Owen to retire, thanks his Mum
The former England striker Michael Owen, 33, has announced that he is going to retire from professional soccer at the end of 2012-2013. One of only three England strikers to have scored 40 goals or more for his country, Michael Owen is said to be interested in turning his talents elsewhere...
Michael Owen has played a total of 475 games for five top clubs, scoring a total of 220 goals, plus another 89 games for England, scoring 40 goals: Liverpool (1996-2004): 297 games, 158 goals; Real Madrid (2004-05): 40 games, 14 goals; Newcastle (2005-09): 79 games, 30 goals; Man Utd (2009-12): 52 games, 17 goals; Stoke (2012-13) 7 games, one goal. England (1998-2008): 89 caps, 40 goals.
Making his announcement today, Michael Owen spoke of his pride in having been a professional soccer player and spoke of being "fortunate" to have had "a journey I could only have dreamed of". He entered the England World Cup squad at the age of 18 in 1998, scoring against Argentina and in 2001, scored a hat-trick against Germany in the memorable 5-1 England win in Munich, the same year that he was named European Footballer of the Year.
"None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, backroom staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors. I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession" Michael Owen writes on his website, before paying tribute to his family:
"Most of all, though, I would like to thank my family. To my beautiful wife Louise, for her continued love and support through the many ups and downs in my career and for affording me the most precious gift of all, our children.
"To my mum who has always taken the brunt of my frustrations yet continues to keep our family so tight-knit, a trait that has formed the foundations of my own success. Her dedication to me and my brothers and sisters is immeasurable.
"Last but not least, my dad. We did it my old mate! From those freezing local parks to terrorising the best defenders in the world on the biggest stages of all. I couldn't have done it without you."
Michael Owen won the FA Cup in 2000-2001 (Liverpool), the League Cup three times (Liverpool 2000-2001, 2002-2003; Manchester United 2009-2010); the FA Community Shield twice (Liverpool 2001, Manchester United 2010); the UEFA Cup with Liverpool in 2000-2001; the UEFA Super Cup in 2001.
He won the Ballon dÓr in 2001, was BBC Sports personality of the Year in 1998, Premier League Golden Boot in 1997-1998 and 1998-1999, Premier League Player of the Season in 1997-1998 among many other awards.
Where next? Some say he is aiming to get closer to horse-racing, a sport in which he is already deeply involved as co-owner of a racehorse. Thank you Michael Owen for being a great footballer, a wonderful role model and a clean sportsman, a champion of fair-play on and off the field. We can look forward now, hopefully, to your good-naturedness as a commentator.
Photo 1 Wikipedia