|Full name||Michael James Owen|
|Date of birth||December 14 1979|
|Place of birth||Chester, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Current club||Manchester United|
| 216 (118)|
| England U-22|
| 4 (3)|
Still one of the most respected if not most feared strikers in the game, Owen was handed another chance at the big time when Manchester United signed him on a pay-as-you-play deal ahead of the 2009-10 season.
After first bursting onto the scene for Liverpool in 1997, Owen soon became one of the hottest properties in English football. Capped by Glenn Hoddle as England's then youngest ever player, he emerged as one of the stars of France '98 after scoring an amazing solo goal against Argentina. The Chester-born striker was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1997-98, and BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1998 but among the success, injuries began to strike even at an early age.
After missing much of the 1999-00 season, Owen returned to his best in 2001, scoring two as Liverpool beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final, and claiming League Cup and UEFA Cup winners' medals. He hit a hat-trick against Germany in Munich when England historically triumphed 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier in 2001 and was awarded the European Footballer of the Year award for a truly stunning year.
On his return from Euro 2004, where he was overshadowed by teenage strike partner Wayne Rooney, and with just one year left on his contract, he departed Anfield for Real Madrid for just £8 million. He had an impressive goals-to-games ratio in his one season in Spain but failed to secure a regular starting berth, moving on to Newcastle for a club record £16 million in August 2005. A succession of injuries meant his time on Tyneside was marked more by frustration than goalscoring exploits. In between long periods on the treatment table, Owen showed sparks of his old form but with the club relegated and in disarray under the ownership of Mike Ashley, Owen chose to cut his losses and leave the club at the end of his contract in 2009.
Used mainly as a substitute in his first season at Old Trafford, Owen endeared himself to United fans by scoring a dramatic winner in the 4-3 derby win over Manchester City in September and also netted a memorable Champions League hat-trick against Wolfsburg and United's equaliser in the Carling Cup final - before injury at Wembley ruled him out for the season. It was a similar story again in 2010-11, but nonetheless United handed the striker a new one-year deal towards the the end of the campaign.
Strengths: He may no longer possess the lightning pace that once struck fear into even the world's best defenders, but Owen still has a clinical eye for goal, demonstrated by his last-gasp derby day winner and Champions League hat-trick last season.
Weaknesses: Injuries. Over the years they have badly affected his pace - once his most valuable weapon. Despite still having a good eye for goal he is a long way from his prolific best and was guilty of missing a number of good opportunities for United last season.
Style: Though Owen may still believe he has what it takes to play off the shoulder of the last defender, he looked more impressive playing just behind a strike partner last season, where he has more opportunity to ghost in unnoticed.
Career High: In 2001, He became the first Englishman to win the Balon d'Or since Kevin Keegan in 1979 and to cap a great year, he scored a hat-trick against Germany in England's famous 5-1 rout.
Career Low: Owen's time at Newcastle was blighted by injuries. Between December 2005 and August 2007 he played just a handful of games and was club captain when they were relegated from the Premier League in 2009.
Quotes: "There is no one better at taking chances. His positional play, first touch and finish were absolutely superb. World class." Sir Alex Ferguson praises Owen after the striker scored the winner against Manchester City.
Trivia: Despite making his breakthrough for Liverpool and starring at Anfield for eight years, Owen was in fact a boyhood Everton fan.
Owen unveiled by Real
Michael Owen was given the number 11 shirt by Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano at his unveiling by the Spanish club after his move from Liverpool. Owen's switch is expected to net Liverpool £8m plus Antonio Nunez. "I am so proud to be wearing the number 11 shirt and I'd like to thank everyone for making me so welcome here," said the 24-year-old England striker.
|"I would like to say a special thank you for being given the opportunity to play for the best team in the world."|
Owen will return to England over the weekend and is expected to join up with the national team squad as they congregate to prepare for the friendly against Ukraine on Wednesday.
Owen insisted he would not allow that to happen, but the Anfield bosses have decided to ensure they cash in.
"I was very happy with Michael and I wanted him to stay. The problem was he only had a year left on his contract," said Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.
Benitez, who took over at Anfield during the summer, says he will use the money generated from the Owen transfer to continue his rebuilding at the club.
He added: "Real Madrid started talking with his agent and in the end it was an impossible situation to control."
Nunez, 25, came through the ranks at the Bernabeu but made just 11 appearances for Real last season as he found it hard to secure a regular first-team berth.
He is expected to sign a two-year contract with the option to extend the deal to a third season.
"The deal is almost done. It is only a question of tying up a few details which should be no problem although Real will retain an option to buy me back in the future," Nunez told a Spanish website.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said: "Signing Michael Owen is following our tradition. We are signing an excellent player with talent who is able to give us something special."
Perez added: "He fits perfectly into the Real Madrid culture. Not just because of the way he plays but because of his behaviour off the pitch."
BBC Sport (14 August 2004)
MICHAEL OWEN AND REAL MADRID
|Due to Liverpool's continued failure to win the Premier League or the Champions League, Owen was often linked with moves to other clubs, although he initially remained loyal to his first employers. However, due to stalled contractual talks in the summer of 2004, and with only one year remaining on his contract before he could leave the club on a free transfer like Steve McManaman did, Liverpool sold Owen to the same destination, Real Madrid, in Spain, but unlike the McManaman situation, pocketed a fee of €12 million on 13 August 2004, with midfielder Antonio Nunez moving in the other direction. This move turned out to be somewhat ironic, as in the following season Liverpool won the Champions League, while Real won nothing for the second successive season.|
Owen had a slow start to his Madrid career and drew some criticism from fans and the Spanish press for his lack of form, often being confined to the substitutes bench during matches. However, a successful return to action with the England team in October 2004 seemed to revive his morale, and on his first match back with Madrid following this he scored his first goal for the team, the winner in a 1-0 UEFA Champions League group game victory over Dynamo Kiev. He quickly followed this up just a few days later with his first Spanish league goal for the team in a 1-0 victory over Valencia, and also hit the target in the three of the next four games to make it 5 goals in 7 successive matches. He ended the season with a highly respectable 13 goals in La Liga (the season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played), as Real finished runners-up in the Spanish championship. In August 2005 speculation arose that Owen would soon part company with Real Madrid in order to join one of the English Premier League's more dominant teams and also to secure his position as England's first choice striker, following Real's signing of two more forwards.
The England striker, who passed his medical on Tuesday, has agreed a four-year deal and is believed to have cost the Magpies a club record £17m.
Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said: "Bringing Michael here will rank alongside the signing of Alan Shearer as my proudest moment at Newcastle."
Liverpool had wanted to re-sign Owen but baulked at Real's asking price.
Owen revealed Everton boss David Moyes rang him on Monday evening to ask if he would consider a move to Goodison Park.
He told The Times: "Just before I arrived home, David Moyes rang to see if there was a chance of getting me to Goodison Park and to wish me luck if not.
"I think he must have known that my Dad was briefly an Everton player and I used to follow them as a boy."
Once Owen completes his move to Newcastle, his arrival at St James' Park will eclipse the money the club spent in signing Alan Shearer for £15m from Blackburn in July 1996.
The details of his contract with the Magpies are not known but reports suggest there may be various get-out clauses depending on the team's performance.
"It will be a great achievement if we sign Michael," Newcastle manager Graeme Souness told the club's official website.
"In football, the hardest thing to get is someone who puts the ball in the back of the net and Michael is the best at doing that for England.
"I'd say it's the biggest transfer I've been involved in as a manager of any football club."
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson believes it is a major boost knowing Owen will play regular football before next year's World Cup.
"It is a great club. He will play regular football, much more than last season. I suppose he is very happy," said the Swede.
"He will score goals for them and it is great to play with Alan Shearer. He is a good targetman and will give Michael Owen many chances, I am sure of that."
Eriksson reveals Owen concern
Owen was left out of Madrid's squad for the first game of their season after falling behind Ronaldo, Raul, Julio Baptista and Robinho in the pecking order at the Bernabeu.
"The transfer is official," said Real Madrid director of football Arrigo Sacchi.
"He is already a player for the English club. Real Madrid have been happy with him and we thank him for all that he has done here. We wish the best for the future.
"He asked to leave because we are in World Cup year and here he was not going to play regularly. We didn't want to let him go and only when a decent offer arrived did we consider selling. We wish him luck and hope all goes well.
"It's clear we have lost something but you can't keep a player when he wants to go. He is one of the best strikers in the world but here we have Robinho, Guti, Raul, Ronaldo and he wasn't going to play much."
Owen travelled to England and met Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez for two-and-a-half hours on Monday before going to Northumberland.
There he met Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd and his son, manager Graeme Souness, captain Alan Shearer and coach Dean Saunders.
Owen had said he would only play for the Magpies on a one-year loan deal but he has been convinced to sign permanently in a coup for the club.
The player is England's fourth all-time highest goalscorer with 32 goals and, even though he is suspended for the World Cup qualifier against Wales on Saturday, he should return to play Northern Ireland on 7 September.
Owen will bring a proven goalscoring pedigree to a team who have yet to score a Premiership goal so far this season.
He was named European Footballer of the Year in December 2001 and, after 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool, left for Real Madrid where he scored 16 goals as a bit part player.
BBC Sport (31 August 2005)
Owen denies problem at Newcastle
Michael Owen insists he is happy at Newcastle United as he continues his recovery from the fractured metatarsal he suffered in December.
England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has been quoted as saying the 26-year-old does not enjoy playing for the Magpies.
But Owen, who returned to light training on Tuesday, told Newcastle's website: "I am enjoying my time here.
"There is nothing like being in the Premiership and I have not been disappointed since I have been here."
Owen moved to the Magpies in a £16m summer move from Real Madrid and was given a hero's welcome by fans on Tyneside.
He added: "It was a fantastic reception I had here and I have loved every minute of it already.
"You always want to repay the fans for the support they have given you in producing good performances on the pitch. When I am fit I am sure I will do that.
"I have plenty of mates in the dressing room and the people have been great to me up here.
"I enjoyed my time at Real Madrid, but there is nothing like coming into a dressing room where you understand all the jokes and everything else."
Owen had surgery to repair his broken foot on 3 January and is expected to be sidelined for up to two more months - but he is already looking forward to his comeback.
"I've had the stitches out, the cast is off, and it's all go now," he added.
"I am looking at my next targets now. The next one is getting on the bike, then the treadmill, running, and then kicking the ball again.
"As much as it still seems a few weeks away, I am looking forward to it already. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
"Thankfully I am going to be back for a decent part of the season and hopefully back into a team playing well. I'm excited about coming back already.
"I'm pleased with when I have played. This has been a bit of a blow but I'm striving to get back on the pitch as quick as possible and bang in the goals again."
BBC Sport (18 January 2006)
Owen completes switch to Man Utd
Michael Owen has completed his surprise move to Manchester United after the free agent signed a two-year deal with the Premier League champions.
The 29-year-old ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid striker's contract with Newcastle ended earlier this week.
"Michael is a world-class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Owen had also been linked with Everton, Aston Villa, Stoke and Hull.
But instead he becomes United's second summer signing after the recent addition of Antonio Valencia from Wigan.
"Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish," added Ferguson.
Owen said United's interest in him came as a surprise, adding: "I had just begun to talk to other clubs when out of the blue Sir Alex phoned me on Wednesday afternoon, invited me to have breakfast with him next morning during which he told me that he wanted to sign me.
"I agreed without a moment's thought. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands.
"I am now looking forward to being a Manchester United player and I am fortunate that I already know so many of the players here.
"I missed pre-season last year and am pleased that I will be starting from day one.
"I'd like to think that everyone was quite surprised with my medical.
"I've obviously passed them before, and my fitness is high. A lot is made out of it but I certainly don't feel like I'm injury prone.
"I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances."
Owen had checks on an old knee injury in London on Thursday before undergoing a full medical at the private Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester on Friday.
He has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, suffering with groin, ankle, thigh, hernia, metatarsal and knee ligament problems.
The 2001 European footballer of the year has dropped out of the England squad, but a move to United gives Owen the chance to revitalise his career, even if it involved accepting a lower basic salary.
It was reported by the Press Association that Ferguson has struck a pay-as-you-play deal, with the player also taking a significant salary cut from the £110,000-a-week wages he was said to be on at St James' Park.
Ferguson has been a long time admirer of Michael Owen and has decided to gamble on the striker who has proven himself a prolific scorer at both club and international level when fit.
Since losing the Champions League final to Barcelona at the end of May, Manchester United have sold forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m and failed to persuade striker Carlos Tevez to stay at Old Trafford.
The departure of those two players has left Ferguson with a shortage of strikers, with Fraizer Campbell also likely to be sold.
United have been linked with Lyon striker Karim Benzema, who is set to join Real, while Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribery has been linked with a move to the Madrid club rather than the English champions.
Owen made 79 appearances for the Magpies and scored 30 goals in four seasons at St James' Park.
But an ankle injury and groin operation severely disrupted his final year at the club, with the last of his 10 league goals for the 2008-09 campaign coming against West Ham on 10 January.
Ferguson has previously shown his willingness to take a chance on players like the enigmatic Eric Cantona or stars that have suffered serious injury problems like Henrik Larsson.
Pete Spencer, sports editor of the Manchester Evening News, said: "It is a bold move. It could put them at risk of the fans mocking them because they've missed out on Benzema and Ribery.
"Owen will have a lot to do make sure that he overcomes the natural hatred between Manchester United and Liverpool, although he has been at Newcastle for some time.
"United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a record of older players doing well at United and if Owen has got anything like the pace he had before then he should be a hit. Who's to argue with Sir Alex Ferguson?"
And former Liverpool striker Ian Rush admitted he would have liked to have seen Owen return to Anfield, saying: "Personally, I'd like to have seen him at Liverpool but they haven't lost their best strikers. Rafael Benitez will be happy with what he's got.
"I know the way he is and he doesn't have to prove anything anyway. It's a chance for Michael to get back and score some goals. He'll get chances for Manchester United and will score goals."
Even so, the move for Owen represents something of a gamble for Ferguson, given Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce ruled out a move for the striker earlier this week because of concerns over his fitness.
"I just question the injury scenario," said Allardyce.
"I need a striker that's going to be available for 30 games next season. That's not happened for Michael over the last four years."
After Newcastle were relegated to the Championship, Owen expressed his desire to remain in the Premier League.
The Wasserman Media Group (WMG), the management company that represents him, sent out a brochure to a number of clubs reminding them of the talent that resulted in the striker scoring 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool and 40 goals in 89 appearances for England.
Owen's move to Old Trafford could revive the former Liverpool striker's hopes of resurrecting his international hopes and taking part in the 2010 World Cup, especially as he will now be playing alongside England striker Wayne Rooney.
He has been marginalised by England manager Fabio Capello and has won just one cap under the Italian, as a substitute in the 1-0 friendly defeat by France in Paris on 26 March, 2008.
Owen's exploits in helping Liverpool to victory in the FA Cup, Uefa Cup and League Cup in the 2000/2001 season led to his European footballer of the year award in December 2001.
BBC Sport (3 July 2009)
Michael Owen signs new Manchester United deal
Owen's present two-season deal was about to expire and, having been overshadowed by Javier Hernandez last season and knowing new signings are expected - in addition to the return of Danny Welbeck from Sunderland - it was anticipated the former England striker would be released.
However, Ferguson evidently still views the 31 year-old as an important member of his United squad.
"Michael has proved to be a top footballer," said Ferguson.
"It is unfortunate that he did not get more opportunities but the form of Chicharito (Hernandez) put everyone in the shade and his partnership with Rooney proved invaluable.
"I am delighted Michael is staying for a further year and we will look to give him more opportunities in the new season."
The last of Owen's two league goals closed a record 19th title-winning campaign for United, and earned him a championship medal for the first time.
It was also enough to earn him a place on the bench ahead of Dimitar Berbatov for Saturday's Champions League final, although he did not play a part in United's 3-1 defeat.
"I am delighted to have agreed a one-year extension to my contract," said Owen.
"To play alongside so many great players, under an exceptional manager, and in front of so many passionate supporters is a real inspiration.
"I can't wait for next season to start."
The news casts an even greater shadow over Berbatov's United career, though.
The Bulgarian was tight-lipped when he returned home yesterday but it is difficult to see what role he could play unless Ferguson opts to unload Welbeck, who gained his first England cap against Ghana in March.
By Telegraph staff and agencies (01 Jun 2011)
Jaguar Signs Agreement With Michael Owen
Michael Owen, England’s World Cup soccer hero, has entered into a three year, world wide marketing agreement with Jaguar Cars Ltd of Coventry. Effective immediately, Jaguar is the exclusive supplier of motor vehicles to the 19 year old Liverpool star striker.
Under the terms of the agreement, Michael, who has been evaluating a Jaguar XK8 coupe over the past few months, has now opted for its supercharged brother, the XKR coupe, together with a new Jaguar S-TYPE sports saloon.
In anticipation of his new cars, Michael recently undertook Jaguar’s Advanced Driving Programme, which is designed to enhance road craft by improving driver awareness, observation and control. The programme is carried out by qualified experienced instructors and is available to all Jaguar customers.
Commenting on the agreement with Jaguar, Michael said:
"For me, Jaguars represent the best of British. They are stylish, prestigious, refined and great fun to drive. Also, with Jaguar planning to build a new smaller car at Halewood on Merseyside, the local connection was very important to me, as many of our supporters work there. It’s a great time to be flying the flag on Merseyside."
John Johnson, Jaguar’s Manager of UK Sales, announcing the marketing agreement with Michael said:
"Like England captain Alan Shearer and tennis star Greg Rusedski, who also drive Jaguars, Michael represents the young, dynamic, successful customers who increasingly are attracted to the Jaguar marque. They match perfectly our ongoing strategy of broadening the appeal of our product range."
Jaguar News (04 JUN 99)
Owen stars in his own soap
Footballer Michael Owen is to star in a series of television adverts which will chart his meteoric rise to world-wide fame.
The adverts will follow the life of the England striker from his days growing up in north Wales - where his soccer talent was first spotted - to his successes in later life.
It comes after he landed a £1m advertising deal with washing powder company Persil.
The adverts will appear on television and in cinemas later in the year.
Owen's home in Cromwell Close, Hawarden, Flintshire, where he lived as a boy is turned into a 1980s-style street and a young actor portrays the superstar as a teenager.
The Liverpool striker then features in the adverts later in the story line as he gets older and more successful.
Local residents said they were used to fans visiting their street to see the house where Owen was raised but this was something completely different.
One neighbour said: "There have been loads of people here with juggernaut trucks, cameras and all sorts.
"We had a letter through the door asking us to co-operate and most people have been happy to do so. It has been quite exciting. It will really put out street on the map."
Another said that most had taken it in good heart.
"One day it was strictly 1980s outside and they got the cars in with the correct registration numbers.
"We had to move our cars but it was not really a problem.
"It was really busy after the world cup. Everyone wanted to see where Michael was brought up.
"It's quite nice really," the neighbour added.
BBC News (7 March 2004)
- ESPN Soccernet
- National Football Teams
- Michael Owen official website
- Premier League
|Manchester United current squad|
|England – 1998 FIFA World Cup|
|England – UEFA Euro 2000|
|England – 2002 FIFA World Cup|
|England – UEFA Euro 2004|
|England – 2006 FIFA World Cup|