Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chase Motions

This week, another retirement news in the football arena was announced. I always have the opinion that he should have hang up his boots sooner than later. The injuries that have blighted him over the years have been one major nightmare which he will never be able to recover from. This week, Michael Owen announced that this will be his last season. The former England international, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United & Stoke player will leave a legacy as one of the most talented strikers England has ever seen in the modern era. This England great will call it a day. He will always be the Legend, the Icon and the Champion :)

Michael Owen: The 17 Defining Moments of this superstar’s career:

(1). New Kid in Town
Michael Owen, aged just 17, is drafted into the Liverpool first team on May 6 1997 and scores a goal on his debut against Wimbledon. It is the only bright point in a defeat for the Reds which see them lose the title.

(2). Sing for England
Owen is called into the senior England squad for the first time on February 9 1998. He becomes the youngest player to play for the national team in the 20th century.

(3). These boots are made for scoring
Owen continues his superb form for Liverpool. He won the Golden Boot and is named PFA Young Player of the Year.

(4). Don't cry for him against Argentina
Owen goes from domestic talent to international superstar at the 1998 World Cup in what is the greatest moment of his career as he scores one of the greatest goals ever seen at a World Cup in the last-16 match against Argentina.

(5). Dive talkin'
As well as scoring a brilliant goal, Owen wins a penalty against Argentina, a trick he repeats at the 2002 World Cup against the same opposition. He would later admit that he "could have stayed on my feet" both times. England end up going out on penalties in 1998, but Owen is a hero regardless.

(6). Holdin' out for a hero
As Britain's most famous sportsman, brightest hope for the future and a tragic World Cup hero, Owen won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting by a mile.

(7). Super Trooper
The trophies start flooding in for Owen in 2001 as he leads Liverpool's strike force in a season which sees them win the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup. They later add both Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup to that list.

(8). Autumn daze
Domestic glory translates into international glory as Owen spearheads England's attack with a hat-trick in the mesmeric 5 - 1 victory against Germany in a World Cup qualifier in Munich on September 1 2001.

(9). Michael Owen, Superstar
As if Owen's trophy cabinet wasn't groaning enough already, he wins the Ballon d'Or at the beginning of 2002, confirming his status as a global superstar.

(10). He's got the whole world in his hands
The 2002 World Cup begins with Owen being mobbed by Japanese teenage girls, and looks set to end in glory as he leaves Brazil's defence standing to fire England 1 - 0 up in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, Ronaldinho later leaves David Seaman standing and England head home.

(11). Real light his fire
The move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2004 started badly, but Owen breathes life into his Bernabeu stint with a first goal for the team against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League in October 2004. It marks the start of a run of five goals in six matches, and Owen ends up with 13 goals in La Liga despite invariably starting from the bench.

(12). His latest hat-trick
Owen celebrates his 'perfect hat trick' on December 17 2005, four months after signing for Newcastle, in a match against West Ham: one with the right foot, one with the left and one with the head.

(13). Slog on the Tyne
Just two weeks after that hat-trick, Owen breaks his foot playing against Tottenham. The rest of his spell at the Magpies is disastrous.

(14). Tragedy
Owen fails to recover fully before the end of the 2005-06 season, but is fit in time for the World Cup group stage match against Sweden. His contribution ends in disaster just a minute into the match with an anterior cruciate ligament injury that keeps him out for a year.

(15). The winner takes it all
A series of further injuries keeps Owen's Newcastle career back even after, and when he walks away from the Magpies on a free transfer in 2009 - to sign for Manchester United - fans are outraged to work out that he has cost £1.3 million per goal. At United he becomes an important bit-part player, however, finally earning himself a Premier League winners' medal - even if he fails to come off the bench in a Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

(16). Mr Moustache
Owen signs for Stoke City after being released by Manchester United in 2012, but as at Newcastle, his stint is ruined by injury again. The only thing he does of any note is growing the finest Movember moustache ever seen on a footballer.

(17). Thank you for the days
Twitter trolls have a field day criticising Owen for his time at Stoke - but the striker hits back in style by simply posting a picture of his personal trophy cabinet. And what more fitting way could there be to end a tribute to the career of a legend?

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