Michael Owen: career highs and lows
HIGHS May 1997 Scores on his Liverpool debut after coming on as a substitute at Wimbledon at the age of just 17. Owen had signed professional terms just six months earlier. June 1998 Announces his talent to the world by scoring a goal of individual brilliance against Argentina in the World Cup second round. Owen strode past three players before firing beyond Carlos Roa and into the top corner. May 2001 Latches on to Patrik Berger's hopeful pass, races past Lee Dixon and beats David Seaman to grab his second of the game and hand Liverpool a last-gasp FA Cup win as Gerard Houllier's side pick up 'the plastic treble' of FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup. September 2001 A hat-trick from Owen, as well as goals from Liverpool team-mates Emile Heskey and Steven Gerrard, helps Sven-Goran Eriksson's England crush Germany 5-1 in Munich. December 2001 Voted European footballer of the year, becoming the first Englishman to win the award since Kevin Keegan in 1979. Lows September 1999 A succession of hamstring injuries rob Liverpool of Owen for much of the season, the first real indication of the troubles that will afflict him throughout his career. August 2004 Completes an £8 million move to Real Madrid after scoring 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool, but fails to feature regularly at the Bernabeu. Liverpool fans view his departure – he could have left for nothing the next season – as a betrayal, but seeing their side win the Champions League the next season softens the blow. September 2005 Fails to tempt Benitez to take him back to Liverpool after being deemed surplus to requirements at Real, but completes a £16 million move to Newcastle, where he is greeted by 30,000 delighted fans. Owen will play just 80 games in four years at St James's Park thanks to injury. June 2006 Owen is stretchered off in the first minute of England's 2-2 draw with Sweden after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. He does not play again until April the following year. May 2009 Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League after failing to score since January. Owen, omitted from the England team since Fabio Capello took over, is released on a free transfer when his contract expires.
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