They say hitting the back of the net is the hardest part of the game. Not according toMichael Owen. The one-time golden boy of English football made it look easy during his five club domestic career and on the international stage.
Plenty of standout memories then. Time for a trip down memory lane…
First goal vs Wimbledon - 1997
Thrown on with Liverpool already two-nil down at Selhurst Park, little was expected of the baby face and petite frame of Michael Owen. A case of ‘run at ‘em and see what happens’, no doubt.
It took Owen all of sixteen minutes to make an impact. Racing onto Stig Inge Bjornebye’s through ball, the seventeen year old marked his debut with a goal that would soon become his trademark.
Owen slotted home the first of 158 goals for the club he joined as a schoolboy, doing so with the poise of a striker ten years his senior. A sign of what was to come.
THAT goal vs Argentina - 1998
Within a year, Owen had become the hot name on everybody’s lips. Leaving him out of England’s World Cup squad simply wasn’t an option for manager Glenn Hoddle. On the plane he went.
It was a call which further propelled Owen into the spotlight, this time though on the World Stage. Already off the mark against Romania, Owen then saved his party trick for the Argentinians in the Last 16. Latching onto a through ball, he exploded past one opposing defender and jinked past another before somehow caressing the ball into the top corner.
We all know what happened next. But for Owen, this was him coming of age on the world stage. Few predicted such an impact from a player so young. Comparisons were made with Patrick Kluivert at Barcelona but it was the England number 10 with the world at his feet. Dutch players seeking the best betting sites in the Netherlands, should head over to BookiesBonuses.
FA Cup winning brace - 2001
Liverpool were Cup Kings under Gerard Houllier in 2001, winning a treble of trophies. Had it not been for Owen’s match winning contribution in the FA Cup final versus Arsenal however, they’d be no treble to speak about.
Liverpool were a goal down with less than ten minutes to go and appeared not to have a goal in them. Enter Michael Owen who hauled his side level and then, with the game a sure bet for extra time, set about winning the trophy with a trademark Michael Owen goal, jinking this way and that and firing in an unlikely winner that would have produced good odds just ten minutes earlier. Ahead of the forthcoming cup games, consider the best betting sites on the market at BetBlazers.
One of the greatest FA Cup final comebacks in living memory, confirmed Owen as the number one striker in Europe at the time, resulting in him winning the Ballon D’or. Only three other Englishmen had ever been awarded the prize, a fact that still stands true today.
Hat-trick vs Germany - 2001
A win was the order of the day if England were to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Doing so away in Munich seemed a tall order though, particularly when Germany took the lead early on.
But in a game that was to go down in English sporting history, Owen led the fightback and then some to rip the hosts apart in their own backyard. A stunning hattrick, starting with the crucial leveller was completed with two fine counter attacking goals. 5-1 the full-time score.
For England, it was a rare success against old foes and for Owen arguably the finest moment of his career. If not then definitely in an England shirt. The tag of ‘best striker in world football’ was deservedly Owen’s at this stage.