After Hundreds of Goals and Dozens of Injuries Michael Owen Announces His Retirement

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Michael Owen

Michael Owen (Wikipedia Commons)

After a rocket launch career kick-off in Liverpool, Michael Owen grabbed his opportunity to debut with the England national team at the age of 18 by the horns with this memorable goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.

Fourteen years later, now 33 years old, he tweeted on March 19 his retirement at the end of this season.

 

In a complete statement on his personal website, Owen said,

“It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season. Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career.”

With 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool from 1996 to 2004, Owen got what many players would consider a golden ticket as he transferred to Real Madrid in the summer of 2004. But, he did not stay for long and the very next season he moved once again, this time to Newcastle United for a club record feeof £16.8 million.

As much as Owen will be remembered for his quick feet, terrific finishes and perseverance on the pitch, he will also be known for hamstring problems, a broken metatarsal bone in the foot, damaged ligaments in the knee and countless other injuries.

These injuries may have stopped him from becoming the leader scorer in the history for the Three Lions. Owen currently stands fourth behind Sir Bobby Charlton.

Some injuries perpetuated more than others, especially while Owen played at St. James’ Park. A thigh-injury in the pre-season of Owen’s first season with the Magpies postponed his debut for 18 months.  His first goal came in the team’s victory versus Blackburn Rovers in September of the 2005-06 season.

But Owen’s fire for the sport did not let him quit and he put himself in a decisive role once again in 2008 versus Newcastle rival’s Sunderland with a vital two goals.

These were two of his 39 goals in 70 games for the club within the four seasons of his contract.

However, this great record was stained by controversies popping up at the end of his second season with Newcastle. Having only played 13 games, rumors were spread of Owen possibly going to one of the ‘big four’ clubs in England in 2007.

Of course having paid almost £17 million two years before, then Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said,

“Michael has two choices: he can come out and tell our fans that he is happy here. Or I tell him none of the big four are interested. Because that’s the case.”

In response, Owen said a couple months down the road,

“There has been plenty of speculation about my future, but I can assure the Newcastle fans that I didn’t start any of it.”

And to add more fuel to the fire, on May 24, 2009, Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 15 years. Then, Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent. And last season he signed his last professional soccer contract with Stoke City, where he wears the number 10 jersey.

Despite any controversy or injury, the Chester native has achieved a number of personal records throughout in his career, including being nominated for world’s best soccer player in 2001.

Owen became the first player to reach the mark of 100 goals in the Premier League at the age of 19, one of seven players to have scored 150 or more goals in the EPL and kept the role of Liverpool’s top goal scorer from 1997 to 2004.

Now Owen plans to become a soccer agent according to The Sun,

“There are two main things I want to do, both in football. I know what I am good at and I like to think I know what I’m talking about. I would like to do some TV work, maybe write blogs.”

Do you think it was the right moment for Owen to retire? Leave your response in the comment section below.

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