three months without a goal, Owen scored the first goal of the second Kevin Keegan era in a 4–1 FA Cup third round replay win over Stoke City on 16 January 2008, although Keegan was only a spectator in the stands for this game. Owen was awarded the captaincy by Keegan on 19 January 2008. He scored his first league goal of 2008 on 3 February. Owen's goal in the 2–0 defeat of Fulham on 22 March 2008, which marked Newcastle's first win under Kevin Keegan's second spell as manager, also marked the first time in his Newcastle career that Owen had scored more goals for Newcastle than against them.

By 5 April 2008, after his and the teams early season poor form, Owen had scored six goals in the previous six matches, with Newcastle registering four wins and two draws, lifting Newcastle into mid-table after earlier relegation fears. In the final game of the season, Owen scored in a 3–1 loss at Everton, finishing with 11 goals in total, putting him in equal 13th position for Premier League goals for the 2007–2008 season.

Owen missed all of the pre-season matches and training of the 2008–09 season due to a bout of mumps, which also kept him out of the international friendlies with the USA and Trinidad & Tobago in May 2008. He also suffered a calf strain during the summer months which kept him out of the opening game of the season against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a game which Newcastle drew 1–1.

He made his return in the second game of the season against Bolton Wanderers on 23 August 2008, coming on in the 53rd minute for the injured Obafemi Martins. He scored the winning header in the 71st minute with the game finishing 1–0. Three days later he was named on the bench in a Carling Cup match away to Coventry City, he came on as a substitute and scored the winner in extra time in a 2–3 victory. In the 2008–2009 season he featured more consistently than in prior seasons, scoring four goals in twelve league appearances.

Under the transfer rules, with the 2008–09 season being the final year of his contract with Newcastle, Owen would have been allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement with other clubs during in January. On 22 December 2008, Owen rejected a new contract offer from Newcastle, but stated that he would not be seeking a move in the January transfer window and instead intended to postpone talks over his contract situation until the end of the season.

With speculation over his future continuing in the second half of the season, Owen received "substantial damages" in June in the High Court in London and a public apology, following a story on 15 May in the Daily Express alleging that due to a lack of interest from Premier League clubs, Owen's career was effectively finished and he intended to retire. After a disastrous season in general for the club, which culminated in Owen's former Newcastle and England team mate Alan Shearer being brought in as a temporary manager for the final 8 games of the season, on the final day of the season on 24 May, Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 15 years.

On 14 June it was reported that Owen's management company Wasserman Media Group had sent out a 34-page brochure advertising Owen to several potential clubs. On 22 June Owen confirmed he would not be re-signing for Newcastle, in preference for a move to a Premier League club, or other top flight foreign club.It was reported that Owen would not begin negotiations with any other club until after 30 June when, on expiry of his contract, he would become eligible for a free transfer.

Manchester United

Debut season

On 3 July 2009, it was announced that Owen had signed a two-year deal with Premier League champions, Manchester United. He said that the approach from manager Alex Ferguson came from "out of the blue". Owen was handed the number 7 shirt vacated by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Owen scored his first goal for United on his debut, scoring an 84th-minute winner after coming on as a substitute in a pre-season friendly against a Malaysian XI; he followed this up by scoring three more goals in United's pre-season games. Owen made his league debut for United when he came on as a substitute against Birmingham City on 16 August in a 1–0 win, and scored his first competitive goal in a Manchester United shirt against Wigan Athletic on 22 August in a 5–0 away win. On 20 September, Owen scored his first goal at Old Trafford as he netted in the sixth minute of stoppage time against local rivals Manchester City to give United a 4–3 derby win.

This meant that Owen had now scored in his fourth derby, after netting in the Merseyside derby, El Clásico and the Tyne–Wear derby in previous years. Owen struggled to recall the moments immediately after the goal, and said that it ranked as one of his most important. On 27 October, Owen notched a goal in the 2–0 away win against Barnsley to qualify United past the fourth round of the league cup.

On 3 November, Owen scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United, as he grabbed United's first in the 3–3 draw against CSKA Moscow. Owen's seemingly slim chances of earning a place in Fabio Capello's England squad for the 2010 World Cup Finals in 2010 received a boost when on 8 December 2009, Owen scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United in a 3–1 away win against Wolfsburg in the Champions League, his first hat-trick since 2005. On 28 February 2010, Owen scored United's first goal in their 2–1 victory over Aston Villa in the 2010 Football League Cup Final, but had to be substituted after pulling up on 42 minutes. Originally thought to be a minor injury, on 5 March it was announced Owen required surgery on his hamstring, ruling him out for the rest of the season.

2010–11

Owen netted his first goal for United back from injury in a 7–1 pre-season victory against a League of Ireland XI on 4 August 2010 at the newly built Aviva Stadium. On 22 September 2010, Owen netted his first goals of the season as he netted twice during a 5–2 away win over Scunthorpe United in the 3rd round of the League Cup. Four days later Owen scored his first league goal of the season as he netted United's second equaliser with his first touch in a 2–2 away draw against Bolton Wanderers. Owen's first goal of 2011 came in United's 2–1 FA Cup victory over Southampton at the St Mary's Stadium on 29 January.

On the 25 February, United manager Alex Ferguson said that Owen was a key part of his squad for the rest of the season. However, he suffered a groin injury and missed his team's next four games. His return match was on the 19 March when he returned to the bench for United's game against Bolton.

By the time of United's penultimate game of the season, he had reached the number of league appearances required for a title winner's medal – his first in 15 seasons as a professional. The game, on 14 May 2011, only required United to draw with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park to win the title, and a 1–1 draw secured it for them. Owen was an unused substitute in the game. Owen scored United's final goal in the Red Devils' last league game of the season, at home to Blackpool, in which the Reds won 4–2.

He was an unused substitute in Man United's uninspiring 2011 Champions League Final defeat to FC Barcelona marking the end of his season. He signed a one-year extension to his contract on 1 June 2011.

International career

Owen had a highly successful record at Youth level, playing for the England under-20 team at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship and scoring three goals in four games. He was only briefly a member of the England under-21 team (netting on his only appearance in a win over Greece under-21 at Carrow Road) before he made his début for the senior team in a 2–0 friendly loss to Chile on 11 February 1998. Playing in this game made Owen the youngest player to represent England in the 20th century at 18 years and 59 days of age.

Owen's youthful enthusiasm, pace and talent made him a popular player across the country, and many fans were keen for him to be made a regular player for the team ahead of that year's World Cup. His first goal for England, against Morocco in another friendly game prior to the tournament, further enhanced his reputation. The goal also made him the youngest ever player to have scored for England, until his record was surpassed by Wayne Rooney in 2003.

Although he was selected for the World Cup squad by manager Glenn Hoddle, he was left on the bench as a substitute in the first two games. However, his substitute appearance in the second game, a 2–1 defeat to Romania, saw him score a goal and hit the post with another shot, almost salvaging a point from the game.

After that, Hoddle played him from the start, and in England's second round match against Argentina he scored a sensational individual goal after beating defenders Roberto Ayala and José Chamot before striking the ball just outside the penalty box.

England drew that match and went out of the tournament on penalties, but Owen had sealed his place as an England choice and his popularity in the country had increased greatly. At the end of the year, he won a public vote to be elected winner of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year title.

He has since played for England in Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, scoring goals in all three tournaments. This makes him the only player to ever have scored in four major tournaments for England. He also became one of only a handful of England players to appear in three World Cup tournaments when he played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although he did not score and was injured in the final group game.

In April 2002, he was named as England's captain for a friendly match against Paraguay in place of the injured regular captain David Beckham. Owen was the youngest England skipper since Bobby Moore in 1963, and in the following few seasons regularly captained England during any absence of the regular captain.

Owen made his debut for the England national B-team in a friendly against Belarus on 25 May 2006, as part of his return to match fitness ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He captained England B in this game, playing for 61 minutes before being substituted.

Owen started England's first two games of the 2006 World Cup, against Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago, but did not manage to score. After playing only 51 seconds of his third appearance of the tournament, and 80th cap, in the 2006 World Cup against Sweden, Owen badly twisted his left knee and was forced to leave the match on a stretcher. A scan of the injury on 21 June confirmed that Owen had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, and was sent home, no longer able to play in the tournament.

Owen underwent successful reconstruction surgery, carried out by Dr. Richard Steadman, on 6 September 2006. The injury sidelined him until April 2007, meaning he missed England's first six matches in qualifying for Euro 2008. He returned for the England B game against Albania, and was named in the full squad for the games against Brazil and Estonia, with Owen stating "I feel sharp and, if given the chance, I feel confident when in front of goal." He played in both matches and scored against Estonia, breaking Gary Lineker's record for most goals in competitive internationals for England. Owen's latest international efforts include a brace for England in a 3–0 win over Russia on 12 September 2007.

With his two goals against Russia, he became the first player to score international goals at both the old and new Wembley Stadiums. As of 26 August 2008, Owen has been capped 89 times for England and scored 40 goals: he is fourth in the list of all-time top scorers for the England team, behind Bobby Charlton (49 goals), Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44). He has also scored a record 26 goals for England in competitive matches (World Cup and European Championship games and the qualifiers for those tournaments) and has been captain for England in 7 matches.

As of December 2007, Owen has never gone more than four international games in a row without scoring a goal. Owen's future as first choice striker for England is uncertain however, due to competition from Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and fast-developing Theo Walcott amongst others. Owen's lack of action in Fabio Capello's first two England friendlies and Capello's selection of a single striker 4-5-1 formation also support the view that Owen's international opportunities may in future be limited.

2008 was a tough year for Owen as he was excluded from World Cup qualifiers against Andorra, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Belarus despite at times being in good goalscoring form and having a good workrate in a poor Newcastle side. Many fans and pundits have called for Owen to be reinstated in the national team but whether Capello will select him still remains to be seen.

He was once again left out of the squad for the friendly against Germany in November 2008, despite forwards Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney being unavailable for the match. However, Capello stated in November 2008 that Owen could still be reinstated to the side at some point in the future.

In March 2009, Owen admitted that all injuries he was sustaining were relating back to his injury in the 2006 World Cup tournament, and that he should not have attended the competition.

Owen's chances of an international recall deteriorated when Capello announced he would only be picked if he was playing regularly. In February 2010, having been used mainly as a substitute by United, he described his chances of a recall as "probably a long shot in racing terms". On 28 February, he suffered a hamstring injury in the League Cup final and was ruled out for the rest of the season. As a result, he did not make the squad for the World Cup in South Africa that summer.

Personal life

Owen met English-born Louise Bonsall at primary school in 1984. The couple bought Lower Soughton Manor in Flintshire, North Wales where Owen keeps his cars and Louise keeps her horses. They got engaged on 14 February 2004, and married on 24 June 2005, at the Carden Park Hotel in Chester, Cheshire.

The couple had initially planned to get married at their home, but changed plans when they were informed that if a licence was granted for a marriage ceremony the venue must be made available for other weddings for three years, so opted to marry in a registry office in informal clothing and have a lavish reception the next day in the grounds of their home.

After Owen returned to the UK to play for Newcastle United, he travelled to a nearby BAE facility on a daily basis in order to fly, via helicopter, to train with his club. However, there is now a helipad installed within the grounds of the house to accommodate Owen's Eurocopter Dauphin, with which he both travels and is training to become a pilot. Owen was eventually banned from training to be a pilot by Newcastle United, due to excessive insurance premiums.

Owen also bought an entire street for his extended family (Austen Close, Ewloe), which is in an area close to where he used to live. and in 2008 was reported in the Daily Express as surveying the purchase of the original Walt Disney site with celebrity realtor Paul Grimshaw in Estepona, Southern Spain.

Owen owns several cars and a helicopter and enjoys horse racing and gambling. He owns many race horses, trained by Tom Dascombe. Owen is the brother in-law of footballer Richie Partridge.

Owen starred in a series of adverts that charted his life, and rise to fame. In 2001, he was the advertising face of breakfast cereal "Nestlé Sporties". He also appeared in several adverts for the washing powder Persil, in a contract worth £1,000,000. Owen was selected as one of the two cover athletes for Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. He has been an ambassador of the Swiss watchmaker Tissot since 1998 and has a contract with car manufacturer Jaguar.

Owen had indicated that he would like to become involved with Chester City in some capacity when he retired, as it was his local team growing up and his father is a former Chester City player.

Honours

Club

Liverpool
  • FA Cup (1): 2000–01
  • Football League Cup (2): 2000–01, 2002–03
  • FA Community Shield (1): 2001
  • UEFA Cup (1): 2000–01
  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2001
  • FA Youth Cup (1): 1996
Manchester United
  • Premier League (1): 2010–11
  • Football League Cup (1): 2009–10
  • FA Community Shield (1): 2010

International

England
  • FA Summer Tournament: 2004

Individual

  • PFA Young Player of the Year (1): 1997–98
  • Premier League Player of the Month (1): August 1998
  • Premier League Golden Boot (2): 1997–98, 1998–99
  • PFA Premier League Team of the Year (1): 1997–98
  • Carling Premiership Player of the Year (1): 1997–98
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year (1): 1998
  • Ballon d'Or (1): 2001
  • Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2001–02): Domestic Team of the Decade
  • FIFA 100

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Comments

michael, he is a great player in fact one of the best strikers the world has ever known. he is a real hero

michael owen is der best footballer

i don't like him but he is the best

he is definitely the best the world has ever had!

I like Michael Owen very much


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Best Footballer in the world

Top Five Players

1. Ronaldo 2. Messi
3. Ronaldinho  4. Pele
5. Gerrard


Vote for the best football player on the planet

stevie gerrard is the best because he can do everything whereas other good players specialise in a few things. Also he works hard and is loyal to club and country.

C.ronaldo is d best footballer

mi jugador es iniesta de espana

I think c ronaldo is the best

ronaldinho he's the master

Christino Ronaldo is the best player of the world. In 47 matches he scored 48 goals in only one year compared to messi who only scored 106 in 159 matches in 6 years. The ballon d'or earned.

my vote is with xavi of barcelona technically he is brilliant. his control vision and touch is first class i hope he wins fifa world player of the year in a week or sos time
Lionel messi is the best playeq in the world by yinkusengine

torres,messi,kaka,cristiono ronaldo,villa and xavi