Michael Owen: The Predator of Liverpool

An English former footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. Since retiring from football, he has become a successful racehorse jockey, breeder, owner.
Michael Owen turns 38 today.

Early Life :

Owen was born in Chester, Cheshire, the fourth child of Jeanette and Terry Owen.[8] 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.[8] A boyhood Everton fan, Owen attended Rector Drew Primary School in Hawarden, Flintshire, north Wales and by the age of ten, some of the nation’s leading scouts were monitoring his progress.

Career :

Michael’s youth career took off and ended in Liverpool, where he prepared for becoming one of the best strikers in the world. The footballer trained in the academy of the Merseyside club and took part in different matches of the youth squad till 1996.

In 2006 Liverpool offered the young talent to pen a contract and join the main team. Michael was glad to have an opportunity to fulfill his potential and did his best to become the prime footballer of England. Owen performed for Liverpool during eight years and everything was going just as the striker had planned, because he became one of the top goalscorers of the club ever. From 1996 till 2004, Michael made 216 appearances and amassed 118 goals for ‘The Reds’.

As it often happens with top-flight clubs, if they want someone, the transfer cost is not a problem. That was the case of Michael, when he was offered a move to Spanish side Real Madrid. Nobody knows, how the striker’s career would have continued if he had not followed the lead of many other players, who had tied up a contract with ‘Los Blancos’. In 2004 Owen finalized a move to the club on a long-term deal, but spent only one year there.

In 2005 Real Madrid bought two Brazilian strikers and there were rumours in mass media that Michael was going to leave Spain. The English player featured in 36 matches of the club and netted 13 goals during the 2004/2005 season.

The same year Owen made a final decision to leave his team and completed a move to Newcastle United on a four-year deal worth about £17 million. From 2005 till 2009, Michael performed for the new club with varied success, because he could not regain confidence in order to get his Liverpool-born scoring flair back. The striker took part in 71 games and fired 26 goals during his spell with ‘The Magpies’.

In 2009 the head coach of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, decided to secure Owen’s services, because he thought the footballer had all necessary qualities to become a very important part of the squad. Despite relatively old age and competition from more young and fresh strikers in the team, Michael made occasional appearances. From 2009 till 2012, the footballer featured in 31 games and kicked five goals for MU.

On 5 September 2012, Owen joined Stoke City as a free agent. At the end of the season Michael retired from playing.

In 1997 the footballer took part in five games and contributed four goals for the England national U-20 and U-21 teams. From 1998 till 2008, Michael was capped 89 times and found the net 40 times for the senior national squad. From 2006 till 2007, he also made two appearances for England B.

Style of Play :

In his prime, Owen was highly regarded for his great pace, opportunism and agility, as well as his technical ability and his eye for goal, which enabled him to be considered as one of the greatest English and Premier League strikers of his generation. A prolific goalscorer, Owen was a powerful and accurate finisher, who was also effective with his head, despite his lack of height.

Personal Life :

Owen met Louise Bonsall at primary school in 1984. The couple bought Lower Soughton Manor in Flintshire, North Wales, where he keeps his cars and she her horses. They were engaged on 14 February 2004, and married on 24 June 2005, at the Carden Park Hotel in Chester, Cheshire.
Their daughter, Gemma Rose, was born on 1 May 2003. On 6 February 2006, they had a son named James Michael. Their third child, a daughter, Emily May, was born on 29 October 2007. Their fourth child Jessica was born on 26 February 2010.

Achievements :

Club :

FA Cup (1): 2000–01
League Cup (2): 2000–01, 2002–03
FA Community Shield (1): 2001
UEFA Cup (1): 2000–01
UEFA Super Cup (1): 2001

Manchester United :
Premier League (1): 2010–11
League Cup (1): 2009–10
FA Community Shield (1): 2010

Individual :
Ballon d’Or (1): 2001
World Soccer World Player of the Year: 2001
ESM Team of the Year (1): 2000–01
Premier League Golden Boot (2): 1997–98, 1998–99
Premier League Player of the Season (1): 1997–98
PFA Young Player of the Year (1): 1997–98
PFA Team of the Year (1): 1997–98
FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1998 (Reserve)
English Football Hall of Fame: 2014
Golden Foot: 2017, as football legend

Owen faced many injuries throughout his career, which later affected his pace, fitness, mobility and the overall consistency of his performances.
A legend indeed with more than 200 career goals. Michael Owen, happy birthday sir.