Michael Owen to retire at the end of the season

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United forward Michael Owen has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.  The English international currently plays for Stoke City and has called time on his glittering eighteen year senior career. Owen made his way through the Liverpool youth system, and made his first senior debut at the age of seventeen in 1996 against Wimbledon. The thirty-three year-old made his international breakthrough in the 1998 World Cup, and has since become England’s four all time top scorer with forty goals.

“It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season,” Owen said in a statement on his official website.

“Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career.

“I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of.

“None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, back room staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors. I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession.”

Owen has made 89 appearances for England, and has scored 260 goals in 564 games for club and country.  He has won multiple honors, including the FA Cup, Premier League, Uefa Super Cup, FA Community Shield, and the Uefa Cup.  Owen was part of the Liverpool side that won the treble in 2001, and was rewarded for his contribution to the side by being awarded the Ballon d’Or.  The young star was bought by Real Madrid in 2004, and after a successful spell in Spain he moved back to the Premier League to Newcastle United in 2005.  But injuries have marred his career since, and Owen has called a halt to his career, eighteen years after making his senior debut.

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