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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Michael ‘Wonder Boy’ Owen to Hang His Boots

Michael G-Owen

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, and Manchester United forward Michael Owen has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season. The 33-year-old Stoke City No. 10 announced through his personal website http://www.michaelowen.com/ that he will bring an end to his professional football career that started at Liverpool in 1996.

The Chester-born father of four came through Liverpool FC youth ranks before signing his professional contract in 1996 with club. He went on to notch up 158 goals in 297 appearances for the Merseyside club, an average of 0.5 goals per game. During that period, he won 6 trophies with the Anfield club including an FA Cup, 2 League Cups, a UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and a Community Shield Cup.

Owen also won the 2001 Ballon d’Or Award beating Raul and Oliver Khan to football’s most coveted individual award. He was Liverpool’s top goal scorer every season since 1998 and the 1.73 meter tall frontman maintained that status quo until his £8 million move to Real Madrid in August 2004.

Owen was part of the world-famous and expensively assembled “Galacticos” squad that included Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Luis Figo, David Beckam and Roberto Carlos. He had a slow start at the Bernabue club where he featured mainly as a substitute but ended up with 13 La Liga goals at season end but with season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played. In total, he scored 16goals in 45 appearances for the capital club.

Owen’s career with the Los Blancos came to an end only a year later when he signed for Newcastle in August 2005 for a club record fee of £16.8 million. However, his career with the Magpies was blighted by injuries that restricted him to only 79 appearances and a return of 30 goals in four years.

The former England international made a controversial move following Newcastle United’s relegation at the end of the 2008-09 season by signing a pay-as-you-play deal with Manchester United, a move that drew ire and fire from supporters of his former club Liverpool.

Wearing United’s No. 7 shirt that had been vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo, Owen scored on his debut in a pre-season friendly against Malaysian XI. However, injuries continued to haunt him at Old Trafford where he featured only 52 times and found the back of the net in 17 occasions.

His 3-year spell with the Premier League-Champions elect came to an end in May last year. He signed a one-year contract with Stoke City where he has made 7 appearances and scored only 1 goal, his 150th in the Premier League as injuries continue plaguing him.

He played for the England U15, U16, U20, U21 and England B teams before making his senior international debut in 1998. He has 89 caps for the Three Lions and has scored 40 goals which puts him fourth in England’s all-time goalscorers behind Bobby Charlton (49), Gary Lineker  (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).

And That's thesteifmastake!!