Friday, October 14, 2011
Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979 in Chester) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United.
The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal scorer from 1997–2004, despite a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool.
Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004; he was frequently used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga and had the season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played. He returned to England the following season, joining Newcastle United for £16 million. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. After the final season of his four-year contract, Newcastle were relegated, and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent.
Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to have scored in four major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's seventh most-capped player and has scored a national record of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.
Owen's long injury absence after the 2006 World Cup resulted in a dispute between FIFA and The FA and Newcastle United, and eventually resulted in an unprecedented £10m compensation award to Newcastle, and brought changes to the compensation arrangements between club and country regarding injuries sustained by contracted club players while on international duty.