While he scored over 200 goals at club level, Owen's most memorable goal came in an England shirt at the age of 18, when he blasted open a generally cagey Argentinian defense to score one of the Three Lions' most breathtaking goals. It wasn't enough to win the match or the tournament, but it did give England coach Glenn Hoddle something to be proud of.
Owen was born on January 4th, 1984, in South Liverpool, England. He is the youngest child of Peter and Diane Owen. His father was a bricklayer and his mother a cleaner. They met while serving in the army and married after being discharged. Michael has two older brothers: Paul who is also a soccer player and Chris who works as a stockbroker.
From an early age, Owen showed an interest in football and often played with his brothers in the front yard of their house. He always wanted to be like David Beckham and play for England someday. In 1990, at the age of four, he made his debut in the English youth system playing alongside his brothers. Two years later, at the age of six, he made his first team debut coming on as a substitute in a Premier League game against Manchester United. He won the Man of the Match award for his performance.
Owen was just 17 years old at the time, but he showed no signs of jitters when he sprinted ahead of Brian McAllister on Stig Inge Bjornebye's through-pass and tucked the ball right-footed into the bottom corner. That would become a common sight for Liverpool and England fans in the coming years. Owen also proved himself to be a clinical finisher by scoring another late free kick against Sweden with his first attempt.
He made his international debut on February 23, 2001 in a friendly match against France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after Owen scored both goals for England during the second half. He became the youngest player ever (age 18) to score in an England jersey when he opened the scoring against Germany four days later. This record was later broken by Wayne Rooney (age 17). Owen won the Golden Boot as the top scorer at the 2002 World Cup with five goals, including two in the last three matches of the competition. He also participated in the event in 2006 but did not reach the final stage then due to injury.
After retiring from playing football, he returned to Liverpool where he now serves as an ambassador for the club.
Owen announced his retirement from international football on August 5, 2010. He had been struggling with a knee problem since early in the year and had not recovered enough to be included in England's squad for their annual training camp in Portugal.
Owen won the Ballon d'Or in 2001 after a remarkable calendar year in which he scored 31 goals for Liverpool and collected five winner's medals. Owen, who was only 21 years old at the time, overcame the humiliation of being an unused substitute in Liverpool's 2001 League Cup final victory by scoring two thrilling late goals and snatching the FA Cup final from Arsenal's hands. He became the first player to score in all four major English football competitions in the same season.
The 2001-2002 season was also notable for another reason: It was the last season that voters could select multiple winners. From 2003 onward, the award will be given to one player as soon as possible after the end of the season.
However, it has been reported that FIFA may have voted early to avoid having two players claim the same prize. If this is true, then we can assume that they would have chosen Michael Owen over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Overall, it can be said that Michael Owen had a fantastic 2001-2002 season and deserves to be named Footballer of the Year.
17-year-old Michael Owen, a fantastic finisher and natural striker, burst into the first-team scene as a 17-year-old and departed Liverpool with a goal every two games ratio and an FA Cup final named after him. He also helped the club win its second league title in three years.
Owen started out at Liverpool as a central defender but was soon moved up front where he could score plenty of goals. He made his debut in 2001 against Wimbledon and scored on his debut. That year, he won the UEFA Youth Award. In 2002, he played 22 matches and scored 11 goals as Liverpool won the double. In 2003, Owen scored 23 goals in all competitions and was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year.
He ended his time at Liverpool early in 2004 after making 150 appearances and scoring 65 goals. At the end of that season, he signed for Manchester United for £8 million.
Owen went on to have a successful career at Man United where he remained until he was released in June 2010. After leaving United, he had a short stint with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua before returning to England and joining Stoke City in August 2010. However, he was never able to replicate his form at Liverpool or Manchester United and was eventually sold to New York Red Bulls in January 2011. He left New York after one season and returned to England where he joined Southampton.
The most of the players were in their twenties, but Owen was only sixteen. In the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, he scored a hat-trick against FA Youth Cup holders Manchester United, including the game-winning goal in extra time. Owen then scored another hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Crystal Palace in the first leg of the semi-final. He became the youngest player to score three goals in a match while playing for Liverpool.
During his time at Liverpool, Owen scored sixty-one goals in ninety-two appearances. He left the club after five seasons to join Chelsea, where he stayed for two seasons before moving to Real Madrid for £8 million ($12.5 million). After one season with Madrid, he returned to Liverpool for a second stint, this time on loan. He later signed with Southampton and made twenty-five appearances without scoring a goal. In January 2008, he moved back to Liverpool on a free transfer.
Owen played four seasons for Liverpool, scoring forty-three goals in eighty-one matches. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, he decided to retire from football at the age of 28. However, he came out of retirement six months later to sign with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
Owen's younger brother Craig also became a professional footballer. They are both Welsh; Craig is one year older than Michael. Craig started his career with Swansea City but never played for the team during a trial period.