Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMichael Owen's Real Madrid adventure - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Michael Owen's Real Madrid adventure - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Michael Owen’s Real Madrid adventure

I was saddened to hear the news of Michael Owen’s retirement this week because his was a career so full of brilliant potential that never quite reached the heights it was supposed to due to injury.

This isn’t to say that Owen didn’t enjoy success throughout his career, he did certainly, but so often there was another injury that would keep him out for a long period of time.

For me the goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup will be what I remember most about Owen as it announced his arrival on the world stage and it was such a sublime, exquisite moment that displayed his pace and unerring finishing.

Owen’s decision to join Real Madrid in 2004 was an interesting moment in the striker’s career and I remember at the time how significant it was that an English start had joined one of Spain’s giants. It is quite a rare occurrence and it raises the question as to why more English Premier League players don’t consider a move to other European leagues.

Owen’s former teammate at LiverpoolSteve McManaman famously left Anfield for the bright lights of Madrid saying that he wanted to test himself in a foreign league. McManaman enjoyed fantastic success in Spain, too, winning two Champions League winners’ medals.

It is a bold move for an English player to test the waters in a different European league and I am puzzled as to why more don’t. Part of the reason must be that the Premier League has been hyped as the best league in Europe so why would you want to play anywhere else?

This preconceived notion that the Premier League is far superior to all others is changing though with Italy, Spain and Germany all producing some very good teams. The fact that there are no English teams left in the Champions League at this point of the season also supports this.

Good on Owen for trying his hand in Spain with Real Madrid, he did pretty well out there too, and I hope he enjoys his retirement following the end of this season. A fantastic striker whose career was unfortunately blighted by numerous injuries.