Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is a former English 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. He is a regular pundit and co-commentator on BT Sport football coverage, and sometimes appears on BBC's Match of the Day as a pundit. Since retiring from football, he has become a successful racehorse breeder and owner.
The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen was born in Chester and 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, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from 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, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances. Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", an official Liverpool fan poll. In 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
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 before returning to England the following season where he joined 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. Newcastle were relegated in the 2008–09 season and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent. He spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City in September 2012. Owen is one of eight players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. On 19 March 2013, Owen announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season.
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 FIFA World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in UEFA 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 11th-most-capped player and has scored a former national record (since overtaken by Wayne Rooney) of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.Close