·5 October 2022
·5 October 2022
At Liverpool in particular, he was the definition of world-class and famously scooped the Ballon d’Or award in 2001.
During his eight years in the Merseyside club’s first-team, Owen scored 158 goals, with 118 of them coming in just 216 Premier League appearances.
He really was something special in his younger days, so much so that Real Madrid saw fit to sign him in the midst of their 'Galacticos Era'.
Owen arrived at the Spanish club in the summer of 2004 and racked up some pretty impressive numbers overall.
Despite the fact he was rarely a starter for Los Blancos, the former England international still managed to score 16 goals across all competitions.
But when Robinho was signed after the 2004/05 season to beef up a forward line that already included Raul Gonzalez and Ronaldo Nazario, Owen knew it was time to move on.
He needed regular playing time ahead of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
So, Owen eventually joined Newcastle in a deal worth around £16.8 million, although the Magpies certainly weren't the player's first-choice destination.
He was desperate to re-join Liverpool, something which the man himself could not have made any clearer in a recent interview discussing his glittering professional career.
While a guest on BT Sport's 'What I Wore' show, Owen spoke in-depth about his ill-fated move to Tyneside after catching sight of a Newcastle jersey.
And after watching the clip below, it'll come as no shock to learn that Owen is not a popular figure at St James' Park these days...
Talk about re-opening old wounds, eh? Owen really could not have made it any more obvious that he didn't want to move to Newcastle in 2005.
Owen also revealed details of a secret deal with Newcastle in which he could have re-joined Liverpool for a cut-price fee at the end of his first season - which was eventually derailed by a serious knee injury at the 2006 World Cup.
Here's a full transcript of what he said in the footage above...
“When I was leaving Real Madrid, I spoke to Liverpool, they wanted to buy me back, they put in a bid of £10 million,” Owen, who's now a regular pundit on BT Sport, said.
“So they’d sold me for £8m and put in a bid of £10m, I thought, I’m there, I’m going to go home.
“The [Real Madrid] president knocks on the door of my hotel room before a pre-season game and says listen ‘we’ve had a bid from an English team, how are you feeling? We’ve loved having you here, you’re absolutely welcome to stay, but if you want to go home, it’s your call’.
“I said no, I’d prefer to go back now, I’ve had a great experience, but I’d prefer to go back now, thinking it’s Liverpool.
“He said ‘Okay well, it’s Newcastle’ and I was like what? I was told obviously on the QT by Liverpool that they were going to put in a bid, so I just assumed it was them. So I was like oh no no no, no no no, I will go back to Liverpool but no no no, I’m not going…I’m not going anywhere else.
“He said well Newcastle have bid £16m, if Liverpool do that, then you can go there. But if not, you either stay here or go to Newcastle.
“I was like okay, I’ll stay here, I’ll stay here, obviously putting on a poker face. I spoke to Liverpool again, I said if you just go to £12m, I’ll play poker, I’ll hold my nerve and I’ll force them into a corner, to either keep me or go [to Liverpool].
“But Liverpool said we can only go to £10m, so then I had a big decision to make. We had just signed Robinho, we already had Ronaldo, Raul, Morientes. We had a World Cup coming up at the end of the year and I was thinking I need to play all of the time.”
On the secret agreement with Newcastle, Owen added: “I spoke to Newcastle and Newcastle agreed that if I signed for them, I can do one year and then they will sell me to Liverpool for an agreed fee of £12m. Then if I do another year, then they’ll sell me to Liverpool for £8m, and another year for £4m.
“So every year, it would be more attractive for Liverpool to buy me back. The mad thing is, is that I was hopefully going to be going back for £12m, did my knee, so then Liverpool bought Torres and Suarez, and it just never happened.
“At the end of every year, I obviously tried to go back, but I have got to make it clear, that’s not to say I didn’t have any love for [Newcastle United]. But when you have a love for a team…no one can blame me for that. Alan Shearer would have done the same for Newcastle.
“I had a great time [at Newcastle]. Lots of people say otherwise but four years up there. I lived up there despite what people thought, it’s a great city. It was brilliant but I just wanted to play for Liverpool. That was the only problem.”
Owen eventually left Newcastle in 2009, at the end of a season in which he was accused by fans of downing tools as the club suffered a shock relegation to the Championship.
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